How To Apply For An Apprenticeship

Wondering how to apply for an apprenticeship scheme? As an increasingly popular way to learn a profession, there can be a good deal of competition for apprenticeship places, so it’s important to prepare any application as well as possible.

There are a number of approaches you can take to ensure your application looks professional – and stands out from the crowd.

1. Do your research

Since the process of applying for apprenticeships can be time consuming, it's important to set realistic expectations and make sure you only apply for vacancies that are suited to your skills, experience and interests.

This will mean you can focus your time and energy on creating well-written, thoughtful applications that will catch the eye of a prospective employer.

2. Make each application unique

It is tempting when regularly applying for apprenticeships to use a ‘copy and paste’ approach – using the same pieces of text for different vacancies.

While applications can be time consuming, it is advisable to write fresh text each time so that each application is tailored to the specific apprenticeship.

It is often easy to spot when an applicant has copy-and-pasted text used before.

To give the impression that you have spent some time looking into the vacancy, try to make reference to the company’s operations, or how your skills, experience or interests may make you a good candidate.

This ‘tailoring’ can be effective in both online and paper applications, as well as CVs.

3. Include all relevant experience, hobbies and interests

It's a good idea to write out a list of everything you might want to include in an application, and match your experience with what the employer and training provider are looking for in their job specification.

This will show them that you know what they are looking for and have tried to tailor your application accordingly.

Backing up everything you talk about in your application with examples will lend weight to it and make potential employers more likely to be interested in you as a candidate.

4. Be comprehensive

Give your prospective employer plenty to go on as regards your personality and how you would fit in with the organisation.

That said, ensure that each sentence is there for a reason – with the ultimate objective of demonstrating how well suited you are to the role.

5. Pay attention to detail

Your application is at least as important as your interview.

If you are an ideal candidate with the right qualifications and lots of enthusiasm, but your application is let down by being badly written or lacking in information, you could be missing out on an opportunity.

Let others read your CV and application before you send it. Ensure there are no grammatical or spelling mistakes, and make sure it sounds positive and confident.

Don’t be let down by small mistakes such as forgetting to list contact information.

6. Create an eye-catching application (with examples)

Some employers receive scores or even hundreds of applications.

As such, it is important to make yours stand out from the crowd.

What unique and relevant qualities set you apart from others?

Try to mention these as early in the application as possible. In some cases, applications that do not immediately seem related to the role may be discarded quickly.

To prevent this, play on your strengths and mention them early on. Provide examples of projects you have worked on that specifically relate to the tasks you might face if you got the job.

Consider using examples of instances in leisure or study time when you accomplished tasks similar to those required in the vacancy.

Think about what a prospective employer might want from a candidate. Hard work? Dedication? A talent for maths? Great organisational skills? Make any description of why they should choose you as compelling as possible.

7. Proofread carefully

Remember that this doesn't just mean using spellchecker - instead, read through it carefully several times, and ask someone else to do the same in case you miss anything.

Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all important, and you don't want to be rejected because of a few simple mistakes.

Having taken these tips and pieces of advice on board, you will be better prepared to start applying for apprenticeships .

Further information

For more tips and advice on applying for apprenticeships, please see: