6 February 2024

5 Simple Ways to Show Off Your Skills in An Application

Alt Text!

Application season is in full swing. Employers are swimming in CVs and cover letters, but how can you make sure you stand out and set yourself apart? Your skills.

A great application will be littered with all the key skills that employers are looking for. The best part is, you already have a lot of these skills.

Whether that’s through taking part in extracurricular activities or winning mantlepiece-worthy awards during school time, these experiences are the stuff that employers dream about. And we’re going to help you fish those skills out.  

Here are 5 ways you can show off your skills in an application.

1. School achievements and certificates

Never underestimate what a good certificate can do for you.

Whether it’s a recognition for outstanding work in a particular subject or a Duke of Edinburgh award, an achievement is a direct reward for hard work and makes for showing employers that you have some major skills. Add them to your CV. 

These can include:

  • Being a team player
  • Communication
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving.

2. A T Level Foundation Year

The foundation year is aimed at 16-19 year olds and aims to develop the skills, experience and knowledge to help prepare you for the T Level you want to progress on to or any other types of work experience.

The year will help you develop your maths and english skills as well as practical, technical and study skills.

To help you develop those skills, you’ll also take on some work experience during your foundation year.

Keen to find out more about what T Levels are?

3. A part-time job or work experience

Whether you did a summer flogging sausage rolls in Greggs, working in the checkouts at Tesco or as a primary school teaching assistant for work experience, you would have gained a truckload of skills to add to your application.

Think about everything you learned during those experiences and use those to relate back to the apprenticeship you’re applying for.

Numbers are a fantastic way of giving employers more context to your work experience. Worked during the busy Christmas period? Shout about how many customers came through the door every day – this will show you can handle responsibility under pressure!

Work experience should always be added to an application. Why? Because it’s impressive. It also shows you’ve developed some of the following:

  • Active listening
  • Adaptability
  • Critical thinking
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills.
Ruby, People Director at RateMyApprenticeship

4. Being part of a club or sports team

Our hobbies are a fantastic way of showing employers what we’re interested in. If you didn’t know, they’re also another great source of soft (and some hard) skills. Yup, that’s right. Football every Sunday has been actively contributing to your skill set, easily.

Whether you’re the captain of a sports team, the president of the Ice Spice fan club or the treasurer of your school’s book club, talk about it! Skills you’d 100% have could be:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Teamwork.

5. Attend events and fairs

Have you ever thought about attending a career show or fair? If not, you should seriously consider getting yourself to one. Why? Because they are a marvellous way to get yourself in front of employers and find out exactly what they’re looking for in candidates.

It’s also a way to find out what careers are out there if you’re unsure about your future.

National Apprenticeship Week 2024 is all about ‘skills for life’ and we have loads going on.

By attending events and fairs, you’ll develop skills such as:

  • Communication
  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Networking
  • Self-starting.

The STAR method

Now you know all the lovely skills you have, how do you put them into practice?

That’s where the STAR method comes in. It’s a way to help you structure your answers when it comes to the interview stage of the application process. The STAR method stands for:

What was the situation you found yourself in? How did it arise?What was the main task at hand needed to handle the situation?What actions did you take to tackle the situation you faced?What was the result of your action? How did you measure the success? What did you learn?

You might be asked about a time you’ve had to lead a team or when you’ve had to solve a problem. The STAR method is there to make sure you have a clear and concise answer to give an interviewer.

That method coupled with all the skills and experience you have above? A match made in heaven.
Want to know more about the STAR method? Read our Guide to the STAR Interview Technique.

And just like that, five very simple ways to show off your skills in an application. If you’re feeling ready to make your journey into the world of apprenticeships, why not have a look through our current job offerings? There are loads.