Apprenticeship application forms: can you do without this advice?

Apprenticeship or school leaver scheme application forms can often be the first hurdle that you need to clear in your race to a job.

What are apprenticeship application forms?

Many companies will have standard application forms that you need to fill in that include the sections listed below. These can be paper-based, although many employers are putting them online instead.

Application forms can cover a load of different topics and ask for your motivations for applying for the job, from apprenticeships to school leaver schemes to sponsored degree programmes. Read on for more…

What sections are included in application forms?

Your personal details

They need to know who you are after all! You’ll be asked for pretty standard information, like your name, address, email address and phone number.

Your education history

This part of the form will ask you for your educational background, covering things like which school you went to and when, as well as what qualifications and exam results you earned there.

Your employment history

Again, a fairly straightforward part of the job application form. Here you’ll be able to add your employment history, including things like the job title, company name, employment dates and role responsibilities.

Don’t sweat it if you have got too much to stick down in this section yet. You’re only young after all so employers won’t be expecting loads of high-flying jobs here.

Your skills

If a section like this is included, you’ll be expected to provide an overview of your skills and abilities and how they relate to the apprenticeship or school leaver programme, ideally backed up by evidence in the form of previous jobs or extra-curricular activities.

You may also be asked to fill in some competency questions based around your skills as part of the job application form, in which case you may be given a word count that you need to stick to.

Career motivations

Questions like this may not be included, but if they are they may ask you to broadly present your career motivations to show you’ve got strong ambitions.

These questions could include “where do you see yourself in a few years’ time?” or “why do you want to join us instead of our competitors?”

Great, but how do I write good answers?

The good thing about application forms is that you can take a look at what’s required and then plan out your responses. To make sure you put yourself across in the best possible way, we suggest you make use of the following tips…

Plan and prepare your answers

Make a list of the questions you’re being asked and then write out your responses in a separate Word document first. This will help you create a first draft of your answer, check the word count and also keep an eye out for any pesky spelling or grammar mistakes!

Really read the questions

There’s no point preparing the perfect answer if it’s to the wrong question! Look at it properly and make sure you understand what it’s asking for; this will help you make sure your response is relevant. Sounds obvious, but it’s important and does catch some people out.

Research is the key to your success

Generic answers do stick out to employers (they’ve read loads of them remember), so tailor your answers to the company by reading up on them and checking out their website. Find out what they’re like, whether they’ve been in the news and what would be expected from you.

Find out what qualities they are looking for and shape your responses based on these. A strong knowledge of the company and apprenticeship scheme you’re applying for will stop you sounding like a robot.

When it comes to filling out competency-based questions, we would always recommend following the STAR method. What’s that we hear you ask? Click here to find out! Alternatively, you could always take a look at our thousands of company reviews included here.

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