How to write a CV for an apprenticeship

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A graphic showing a CV on a desk
Andrew Fennell

Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany. Andrew wrote this blog for us about how to write a good CV for an apprenticeship application:

There are several reasons you might choose an apprenticeship. Firstly, it can be a beneficial alternative to attending university and is a great way to gain practical skills and on the job experience.

What’s more, you’ll earn while you learn, you can choose from a range of exciting industries and it can be an excellent start to your professional career.

These are just some of the reasons that more people across the UK are choosing to join apprenticeship schemes. In fact, the government are actively promoting these schemes to help bridge the skills gap and produce a new generation of skilled workers.

But we’re not here to simply list all the reasons why apprenticeships are so great, we’re here to help you secure a placement. In this guide, we'll talk you through how to write a strong apprenticeship CV.

'How to write a great CV for an apprenticeship application'

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1. Get your structure and format just right

CV template
Use our CV template to make sure you get the layout right
(click to view)

One of the most important areas to focus on when writing a CV is getting your format and structure right. In the case of an apprenticeship CV you’ll want your structure to be something like this:

  • Contact details
  • Personal profile
  • Skills and achievements
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Hobbies and interests

In terms of formatting, your CV should be short and sweet, no longer than two A4 pages - but even better if you can keep it to just one page!

Choose a clear font in a reasonable size (we recommend size 12) and use subheadings and bullet points where necessary to make the information easier to digest.

2. Start with your contact details

Your contact details need to go at the top of your CV and should include your name, email, phone number and location.

Make sure these are clearly laid out and you include all the important information, otherwise the recruiter might struggle to get in touch with you and it could cost you the position.

3. Write a winning personal profile

This is one of the most important parts of your CV as it is the first section the recruiter will read, meaning it acts as your introduction. As such, it needs to be short and punchy - between 50-150 words should do the trick.

In your profile, you need to tell them who you, why you're interested in their particular apprenticeship and what your personal career aspirations are. You can also include any skills, interests or qualifications that are relevant to the position and could help you to stand out.

4. Compile a punchy skills and achievements list

In the next section, you need to create a list of any key skills or impressive achievements. These can be from your time in education, any extracurricular activities you took part in, your interests or from any experience you have either from volunteering or part-time jobs.

To make you stand out from other applicants, try to choose skills and achievements that are relevant to the apprenticeship and that will help you to perform well should you land the position.

School
Add your school or college and details of your education to
your CV

5. Add your education section

Next up you need to add details of your education. You should include the name of the school, college or university where you studied, the dates you attended and the grades you achieved.

If you’ve studied any particularly impressive or relevant subjects, even at GCSE level, you can go into more detail about these, talking about any stand-out projects, exams or assignments you completed.

6. Follow up with work experience

Depending on what stage you're at in your life and career, you may not have much work experience to shout about. That’s OK, you can still list part-time roles or voluntary work that’s not directly related to the apprenticeship.

However, you need to make sure that you're focussing on the transferable skills you gained from these experiences, highlighting how these can be applied to the position.

7. Add value with your hobbies and interests

The final section should include your hobbies and interests, particularly those that relate to the apprenticeship, as these can also help to highlight your transferable skills.

For example, playing sports, learning to code, writing for a blog or volunteering all demonstrate strong soft skills.

Just be sure to avoid the usual boring clichés such as socialising, going to the cinema or listening to music. While they’re perfectly fine hobbies to have, most people do these things and they won’t make your application stand out.

Thanks Andrew! For more advice about apprenticeship applications, check out our guide.

Image credits: Lead image by makyzz via Freepik, School via Wikimedia Commons

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