How to make your job application stand out!
1. Make a good first impression
Most applications are online and require an email introduction. It is tempting to send your CV without introducing yourself but this is very important when making that first impression. You can get advice on how to write your CV and Cover Letter here on pages 14-17.
2. Research the company
Have a look at the ‘About us’ section on the employers website and make some points to familiarise yourself with their products and services. See if you can find any news or press releases to see what has been happening lately. If it is a shop or a restaurant, pop in and see what you think. Why do you want to work there? What do you like about it? Try to speak to someone who works for the company and ask them what it’s like to work there and what they look for in their employees. If you have any questions you can always call the company and ask.
3. Keep it relevant
Keep your answers and CV relevant to the job role that you are applying for. This is your chance to show why you would be perfect for the job. Have a look at what is different about the apprenticeship and the employer and mention how great that is for you and why you would be suitable for the position in your application. Employers want to know that you will be a good fit for their apprenticeship and also their company. Even though you may be applying for other jobs, you shouldn’t make this obvious in the way you have written your application. So, avoid generic answers and generic statements.
4. Check for errors
Ask a friend, family member or teacher to have a look over your application before submitting. This will hopefully show up any spelling or grammar mistakes.
5. Make it personal
It is tempting to use the same text that you have used for another job but it is obvious to recruiters when candidates do that. You need to tailor your cover letter and personal summary to reflect the kind of person the employer is looking for. You can find out this information in the job description by looking at the candidate requirements.
6. Stay positive
Don’t focus on the negatives; sell yourself as the right person for the job. This is a perfect opportunity to blow your own trumpet! However, you need to be realistic and not exaggerate the truth.
7. Answer the questions
Read the questions thoroughly and answer them to the best of your knowledge. It is easy to go off topic and end up not answering the question on the form.
8. Stay calm and plan
Take your time and make sure you plan your answers before filling in each stage. A little patience is required here, similar to completing homework or writing an essay. Preparation is key!
9. Include key details
Include all relevant qualifications and experience in your application. Don’t leave anything out that could potentially help you secure the apprenticeship:
- List all of your qualifications, if you haven’t got your recent results put what you have been predicted to receive.
- Give clear, concise details about any work or voluntary experience you’ve had in the sector that your apprenticeship is in.
- Start with the most recent work experience first and make sure to explain how each experience gave you the skills required for the apprenticeship.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Don’t think you have to go this alone, you can ask your parents, carers, teachers or careers advisers for help with filling this in. They know you well enough to be able to help you sell yourself well. Most likely, they will be able to help you by explaining their experiences and how to overcome barriers that you may face.
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