21 September 2023
Apprenticeship CV: Your Guide & Template
Are you struggling to write a CV for an apprenticeship? What a nightmare! If you’ve just stumbled across this page, you are incredibly fortunate.
Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to writing a CV for an apprenticeship application.
How to Write an Apprenticeship CV
Before we begin…
There’s no need to put ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top of your CV. It’s just stating the obvious. It can be difficult to spell too. So why risk it?
Just use your name.
Now that’s out the way, you’re probably wondering if an apprenticeship is even for you. Let’s break it down a little.
Why should I do an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a great option for any school leaver who wants the qualifications to start a career in a wide range of industries, but doesn’t want to tread the path of university.
If you’re dead set on uni, and you like the idea of apprenticeships – there’s a way. They’re called degree apprenticeships, and you don’t need to take out a student loan to do one. The government and your employer will pay your fees. So no debt for you. Score.
To find out more about the different types of apprenticeships and their entry requirements, read our overview of apprenticeship programmes.
Apprenticeship CV Guide
Step 1: YOUR DETAILS
After your name, you need to provide the employer with relevant contact information. Contact information is crucial. How will an employer get in touch to say ‘come in for an interview’ without your phone number or email address?
Step 2: PERSONAL STATEMENT
Keep it brief. Keep it focused.
Nobody cares for a long, rambling statement, which details your fondness for summer walks, soft cheese and watching re-runs of Friends.
In no more than five sentences, explain who you are, why you’re interested in this particular apprenticeship, and your career aspirations.
Apprenticeships train candidates to perform a specific job. Or for a role in that wider industry. Your personal statement should relate to that job or industry, and be tailored around the apprenticeship you’re applying for.
If you’re struggling with your personal statement, try and answer this question…
*How will you benefit the company during your apprenticeship?*
Step 3: KEY SKILLS
There can be an unholy number of applicants for each apprenticeship. And that means an unholy amount of CVs. Employers are unlikely to read each one from start to end.
A good apprenticeship CV has to grab the employer by the ears and scream ‘EMPLOY ME!’ within twenty seconds.
The best way to make an impression in such haste is with a series of bullet points listing your key skills. See it as a summary of your strengths. You can include things like…
- Excellent verbal and written communication
- Working as part of a team.
Step 4: EDUCATION
The first thing to remember in the education section of your apprentice CV is to put your most recent qualifications first. Put your A-Levels before your GCSEs.
Any modules studied during your A-Levels or GCSEs that are relevant to the apprenticeship are also worth a mention.
If you’re applying for an accounting apprenticeship, and you completed a project or a piece of coursework that focused on collecting and analysing data, let the employer know!
We’ve designed a template for an apprenticeship CV. This CV template is downloadable. And you can use it for any type of apprenticeship.
If you follow our step-by-step guide to writing a CV for apprenticeships, you can use the template to create a CV that will have employers chasing you through the streets.
Step 5: EMPLOYMENT HISTORY/WORK EXPERIENCE
If you have a job, list your key responsibilities and any awards or achievements you have been given.
If you’ve never had a paid job, this is a fantastic opportunity to discuss any unpaid or voluntary work you have under your belt. Detailing previous work experience is a great way of providing evidence of the key skills you have said you possess.
Anyone can write on their CV that they have a strength in customer service. How does an employer work out who is telling porkies? If you can point to your fortnight of work experience at Sainsbury’s, in which you dealt with a number of customer inquiries, you will look like royalty.
Some employers will hire apprentices even if they don’t have the required grades, but have completed relevant work experience. Not only is it crucial to finding an apprenticeship, but can make a difference when applying for jobs.
If you don’t have any work experience in the field of your apprenticeship, it’s a good idea to try and find some. Even just a week-long work experience placement in a role that is similar to the apprenticeship is valued highly by employers.
PRO TIP: When listing your responsibilities, it’s better to use words that convey action and a sense of purpose. Writing ‘I made a new pricing system’ is not going to inspire a prospective employer. However, if you change it to ‘I introduced and developed a new pricing system’, it sounds like you had a more active role.
Step 6: INTERESTS
If you don’t have the qualifications or relevant work experience, the interests section is the most important part of your apprenticeship CV.
Here, you can use your outside interests and extra-curricular activities to show an employer why you are an ideal candidate for an apprenticeship.
If you play in a sports team, now’s the time to convince the employer that you work well in a team. If you are a team captain, you can feed in your leadership qualities.
If you have any extra-curricular activities or interests that relate to the apprenticeship, highlight them. What you do with your free time is valuable information to an employer.
It tells them about your passions. If you can assure an employer that you are passionate about accounting, engineering or design, they are more likely to employ you.
Employers invest time and money in apprenticeship schemes. They would rather employ an apprentice who is enthusiastic about the course, rather than someone who is more qualified, but doesn’t care.
Step 7: REFERENCES
‘References are available on request’.
Unless an employer asks for your references ASAP, put this at the end of your CV.
You usually have to pick two referees. It’s a good idea to pick a person who knows you academically – perhaps a teacher in a subject that is similar to the apprenticeship.
If you have a job, your second referee could be your manager. They can testify to all the skills you have outlined throughout your CV. If you haven’t worked, choose someone you know from any work experience or volunteering you have done.
It’s better to choose referees that know you well. And who you share a good relationship with.