How to apply for an apprenticeship

Competition to secure an apprenticeship place is becoming increasingly fierce. Apprenticeships are a great opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience while studying for a qualification and earning a wage. Discover how to pitch yourself to businesses and produce the most ideal apprenticeship application.

Do your research

Before you apply for apprenticeships, it’s important to know what employers in your chosen field will expect of you just as what every apprenticeship will include.

As apprenticeships are open to a broader range of applicants, with some requiring no more than being over the age of 16 and not in full-time education as entry requirements, employers aren’t necessarily looking to hire candidates with the most prior work experience or highest level of qualification. Your ability to demonstrate hard skills will be highly valued.

Search for apprenticeships on individual employers’ websites. Some may not display their opportunities, so by making speculative applications to specific companies you’d like to work for, you’ll prove that you’re driven, confident and have fully researched the company. By doing your research you’ll have a clearer picture of how to make a good impression.

Tailor your CV and cover letter

A strong CV is the backbone of any job application. It needs to look and sound professional, demonstrating clearly and concisely your suitability for the position.

Divide sections clearly and use bullet points for ease of reading. Your CV will need to include:

  • Profile – a punchy opening paragraph displaying your most relevant qualities, skills and experience to the role you’re applying for.
  • Education – many apprenticeship applicants have limited prior work experience. If the apprenticeship you’re applying for will be your first position outside of full-time education, take the opportunity to list your academic achievements, highlighting the transferable skills you’ve developed through group work, coursework and end-of-year exams.
  • Work experience – list all previous paid employment and any relevant non-paid experience you may have. This includes voluntary work and placements.
  • Interests/hobbies – Include a particularly impressive achievement.

A cover letter is a document sent alongside your CV when applying for jobs. It acts as a personal introduction and helps to sell your application. It is necessary as it gives you the chance to explain to an employer why you’re the best candidate for the job. You do this by highlighting relevant skills and experience; therefore, you should always write your cover letter with the position you’re applying for in mind.. Keep it short and sharp – your employer will likely have hundreds of applications to read through.