Once you have found a vacancy that you would like to apply for, you need to create a memorable application. This page offers some helpful advice for you to use when writing your application.
Make sure you know the application deadline so that you can give yourself enough time to prepare for it. Your application will probably be ignored by the employer if you fail to apply by the specified deadline. Sometimes, no deadline is given, in which case you should try to send in your application quickly. However, be careful not to rush it as this will increase your chances of making mistakes.
You can also contact the employer directly to find out the deadline for applications.
A resume (often called a CV or curriculum vitae) is a document in which an applicant can provide important details about themselves, their skills, their educational background, achievements and relevant work experience. A majority of job vacancies require a resume since it is a fundamental way for employers to get to know the applicant, as well as their skills and their abilities.
The information that should be included in a resume includes personal personal details (like name and contact details), your career aims, previous education and work experience. Other information that you may wish to add includes key skills, strengths and hobbies. It is also recommended that you provide the contact details for references, as well as any licences which you hold that are relevant to the job (such as a white card or a background check for working with children). Although you may use the same resume to apply for many jobs, you must ensure that you change the details to suit the specific job that you are applying for.
The apprenticeship application might be the first job application that you have ever made. In this case, you should provide the details about your education, your skills and your experiences with extra curricular activities. This can include sports or other clubs, volunteer projects or other types of work experience.
A majority of our applicants choose apprenticeships in engineering and electrical trades. Peter Canavan from the AiGroup explains that it is possible to make yourself stand out in other ways if you do not yet have any work experience. For example, you can talk about any relevant hobbies that you may have. Furthermore, providing photos of previous work undertaken can be helpful. Canavan adds that his company looks for a history of volunteer work, placements in the Army Reserves and even previous engagement with the scouts. If the applicant has undertaken leadership roles in the past (such as school captains or the vice-captain of a sports team), or they have previously worked in a company, this is important too.
For mature applicants or those changing careers, there is no need to include information that is not relevant to the apprenticeship. You should think about writing a skills-first resume, in which key skills are detailed first as a priority, followed by a summary of previous work experience.
The Cover Letter
A well-written cover letter is a significant part of the application process since it is the first opportunity to make a good impression with the employer. You are more likely to be invited to an interview if you have a good cover letter. Whilst the resume presents your work and training history, in the cover letter you can elaborate on your career path decisions, as well as your reasons for wanting to work in a specific profession and with the company in question.
You must adapt your cover letter specifically to suit the company that you are applying to since you want to make good impressions with the potential employer. Even if you know the employer or they do not ask for a cover letter, you should still send one if you want to give your application the best possible chance of success.
The following tips are given by the AiGroup, who employ many apprentices every year:
- Try to emphasize your commitment to the apprenticeship. Employers often like to know that you intend to stay at the company for the entire requested duration.
- Make sure you state when you can start the job.
- Make a follow-up call once you have submitted your application. This shows confidence and demonstrates your level of interest.
Key Selection Criteria
During the application process, the employer may ask you to address several important selection criteria. You can still do this even if you have no previous work experience. You could highlight your previous experience at sports or leisure clubs, school-based roles, volunteer projects and even studying.
It is through the selection criteria that an employer can see whether you will be able to carry out the tasks required for the job. It is, therefore, crucial to address it if it's requested by the employer.
Submitting your application
After writing your resume and cover letter (and making sure the key selection criteria have been addressed if requested), you can submit your application. The following tips will help you to ensure that your application stands out from the rest.
You can submit your application in several ways. Companies often have webpages that contain templates for you to complete. It is recommended that, in such cases, you write out your answers in a word document first, and then copy and paste it to the template. This ensures that any technical or computer problems do not cost you all of your work.
When sending an application via email, you must attach all relevant documents to the email. You may also wish to add a short and respectful note. For example:
RE: Application for XXX position
Body: Hello XX,
I am writing to you to apply for the position of XX with XX. Please feel free to contact me on 04XX XXX XXX if you have any further questions.
When choosing to submit an application in person, you should take some time to research the company beforehand. Some companies do not accept applications made in person. If possible, try to find out the name of the manager so that you can ask the reception desk staff to take you directly to them when you arrive. By doing this, you can speak with the manager in person and perhaps explain why you would be the best applicant for the position.