CV Tips for interview success when applying for apprenticeships [How to build your CV]

How to build a curriculum vitae.

Our eight step guide to building a winning curriculum vitae that will guarantee you success in securing an interview.

By following our guide to building your CV when applying for apprenticeships you are one step away from becoming an apprentice.

When applying for apprenticeships the likelihood is you will be required to send a curriculum vitae. To help you create a winning CV we have created a step by step guide for you. Our cv help guide will ensure yo are best placed to succeed in getting to an interview stage during your apprenticeship application. The rest is in your hands.

 

What is a curriculum vitae?

A curriculum vitae is a summary of your experience, career history along with any education and qualifications you have attain along the way. Your CV will be with you forever and needs updating as and when your career changes or you attain more qualifications.


Our 8 step guide to being a winning curriculum vitae.


CV Introduction


Step 1: Introduction

Sell your self, use this space to engage with the apprentice employer. It is the first part of a cv that an employer will see. It is good practice to also write your cv in a third person, refrain from using “I”. You can start sentences with “An” or “Able”.

It is also recommended to use the introduction on your CV to highlight your objective, where you would like see yourself in a career. For instance if you are applying for an Aerospace Apprenticeship it would be good to let the apprentice employer who you want to be a Design Engineer or a Stress Engineer.

Education

Step 2: Education

Add your education as it is vital to your application. Depending on the level of apprenticeship you are applying for, it may require you to have specific qualifications. An example would be a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship will require you to have at least 2 A-Levels or have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in a specific subject.

Add your school, college or even university that you attended and the subjects you have studied along with any grades achieved. 

Extracurricular

Step 3: Extracurricular

Highlight any extra training or courses you have taken, whether it comes with qualifications or not. Apprentice employers want to know as much as they can about you, if you are part of a swimming or chess club. You may have attending scouts or army cadets for instance.


Skills

Step 4: Skills

On top of you education history it is likely you will have accrued a number of skills whether that is from schooling or any extracurricular activities. What we mean by skills is ability to use Office applications or HTML coding. Not that you can keepie uppie a ball 150 times or hold your breath for 2 minutes.

The skills section of your CV is a great area to highlight that you may have further abilities to help with the apprenticeship application. For instance if you are applying for an Apprentice Web Designer opportunity, it would be great for your apprentice employer to know you already have basic HTML knowledge and skills.

Work History

Step 5: Work History

If you are applying for an apprenticeship post 16 don’t worry at this stage of your CV, the likelihood is your work experience will be minimal. We recommend adding any experience you have had, maybe a paper round, working in a fast food outlet or working for family and friends.

You may want to start an apprenticeship later in life as an adult apprentice. No matter what your situation any work experience you have should be here, which needs to include:

  • Date of employment
  • What was your role - “Job Title”
  • Employers name
  • What they do - keep it brief!
  • Responsibilities - Bullet point them, keep them short and direct.
Do you have any hobbies

Step 6: Hobbies

What do you get up to outside of work or school. We recommend you shy away from saying your favourite activity/hobby is going out drinking and partying every weekend or you love to travel for at least 3 months of the year. Those are not good signals for an employers.

If you like playing or watching sports or listening to classical music those would be good hobbies to highlight on your cv.

Don't forget your Contact Details

Step 7: Contact Details
This is quite an important piece of information to add to your cv, you’d be surprised how many people don't add it, so that you can be contacted to arrange an interview. Make sure this section is kept up to date, if you change your mobile - update your cv.

Add an email address that you have access to, or if your not great with technology or you don’t have a personal email account, you can set up a Google mail or Hotmail account free of charge, then see if you have a family member of free who can provide one for you.

Having the right contact details on your cv could make the difference between securing an apprenticeship or not. Like we said before many people do not add this information or don’t keep it updated resulting in not securing a job.

Cover Letter

Step 8: Cover letter

Now you might be thinking, why do I have to provide a cover letter when I have submitted a cv? That would be absolutely understandable. We’ll be honest, we are not fans of cover letters but they are sometimes a requirement.

To save time there is no point writing a cover letter every time you apply for an apprenticeship, our recommendation would be to create a cover letter template and change the “Apprenticeship Title” you are applying for, each time you submit your cover letter as the remaining content of the cover letter should stay the same.

The cover letter is your chance to tell the apprentice employer why you are applying for the apprenticeship and why they should consider your application.



Register as an apprentice.

Register to become an apprentice on the UK's leading website for apprenticeships.

Set up an apprentice profile and create apprenticeship alerts. If you would like to read about "Apprentice life stories" then head over to our apprenticeship blog.



Apprenticeship Levels Explained



Intermediate Apprenticeships

Intermediate Apprenticeships

Intermediate Apprenticeships are your entry level into the world of apprenticeships more commonly known as a Level 2 Apprenticeship. Level 2 apprenticeships offer an excellent route into further education post 16, as an alternative to staying on at school, whilst receiving on the job training and studying towards a nationally recognised qualification.

During your intermediate apprenticeship you will study part-time with a college or a training provider, 20% of your training, towards an NVQ Level 2 and knowledge based qualification such as a BTEC, together these qualifications are the equivalent to 5 GCSE's grades 9 - 4 (A* - C on the old grading system). You will also receive a Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English if you don't already have them.

An Intermediate Apprenticeship is great for learning work related skills as apposed to being given more responsibility. This level of training will make you work ready and train you in the hands on skills required to undertake the responsibility of the task and give you the employability skills you need to be successful.

Qualifying Criteria

There is no formal qualifying criteria for a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship however some employers may ask for a minimum of 2 GCSE's to be able to join their apprenticeship programme.

 

Advanced Apprenticeships

Advanced Apprenticeships

Advanced Apprenticeships or commonly known as Level 3 Apprenticeships are the equivalent to doing 2 A-Levels and are the next level from an intermediate apprenticeship. Level 3 apprenticeships are great for you to start once you have completed your GCSE's and have attained the correct grades to be able to start at this level.

Starting at the advanced level even if you already have A-levels enables you to gain on the training, of which some employers prefer you to have before starting a Higher or Degree apprenticeship.

Just like an intermediate apprenticeship you will be required to spend at least 20% of your time studying with a college or training provider to be able to achieve the qualifications. On completion of you r apprenticeship you will achieve the equivalent of 2 A-Levels in the form of an NVQ Level 3 and a knowledge based qualifications such as a BTEC diploma.


Qualifying Criteria

To qualifying for a Level 3 advanced apprenticeship many employers ask for a minimum of 5 GCSE's which must include Maths and English, this is why an intermediate apprenticeships gives you these qualifications on completion. Although an advanced apprenticeships is the equivalent of 2 A-Levels some employers may add A-Levels as their requirement at this level also.

Find companies advertising advanced apprenticeship jobs on our website.

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships are your Levels 4 and 5 qualifications and enable you to study towards a HNC or HND respectively whilst at Level 5 you can also attain a foundation degree which is great if you want to continue in your studies towards a bachelors degree.

During your higher apprenticeship training you will be required to studying part-time with a training provider, college or university which along with your on the job training will enable you to train towards a Level 4 or 5 NVQ and BTEC diploma along with their respective HNC or HND qualification. Higher apprenticeships can take up to four years to complete.

As a higher apprentice you will be given a lot more responsibility which may include managing people or teams or even responsible for managing projects. You will be supported by your employer along side your mentors and tutors making sure to advise and guide you along the way during your apprenticeship programme.

Qualifying Criteria

To qualifying for a higher apprenticeship you will need to have achieved and completed at least a Level 3 Apprenticeship or have 5 GCSE's grades 9-4 which must include Maths and English and 2 A-Levels.

Find companies advertising higher apprenticeship jobs on our website.

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships were introduced in September 2015 and have been receive with open arms both by employers and apprentices alike. Also known as Level 6 or 7 apprenticeships the degree level apprenticeship enables you to study towards a Bachelors or Masters degree.

You can start a degree apprenticeships straight after your advanced apprenticeship level or alternatively if you want to gain more on the job training before the Level 6 programme you can overlap from a higher apprenticeship programme. Many employers are now partnering with leading universities across the country to offer degree level apprenticeships to help advance your learning opportunities.


Just like studying at university a degree level apprenticeship takes between 3 to 6 years to complete you will achieve this by on the job training with your employer and training provider and then part-time study at the designated university for your apprenticeship course.

Qualifying Criteria

To qualifying for a degree apprenticeship you will need to have at least Level 3 qualifications of 2 A-Levels, NVQ and BTEC or have completely the advanced apprenticeship. Level 6 and 7 are also a natural progression from a higher apprenticeship.

Find companies advertising degree apprenticeship jobs on our website.



Frequently asked Questions about CVs



FAQs about Curriculum Vitae
How much detail should I add to my CV?

Apprentice employers are keen to know as much about you as possible from you CV. However that doesn't mean they want every chapter and verse about  your life. Keep each section short and details.

How many pages should my curriculum vitae be?

There is no wrong or right amount of pages, but when applying for apprenticeships the shorter the better in our opinion. If you can get your CV to one page, great, or two maximum.

Should I use formatting on my CV?

Formatting CVs is great for visual affects, but terrible when uploading to Jobboards or ATSs (Applicant Tracking Systems). Unfortunately computers are able to read the formatting when trying to extract the data. Keep the format of your CV simple, aesthetically pleasing and reframe from using templates with format.

Should I get some to review my CV?

Yes. We highly recommend this. Don't pay for a CV writing or review service, as this is just throwing money away. Seek out a family member of friend, who is currently working and has experienced applying for jobs. They will have first hand experience of what employers want.



What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a form of further education which offers on the job training for you to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst studying part-time with an apprenticeship training provider, college or university through workshops or classroom training.

Apprenticeship training has to be delivered by a registered apprenticeship training provider which can also be an employer-provider, where the employer you are training through are on the register of training providers to be able to deliver their own training requirements. If an employer acts as an employer-provider they will usually employ a number of people such as Apprenticeship Assessors, Mentors and Managers to support you through your apprenticeship programme.

During your apprenticeship you will receive a salary and all the other benefits permanent employees receive. An apprenticeship job is only for a specified time as stipulated at the beginning of your apprenticeship training which can last anything from 12 months to 5 years.

 

Why should you start an apprenticeship?

If you are considering your post 16 options you probably wouldn't have considered an apprenticeship a few years ago and would be struggling or worrying what to do when you leave school. It is a legal requirement for you to now stay in some form of further education until the age of 18 and you now have three options A-Levels, College or an Apprenticeship.

You can start an apprenticeship at the age of 16 through the Intermediate or Advanced level apprenticeship programmes across many industry sectors from Construction, Technology or even Marketing. There are no entry requirements for the intermediate apprenticeship, however you will need at least 5 GCSE's at grade 4 (previously C grade) or above to qualify for the advanced apprenticeship. On completion of the intermediate you will gain the qualifying criteria for a level 3.

The best reason for starting an apprenticeship is on completion of each level you will receive a nationally recognised qualification from an NVQ all the way up to a degree level apprenticeship such as a Bachelors or Masters.

 

How can you become an apprentice?

There are a number of ways to become an apprentice so we thought we would list them for you:

  • Register with websites like ourselves, there are others available.
  • Apprenticeship Job Fairs are great for meeting employers and training providers.
  • Contact training providers in your area, a simple Google search "Training providers near me" will give you the information you need.
  • Contact your local colleges or universities or visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training.
  • UCAS promote apprenticeship opportunities on their website on behalf of employers.

and finally......

  • Do some research on apprenticeships and find a topic or industry that you would like to start an apprenticeship in and then research local companies in those sectors and visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training and apply directly with them.

 

 

How to create a winning CV