1. Do your research!
Whether it’s a Google search, reading blogs or talking to a careers advisor, you need to get familiar with the concept of apprenticeships and ideally familiarise yourself with your chosen field. If you want to work as a Teaching Assistant, for example, do you know what levels are available or how long it takes to complete the qualification? This very same principle also applies to landing your dream job in an interview! Always research the company you are applying for or interviewing with – what do they do? What makes them unique? What is their vision? There is likely to be tens if not hundreds of other applicants all fighting for one apprenticeship position, so make sure you ‘wow’ your potential employer from the get go.
2. Attention to detail
An apprenticeship may be seen as a junior position but that doesn’t mean there is room for carelessness and mistakes in your application. Potential employers will view mistakes on your CV, cover letter or application form as a sign that you don’t pay attention. To give yourself a fighting chance and make your application sparkle, make sure you proof read all of your documents and, ideally, ask a friend, teacher or relative to do the same.
3. Get creative
If you’re leaving school and college, or perhaps looking for an apprenticeship in an area that’s completely new and different to your previous jobs, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have any relevant skills or experience. The secret? Get creative! Transferrable skills can be found in almost everything you’ve done. Have you had a part-time job in retail? Then you’ve probably worked as a team, handled customer service matters and worked under pressure. Apply that logic to anything from being a prefect to being part of a school/college club, and you’ll soon have a CV to be proud of.
4. Don’t forget the small stuff
It’s easy to get so carried away with listing grades, experience and skills that you forget to include the little things that make or break a CV. For example, there’s no point submitting an A+ CV if your contact details are missing, meaning an employer can’t get in touch to arrange an interview. Make sure your full name, telephone number and email address are included clearly at the top of your CV and on any application forms you submit.
5. Be social media savvy
Social media accounts aren’t just visible to your friends and family. Potential employers sometimes screen applicants by browsing their social media accounts, so make sure yours can’t harm your chances of getting a job offer. Changing your settings to make sure your accounts are completely private is an option, or you can edit your profiles to make sure no inappropriate pictures, posts or comments are on show. Depending on your chosen field, a social media presence, particularly on Twitter, could be an excellent way to grow your contacts and keep up to date with the industry. If you’d like to use Twitter to bag your dream role and reach out to potential employers, consider starting a profile for professional use and keeping your personal accounts separate (but still private or work appropriate!). Cat pictures, funny memes and photos from last weekend’s party may make you and your friends smile, but your future boss might not agree!