Apprenticeship CV: Your Guide & Template

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How to Write an Apprenticeship CV

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.


Before we begin...

There’s no need to put ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top of your CV (like the guy in the picture has). It’s just stating the obvious. It can be difficult to spell too, so why risk it?

Leave your name as the title. Some ‘cv help’ websites even tell you to put your co-ordinates next to your name. Unless you live out at sea, or in deep space, don’t do it.

An apprenticeship is a great option for any school leaver who wants the qualifications to start a career in an array of industries, but doesn’t want to tread the path of university.

To find out more about the different types of apprenticeships and the entry requirements, read our apprenticeships overview.

If you do want to study towards a degree, but are put off by towering student debts, there is a new type of apprenticeship that might be perfect for you. Degree apprenticeships were introduced by the government last year, and give school leavers the opportunity to get a tuition-free degree, while working as a full-time employee with some of the UK’s biggest companies.

Click here to find out more about degree apprenticeships, it would be the smart thing to do.


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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 Blind Date.

In no more than five sentences, explain who you are, why you are 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 are applying for.

If you’re struggling with your personal statement, try and answer this question... how will you benefit the company during your apprenticeship?


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Step 3: KEY SKILLS

There can be an unholy number of applicants for each apprenticeship, and that means an unholy amount of CV’s. Employers are unlikely to read each one from beginning to end.

A good apprenticeship CV has to grab the employer by the ears and scream ‘EMPLOY ME!’ within twenty seconds.

Twenty seconds is a small window. It’s like speed-dating at a careers fair.

The best way to make an impression in such haste is with a series of bullet points listing your key skills.

A summary of your strengths. Time-management, excellent verbal and written communication, working as part of a team... these are the things that employers are looking for.

This is a great way of standing out quickly, of being the superstar, the Rod Stewart of apprentice candidates.


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 you’re A-levels before your GCSEs.

Any modules studied during you’re A-levels of GCSEs that are relevant to the apprenticeship are also worth a mention.

If you are 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!

Applicants for apprenticeships do not unusually have a long list of previous work experience or qualifications. A lot of CV’s for apprenticeships can be remarkably similar in content.

Any work or projects that relate to the apprenticeship, no matter how small, will separate you from your rivals in the application process.


​Apprenticeship CV Template

We’ve designed a template for an apprenticeship CV. This CV template is downloadable, and you can use it for any type and any level 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.

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.

If you have not 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?

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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 a king.

Some employers will hire apprentices even if they don’t have the required grades, but have completed relevant work experience.

Relevant work experience is not only crucial to finding an apprenticeship, but can make the 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.

Click here to check out the work experience vacancies on RateMyApprenticeship.​


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, here is your opportunity to convince the employer that you work well in a team. If you are team captain, you can feed in your leadership qualities.

If you have any extra-curricular activities or interests that relate to the apprenticeship, call attention to them. What you do with you 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 or 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 a person who is better qualified but doesn’t care.


Step 7: REFERENCES

‘References are available on request’.

Unless an employer asks for your references immediately, put this at the end of your CV for apprenticeships.

You usually have to pick two referees. It’s a good idea to pick a person who knows you academically – perhaps a teacher in the 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.


Just before we finish...

Here are a few top tips to consider as you write your CV:

  • DON'T go over two A4 pages
  • DON'T include a photo unless asked to
  • DON'T use colloquial language 
  • ALWAYS check spelling and grammar
  • BE HONEST!

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