7 September 2023

Top Tips on Applying for Apprenticeships

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With more and more young people choosing to do an apprenticeship over university, these neat schemes are becoming increasingly competitive.

So, you’re going to have to pull your socks up if you want to secure a role as an apprentice. Keep reading for some top application tips from Pearson Business School…

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 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

2. Include your 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!

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3. Make sure it suits you

Make sure that each scheme you apply for is something that you definitely want to do. Young people are often influenced by parents, teachers and careers advisors. So it’s vital you pick something you actually want to do. You’ll 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.

“I would first recommend seeking advice from other apprentices who have experienced the process. Some other students and I have actually started a podcast called Apprentice Talks where we interview apprentices and share tools, knowledge, and advice.” 

Samuel Okusaga, Degree Apprentice at Pearson College London

4. 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’re applying for and the responsibilities that are involved in it. Keeping up with current affairs by signing up to news alerts will help you better understand the company and what external factors might affect it in the future.

Click below for thousands of insightful reviews about apprenticeships, written by real apprentices.

5. Start networking

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’ll 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.

Get the best application tips from current apprentices below!