Applying for an apprenticeship is a decision which could ultimately change your future career and kick start your working life. Apprenticeships are available in many different sectors, varying with many roles and responsibilities. With so many options at hand, depending on your interests and skills, there’s something that will certainly capture your interest.
As university fees rise and the impact of having a degree becomes widely available, the appeal of doing an apprenticeship grows as well. Gaining real life work experience whilst continuing academic learning offers you a huge advantage as they gain specific experience in the sector along with all the qualifications needed. As an added benefit you’ll be paid a salary and in some cases, even get your degree tuition fees paid on a degree apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship Application Process
Once you’ve found an apprenticeship which is relevant to you, there are a few steps to consider before pressing the APPLY button.
Some of the steps can seem daunting but we’ve outlined some tips to help you with the process.
1. Make Sure Your CV is Attractive
Your CV is the first chance to impress the employer when you apply for the role. In essence, your CV is about showcasing your experience, interests and your best attributes. Make your CV short, sharp and to-the-point. From an employer’s point of view, they only have so much time to read all the applicants CV’s. Therefore, you need to stand out! Include achievements and experiences that set you apart from others and makes the employer want to know more. This will make the employer want to get to know you more in person and land you that Interview.
2. Application Process
Similar to your CV, the application process sometimes includes question based on the role and your skill set. Some employers have their own criteria when applying for a specific time, make sure that you meet those before starting the application process. When it comes to the questions, make sure to do your research on the company. Take your time, be sure to express yourself and remember to be confident.
3. Researching the Role
This is a very important factor and something the employer will take note of either reading in the application process or when you go for an interview. Make sure you understand what you're applying for, what the responsibilities are and the employing company. If you do a bit of research on the company, you will be able to answer questions tailored to the company or even ask questions to the employer. This will set you apart from the rest and shows initiative and dedication, both valued highly when employing a young person.
4. Pre-planning the Future
Do you know exactly what the role is and what it leads to? As a young person, you're not expected to know what you want to do for the rest of your life so don't put that pressure on yourself! However, try and find an apprenticeship that relates to what you think you want to do and can help you in the future. Consider apprenticeships with transferable skills and in the sector where experience will be valuable for future employers.
5. Apprenticeships for You
Young people are often steered in a certain direction by either their parents or teachers. Ensure that you are doing what you want to do, otherwise, there is little point. If you are doing something you have a genuine interest in then you’re more likely to learn more, work harder, and strive to succeed. Listen to your parents and teachers, but make the decision yourself, based on their advice and your interests.
6. Search Online
The digital world and online opportunities are endless and can offer some of the best ways to discover new roles and companies. Google is the typical starting point, searching for keywords such as ‘Apprenticeships’ or ‘not going to uni’.
Social media is becoming a tool to search for roles online as well, such as using keywords users search employers’ pages or hashtags. LinkedIn is a great way to expand your search or knowledge and understanding of people in certain roles. You can connect with these people for advice, to follow what they post and an insight into roles and companies. Try searching #Apprenticeships
Interviewing is a unique experience and can be scary... but it's nothing to be afraid of! The employer is just trying to get to know you and see if you meet their requirements. When being interviewed be yourself whilst showing a professional side. An interview is a very personal experience and varies every time, so try not to be monotone and recite rehearsed lines/points. Instead, show your personality, this will be a lot more engaging and attractive to the employer.
8. Language and Communication
Body language and clear communication is a big factor when talking to an employer. When applying for an apprenticeship, or any job in fact, you are trying to 'sell' yourself to the employer. You need to leave a good impression to show your likable enough to fit within the team and have the right skills for the job.
Sitting up straight in the chair will help you talk more clearly and project your voice. Clear eye contact with whom you’re talking with shows you’re interested in what they are saying and also keeps them engaged.
Using slang, improper grammar and poor spelling will immediately turn the employer away. By using clear but articulated sentences that provide necessary information, you display yourself in the most professional light possible. Stop with the ‘ummms’ & ‘ahhhs’, take a pause in your sentence and continue speaking.
9. The Right Company for You
Who you work for and what you do is your decision. Arguably, the most important decision is who you work for. Is the company big or small? Does it suit your personal needs? There are many factors that need to be covered and revised before committing. Have you got previous experience and be able to manage more complex tasks or are you looking out to get your first on the job experience. Other elements such as commute and distance to work will affect your morale in the long run, make sure it’s something you feel comfortable doing every day.
Networking and connecting with members of the same sector are vital for your growth and progressing your career. It’s commonly said that networking is one of the most important factors in business... as the saying goes; 'It's not what you know, it's who you know'. Knowing the people around you, who you work with and their connections will allow greater understanding of the company and have a connection to rely on help within the job role.
To find out about Pearson College London’s degree apprenticeships, visit the website.