Type up the information you would like to include in your application into a Word document first and don’t forget to save the document. Then you can cut and paste the information into the application form when you’re happy with how it reads – don’t forget to spellcheck and grammar check. Get at least 1 other person to read through your application to check that it makes sense, and for any spelling and punctuation errors – this could be a parent, teacher or careers adviser.
Remember to include all your predicted grades and any other qualifications or grades that you already hold, e.g. sport, music, dance, drama, Duke of Edinburgh, Asdan, St Johns Ambulance etc.
If you do not have any relevant experience, then consider taking the initiative to set some up. This could be one day at the weekend or in the holidays, or a day’s job shadowing. This is also an opportunity for the employer to get to know you and for you to find out more about the type of work you would be doing. Remember to include this on your application, noting that you took the initiative to set this up yourself. And remember to include any work experience and voluntary work as well as any paid employment in the employment history section.
Remember to give examples of your strengths if you can. For example, if the employer asks for ‘Good communication skills’ then you need to tell them that you have ‘Good communication skills’ and include examples. Do not include skills you think the employer is looking for if you are not sure you have those skills – the employer may ask you to evidence what is in your application. If you are unsure about what to write about yourself, ask a friend or your teacher or to list your 3 best qualities.
Have a look through the job advert and job description and either print it off and circle all the buzz words or write them all down. Try to include these words in the application form, remembering to evidence these skills.
Make sure you have an appropriate email address and answerphone message. Employers may phone you or send you an email rather than sending a letter.
Keep a diary or list of all the applications you have made and when you applied. Print off a copy of each application and the job advert. Hopefully you will be invited to interview, and you will be able to double check the information in your application and advert.
Tailor each application to the apprenticeship you are applying for. When saving your CVs, it is a good idea to put the name of the company and the application date in the file name.
Think about any hobbies or activities you do or did which would be relevant to the apprenticeship. Or did you train or compete in sports, music, drama to a high level? Think about the skills you will have gained from these activities and hobbies and include these as examples of your strengths.
Online help with applications
Online courses which you can access for free. If you go to https://www.futurelearn.com, click on courses, click on short courses, scroll down to ‘Find the right online course for you’, click on the ‘All categories’ drop down box, and choose ‘study skills’. There are modules on ‘how to succeed at interviews’, and ‘how to succeed at writing applications.
There is lots of handy information and tips for preparing and attending interviews, writing CVS, looking for jobs and provides the top mistakes which applicants make – click on the ‘Careers Advice’ tab. The site is https://www.prospects.ac.uk/. There are two quizzes you can take but you will need to register first – click on ‘Manage Profile’ and then click on ‘What job would suit me’. This takes you to the quizzes ‘career planner’ and ‘job match’.