Apprenticeship Tips: Writing your CV
Apprenticeship Tips: Writing your CV
So you’re interested in an apprenticeship and want to apply for one? The first step is to create your CV.
Your CV (or curriculum vitae) is how you sell yourself to employers to get interviews. It’s a summary of your education, skills and experience. And in the future you’ll add the places you’ve worked and your career successes.
Our key tips for success
- Keep it short – one side of A4 is ideal
- Start with your name and contact details – write your name in large font and then a smaller font for your details underneath
- Use a professional email address – don’t use a silly address, something with your first and last name will work well
- Open with a personal statement – write a short paragraph to say who you are, what kind of role you want and to highlight what you can offer
- Start with the most recent – when including work experience or education details, start with the most recent at the top and then work backwards in time
- Include work experience and voluntary work – you might not have had a full time job yet, that’s fine as employers will understand, just tell them about the experience you have already had
- Give details – list the subjects you have studied, plus your grades (or predicted) and the school/college you attend with dates.
- Adapt your CV – a CV isn’t a one size fits all so create one that is suited to the role you’re applying for
- Prove it – if the employer is looking for leadership skills, include your Team Leader role when you participated in the
- Duke of Edinburgh Award or when you were a Prefect at school
- Be honest – your reputation is a valuable asset so don’t lie to impress
- Include hobbies – show your interests outside of school and work. Enjoy running and football? Are you a local scout leader? Tell them!
- Offer references – add a line to say that they are available on request and ask two people, your teacher and ideally someone you have worked with
- Check spelling and grammar – check for typo’s and grammar mistakes, then double check
- Check again – this is important, get a family member to read through it too.
Fast tracks to failure
Too long or too short
If your CV is half a page long, you’ve not said enough. If it’s 4 pages of tiny text, you might want to re-think what you have wrote.
Over-crowded or novelty design
For jobs in business, accountancy, finance and law, your aim is to look smart and professional. Your CV should look clean, simple and be well laid out. Make it easy for interviewers to find what they want by including plenty of ‘white space’ and clear section headings.
Imagine meeting someone who tells you they’re the best in the world at everything they’ve ever done. You’re not going to believe them (or like them). The same is true for your CV. So include your achievements, but don’t boast or brag.
Be sure to include all your strengths. Make a list of all the experience you have from every aspect of your life. Then focus in on the relevant ones and include them in your CV.
Creating a strong CV might seem daunting. But if you follow the guidelines we’ve offered it will massively boost your chances of getting the interviews you want. And remember that perseverance pays off. Keep applying to employers until you get your big break. It’s out there waiting for you. Good luck!
If you are a teacher or careers advisor and would like to provide more information about BPP Professional Apprenticeships to your students, visit our Teachers’ page. We also have a Teachers’ Apprenticeship Toolkit that is available to download, which includes a presentation, CV tips, cover letter tips and template and interview tips.