Top Tips for Applying to Apprenticeships
An apprenticeship combines practical work with theoretical study and industry-recognised qualifications. With employers looking for ‘work-ready’ graduates and young people doing what they can to stand out from the crowd, apprenticeships are becoming increasingly competitive.
Pearson Business School share their advice on applying to apprenticeships…
1. Take your time with the application
Make sure that you leave enough time to sit down and complete the application form. If you need to do it over a couple of days, do that too! It's important to do it somewhere with minimal distractions so that you stay focused.
Rushed applications that aren't personalised stand out to employers in a negative way: they give the impression that you aren't particularly interested in the role.
“Applying for an apprenticeship role is a combination of applying for a job role and a place at an educational institution, so it is important to include aspects of yourself that are applicable to both. Ensure that you present yourself as a well-balanced individual that’s capable and able to meet the demands of the course.” - Katie Fiddaman, Degree Apprentice at Pearson College London
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2. Include previous work experience
Your CV and application form are both opportunities to show off your qualifications and experiences to the employer. Having an attractive CV that clearly lists your achievements will make you stand out from other candidates.
In your application and interview (if you get to this stage), the best way to demonstrate your competence is to relate past experiences to the skills in question. Examples will not only illustrate your points, but will help you to stand out from others.
However, please do not lie because it will only come back to haunt you in an interview when you are asked about something you have never actually done!
"My top tip for applying to a degree apprenticeship is to make sure you talk about any relevant work experience, or other activities you have taken part in that will make you stand out from the crowd.
It's also important to link these back to the specific role you are applying for to demonstrate how your experiences make you the best candidate for the job." - Holly Garrett, Rotational Degree Apprentice
3. Make sure it suits you
Make sure that each scheme you apply to is something that you definitely want to do. Young people are often influenced by parents, teachers and careers advisors, so it is vital that you pick something that you actually want to do. You will learn more if you have a genuine interest and enjoy it.
In terms of the role itself, you need to know what it entails and what it can lead to. This doesn’t mean knowing the exact career path you want to follow, but it does mean finding something that could help your future aspirations.
This also refers to picking the right company for you and what you want to achieve. More often than not, young people want to work for an established company to have that name on their CV; but smaller enterprises can provide rich experiences too.
Research, research, research!
Research the company that you are applying to in detail, so that you can confidently answer any questions about the company itself. Knowing the company will impress the interviewer and show initiative; a highly valued attribute when looking to employ someone.
Make sure that you also understand the role that you are applying for and the responsibilities that are involved in that role. Keeping up with current affairs by signing up to news alerts will help you to better understand the company and what external factors might affect it in the future.
"Although experience is a good way of standing out, there are other ways to show to an interviewer why you want the job. Ensuring that you do lots or research around the role and the company that you are applying for shows the interviewer that you are really interested in the role and are aware of what the company does. Asking questions in interviews is also a good way to show enthusiasm about the role." - Matilda Pinn, Applicant Advisor
Networking with individuals from the industry that you are looking to work in, as well as networking with like-minded individuals, is vital for a successful career. You never know when you will need a connection for something.
The easiest way nowadays is to build a network via LinkedIn; making meaningful connections on this platform can really aid future success.