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Apprenticeship Applications Explained

Making your first job application can be daunting, but it doesn’t need to be!

Much like any other employment application, apprenticeship applications follow a structured process with clear expectations, questions and guidance on any word count limitations.

We’ve put together a list of things you’ll need when you make an apprenticeship application including must-haves, CV guidance and stand-out tips about what employers are looking for from applicants.

working on laptop

First things first

While this explanation of apprenticeship applications has been put together to help you succeed, we would strongly recommend that you do your research about the employer.

Each business is different and will likely have some different expectations and requirements when it comes to its application process.

Typically, you can expect to be required to supply the following:

A completed application – this is usually a series of qualifying questions to understand your competencies and any existing experience – this can be online or paper-based.

A CV – your CV will prove most successful if it is tailored to each role you’re applying for, highlighting your experience and characteristics in line with the specific role.

A cover letter – this is a short letter addressed to the hiring manager (or ‘to whom it may concern’ if the hiring manager is not named) that enables you to demonstrate why you feel you would be a good fit for the role and the skills and experience you would bring to the business. Cover letters are not always requested when making an application, but they can be a great way to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your commitment to the application process, so we would advise that you have one to accompany each application you make.

An interview – if your application is successful, you will be invited to an interview with the business. In the initial stages of shortlisting and interviews, it can be common to complete a short telephone or video interview that provides an opportunity for the employer to get to know you and your motivations a bit better. This is a fantastic opportunity to express your passion and interest in the role.

women interviewing

Finding apprenticeship opportunities

Here at the Early Talent Academy, we work with hundreds of incredible businesses looking for incredible people like you to make a real change for the future of work.

Finding opportunities near you has never been easier. Working across all industries in locations in every corner of the country, we can connect you with opportunities that will utilise your skills, challenge you to achieve more than you know you’re capable of and thrive in a learning environment that has been created to support your personal development and career opportunities.

So, whether you’re looking to kick-start your career, make a career change or simply expand your skills in your current market, we’ve got apprenticeship opportunities for you!

Register with  Early Talent Academy and make the most of our interactive apprenticeship application platform.

Top tip

“We would recommend submitting applications to more than one employer – this takes a little bit more effort but will improve your chances of securing an apprenticeship, especially as the timings of apprenticeship vacancy advertising can differ throughout the year – making positions slightly more competitive for applicants.”

Making apprenticeship applications

Application types may vary with some employers requiring a CV and others using a simple application form (some employers may even request both).

Both job application types are relatively similar and if you’ve made sure to read the job description and tailored your application to the role you’re applying to, you’ll have a great chance of securing a position in the next phase of the process.

Typically requested application information includes:

  • Contact details
  • Education History
  • Work History
  • Skills that are relevant to the role
  • Character or work experience references

Make sure to take your time filling out the application paying attention to detail. It can be beneficial to use a CV as a guide to cover key reference points and provide the most relevant answer to each question in the application.

Top tip

“Attention to detail is key – make sure you’ve checked (or asked someone else to proof) your application for spelling, grammar and contact details ahead of submission. We’d also recommend signing and dating your application and keeping a copy on file for future reference.”

CVs and cover letter apprenticeship applications

CVs are usually requested in replacement of an apprenticeship, giving you a bit more freedom to structure information about your skills, achievements and experience without the use of specific questions.

This provides an opportunity to include some additional information about your personality and any hobbies or interests. However, it is still really important to focus on relevant information that will demonstrate you are well-suited to the role you are applying to.

Much like an application, a CV should have:

  • Contact details (full name, address, number and email address)
  • A short personal introduction
  • Education history
  • Relevant work history
  • Skills that are relevant to the role
  • Brief mention of hobbies and interests
  • Character or work experience references
women taking notes

Cover letters

In addition to a CV, cover letters provide a great opportunity to demonstrate to the employer that you have an interest in their business, and that you’ve researched the role prior to making an application.

Top tip

“You should ensure you have included reasons that you want to work for the business, addressed the cover letter to the right person, and demonstrated reasons you would be a good fit for the role (using the job description to highlight qualities that align with what they are looking for)”

Must-haves for a cover letter:

  • Address it to the right person
  • Use the same style as your CV
  • Show your passion and enthusiasm
  • Keep a copy for reference
  • Be clear and reinforce statements with evidence where possible
  • Check (or have someone proof) your grammar and spelling before sending
  • Thank them for their time and consideration

So what do employers want from you?

Each employer will be looking for different things – ultimately demonstrating that your values align and that you are excited by the role is a great start to securing any role, apprenticeship or not.

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