Apprenticeship Application Checklist
Sending that first apprenticeship application is always nerve-wracking and this can be even more stressful when it’s for an apprenticeship you really want. So, before you press send use this checklist to ensure you’ve got everything you absolutely need to make a good impression. Also, by following this list, if you’re successful, you’re already halfway prepared for an interview.
You should have…
1. A CV
Every single application will ask for a CV in some form, and it’s your chance to present all the necessary information about yourself that you can to ensure you stand out. Start off with a personal statement, these don’t need to be an entire essay unless you’re applying for uni, instead just keep it to the basics – who are you, what school did you go to and what are you looking for. You can also mention your key skills here or describe yourself in 3 words such as organised, approachable and confident but keep in mind the job you’re applying for at all times. For example if you’re applying to be a business administration apprentice, you’re likely to be the first face a visitor would see so you’ll need to be friendly, have a good telephone manner etc. After your personal statement and skills, give as much information on your experience as possible, if you’ve had any previous employment, this is where you tell them – give them details on who you worked for but more importantly what were your duties and what did you learn (references are beneficial too if you have them). However, if you’ve never had any employment, add any other experiences you’ve had like any voluntary work as it’s all good experience and shows you’re not afraid of working hard or responsibility.
2. Understanding of the role
When you apply to a job, no matter how much you try to hide it, if you have no understanding of the role the employer will be able to see this. And it doesn’t look good. The majority of apprenticeship vacancies will advertise a general explanation of the role alongside a list of the tasks you’ll be completing but if this isn’t extensive or you want an even more detailed understanding, check their website or the Institute for Apprenticeships page. This way, you can see precisely what skills they’re looking for, what situations you’d be in if you were successful and then you can tailor your application to this. For instance emphasise times when you utilised the skills they’re asking for to show you’re a suitable match. Using past experiences as often as possible gives your claims much more weight, everyone and anyone can say they have excellent communication skills or work well in a team but by giving an example of a time you did this – and did it well – you’ll be showing them how good a candidate you are.
3. Company knowledge
After you’ve completed step 1 and 2, you’ve already improved your chances but by completing some research into the company you’re applying for you’ll be even more impressive. This research benefits both you and the employer as you’ll stand out from all other applicants with your knowledge of what the company specialises in and maybe giving examples as to how you could contribute to this given the opportunity but also it’ll be helping you out. When you’re researching, look up the company’s values and goals which could tell you whether this is the right company for you or not. Then, if you’re invited to an interview you’ve prepared yourself for some of their questions already.
Some companies might ask for a cover letter or give you a couple of questions to answer based on your real life experiences such as “tell me a time when you used teamwork skills” and some may ask you nothing more than your name and education, but applying everything above will put you one step ahead of your competition. That way, next time you find an apprenticeship advertised which fits all of your skills, interests and more, you’ll be presenting yourself to the employer in the best way possible.