Applying For An Apprenticeship: A Cheat Sheet

When applying for an apprenticeship you have to be able to communicate exactly who you are on just a couple of sheets of paper. That’s why it’s hugely important to make sure you get your application right. Furthermore, it’s likely you’ll be one of many applicants, meaning you have to try your best to stand out. If this is the first time you have created a CV, cover letter or filled out an application, or if you simply want to improve your applications so you get noticed by employers, here are a few tips and tricks that will help you.



1. Don’t wait until the last minute to apply

If you get your application in early, It’s more likely to be read first by employers. Also, leaving the application to the last minute may mean you have to rush, so you won’t have a chance to proofread, or make sure your communicating exactly what you want to say.



2. Tailor your application to the apprenticeship you are applying for

Don’t just copy and paste the same application into every role you apply for. Copying and pasting a generic application may be quick and easy, but it won’t impress employers. You will have to spend some time on each application, making sure that everything you mention is relevant to the role you are applying for. An application written specifically for the role will stand out from generic applications, and will help the recruiter to see how you will fit into the role.



3. Check, double check and triple check your applications

Don’t let simple spelling or grammar mistakes ruin your application. Even if you have all the skills for the job, and you have a well written application, a few small mistakes could let you down. Use a spell checker, proofread, and then get someone else (or multiple people) to check your application for you. It may be tedious and slow down your process, but it’s worth it as a recruiter may pick up on a small spelling or grammatical error that you didn’t even notice.



4. Hone in your writing style

Your CV and cover letter don’t have to be literary masterpieces, but they do need to be clear and easy to understand. If you struggle with writing, it may be worth seeking advice on writing CV’s from your school or college, or looking online for pointers to help you improve. Use the multiple applications and cover letters you may be writing to hone in your writing skills; practice makes perfect. And don’t be afraid to ask for help proofreading or rephrasing sentences if needed.



5. Don’t apply for everything

Applying for everything may seem like a good way of increasing your chances of getting an apprenticeship, but in most cases it isn’t a good idea. Remember that you will be committing to an apprenticeship 5 days a week for a year or perhaps longer, so it’s important to make sure you are applying for a role you can actually see yourself doing long term. Remember to research the company and job role, and check that travel and working hours are viable. It’s a waste of time for you and the company if you attend an interview, only to find that the job is too far away, or you weren’t really interested in the apprenticeship in the first place.



6. Show you have an interest in the industry

You’re more likely to be considered for an apprenticeship if employers can see you have a genuine interest in the industry you hope to work in. If you can add a couple of industry specific events, courses or work experience onto your CV, an employer will definitely notice and appreciate it. If you do not already have these, it may be worth keeping an eye out for local opportunities in the industry you are interested in. Keeping up to date with industry news is also a good idea for impressing potential employers.



7. Don’t let your social media make you look bad

Remember that potential employers probably won’t struggle to find you on social media. They probably won’t look at your profiles, but if they do, you don’t want them to find something that will cost you an apprenticeship. Make sure you don’t make offensive comments or post anything that can be seen as insensitive or of bad taste. Carefully manage your online presence so you can be yourself, but remain professional.



8. But do make the most of social media

Social media can be a great tool in helping you hunt for an apprenticeship. Most training providers have social media accounts where they regularly post apprenticeship vacancies. You can also use social media to build up a network of industry contacts, follow brands you want to work for, and shout about the fact you are looking for an apprenticeship.



9. Do research

The more you know about the company and the apprenticeship you are applying for, the better.   Find out as much a you can about the apprenticeship, the employer and the industry. If you can incorporate this into your application, the employer will take note, and your application will stand out.



10. Keep it simple and well designed

It’s good to have some personality in your application, but don’t go over the top. Avoid overdoing fonts, using too many colours or adding irrelevant images. Memes, Selfies and over the top WordArt are definite no’s. Ultimately, your application needs to look professional, and be easy to read and understand.



11. Be Creative.

Be creative when creating your application, especially if you are applying for a creative apprenticeship. Make sure you consider the design of your application, and add links to case studies or a website containing your work if you can. If you are willing to put a little bit of extra time and effort in, consider creating a CV using skills related to the apprenticeship you are applying for. You could make a 3D CV, a social media CV or even code your own CV website.


Now you have all the tips and tricks you need to create a successful application, you can find an apprenticeship vacancy with Creative Alliance and start applying here.