Looking to ace your application for an apprenticeship but staring at a blank page and wondering where to start?
No worries! We’ve got a few tips to help you get through it.
What is a cover letter?
First up, you’re probably wondering why a cover letter needs to be included with your apprenticeship application. Surely everything should just be explained in your CV?
Not necessarily, because your CV should be factual and concise – no rambling allowed!
Your cover letter gives you the opportunity to let your personality shine through. Use this opportunity to explore the reasons why you would love to work with the company you’re applying for (this shouldn’t be a copy-and-paste job to all). How do you think you’d make a great addition to an existing or new type of apprenticeship scheme they are offering?
Use your cover letter to sell why you’re the best person for the job. Explain why they shouldn’t miss out on your skills and experience. Tell them what your hopes are for your future in the industry.
The general rule of thumb is to make sure you don’t duplicate anything written on your CV – nobody wants to read the same thing twice.
Employers are very busy people, many running their own businesses, so their time is precious, and they’ll easily become disinterested if you aren’t straight to the point.
Keep all this in mind when structuring your cover letter:
There’s no one-size-fits-all for writing a great apprenticeship cover letter. Do your research and make sure each one you write is tweaked on a case-by-case basis – don’t reuse the same one!
- Avoid buzzwords and cliches – be authentic.
- Identify your unique selling points (USP’s).
- Include examples if you have any.
- Don’t reuse the same cover letter – tailor the content to each role.
- Proofread two or three times before sending.
What to include in an apprenticeship cover letter?
Think of the cover letter as your first interview for the job. What do you want the employer to know from the very beginning?
To give you an idea of how it should be structured, with a bit of help from Prospects.ac.uk, we’ve produced this mini guide below.
Again, this is only a suggestion, so make sure you add your own creative flair!
The first Paragraph
- This should be your opening statement.
- Set the scene.
- Who are you addressing?
- State the role you’re applying for and the date you’re available to start.
- List your skills and experience that are relevant to the role.
- Include examples of how you meet the specific requirements of the role or how you expect your skills to benefit the company as you learn and grow.
- Showcase that you know all about them but highlighting some research or facts you’ve discovered about the company.
- Let them know why you’d love to work for them and what first attracted you to the position.
- Reaffirm what you can offer their company.
- Reiterate your interest and why you should get the job.
- Mention any unavailable dates for interview if needed.
How long should a cover letter be?
If we could give you one piece of advice, it’d be: Don’t waffle. Your cover letter shouldn’t be pages long, any employer will give up reading after the first page.
Your cover letter shouldn’t be any longer than three or four paragraphs – and definitely no longer than a side of A4.
Example cover letter
To help you get started, we’ve pulled together an example cover letter below.
Dear [First Name] [Surname],
I am writing to apply for the role of [apprenticeship role] at [company name]. Please find my CV enclosed with relevant details of my experience and qualifications to date.
I am particularly interested in [apprenticeship role] offered by your company, [list the reasons your skills fit the job requirements]. I feel that my previous experience in [list an example of relevant experience and why it would help in the role].
As you can see from my CV, I have a keen interest in [explain your interests related to the job role]. I can see your company holds high values in [do a bit of research – this can then be tailored to how you see it working best, i.e. Do you like the company’s ethos? Do you like how they position themselves in the market? Do you like how they generate brand awareness]. I believe the skills I can bring to the table are [list relevant skills you can offer them and how it could benefit the role].
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application.
Where can you apply for apprentice jobs?
So now you’re feeling confident that you can master the basics, where can you find apprenticeship jobs?
There are hundreds of different apprenticeships to choose from and finding an existing or new apprenticeship scheme in your area that fits your interests can feel a bit daunting. The first step is doing your research before narrowing down your interests and the type of apprenticeship you’d like to do.
See how you can use the Government’s ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ service to view the options.
You can also check out our Jobs Board to find an apprenticeship that’s perfect for you.