Apprentice
By Rachael Berry
15th March 2013

As it is National Apprentice Week I thought I’d share my top tips to help you land a great apprentice opportunity.

Do your research

I did some research on the type of NVQ qualification I could do and decided that Business and Administration was the best option for me as going forward I want to work in an office environment. Doing this qualification has really helped me develop my IT, organisational and communication skills. Speak to as many people as possible about the type of career options you are considering to help you decide which path to take.

Prepare your CV

It is important to get your CV ready to send to potential employers even if you haven’t had a full time job before. Include your qualifications, if you have a driving licence and your own car, and your work history. If you’ve not worked before, try to highlight achievements you’ve had in your school or personal life. If you can demonstrate your leadership/team building skills or any fundraising you’ve done this will help get you noticed. Read more in our article 'How to write a  great CV'.

Create a cover letter

A cover letter will help you stand out to any potential employers.It’s a good idea to tailor it specifically for each job you apply to and a great way to highlight any relevant experience you have and why they should consider and potentially hire you!

Search the web thoroughly and frequently

I used the official government apprenticeships website to search for the relevant opportunities. I found this site the easiest to use and it is also the one that has the most jobs on. Search for new opportunities once a week as this will help you keep up to date with any new and exciting posts.

Be careful when applying for jobs

Take time to read the job adverts and only apply for ones that you are interested in and you meet the basic criteria for. You should also make sure you know which jobs you have applied for, nothing looks worse to the potential employer when you can’t remember what job it is they are contacting you for!

Make sure you have all the relevant documents

When starting a new apprenticeship, your assessor will ask you for a copy of your GCSE certificates. If you’ve lost them it is possible to contact the relevant exam board and buy another copy. I found out the hard way it can be pretty costly! Try to keep them in a safe place. Otherwise, you may have to sit some key skills test with your training provider.

Preparing for your interview

Always look at the company website before attending the interview as this will help you get a feel for the business and help you to plan some questions to ask at the end of the interview. A good question to ask in the interview is “what will I be doing on a typical day?” Try to avoid questions such as “how many holidays will I get?” Most importantly make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before the interview!

Day of the interview

Dress to impress. First impressions are vital so make sure you look presentable and professional. Plan your journey in advance so you know how long it is going to take you and aim to arrive about 15 minutes early so you don’t feel rushed.

Another useful source of information is 'The National Careers Service'.  They are the UK’s leading careers, skills and training resource for anyone aged 13+ who wants free, impartial advice and guidance on how to find a job, career change or boost their skills.

Take a look at their infographic 'The History of the CV' which also has a link to their website for more information.

Wishing you all Good Luck in your search for the perfect apprenticeship!

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