CV Help for Apprenticeship Jobseekers

Do I need a CV for apprenticeships? How long should my CV be for apprenticeships? What if I don’t have work experience to add to my CV?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. Some apprenticeship jobs will require a CV when you apply. As a digital and IT apprenticeship training provider that matches jobseekers with tech companies across the country, we want to help you create an impressive CV with 8 simple steps.

What is a CV?

Many school leavers don’t have a CV when they’re searching for apprenticeships. A CV is a document that’s all about you, your skills and your achievements. It’s used to show off what you can do when you apply for jobs.

A good CV will help you land an apprenticeship interview. Let’s discuss what should be included when writing your first CV.

1. Add your contact details

It may seem obvious but add multiple ways for the employer or apprenticeship training provider to contact you. If possible, add both a mobile number and email address. And make sure your email address is professional and includes your name – it might be worth setting up a new one for job applications.

2. Create a personal statement

A personal statement is a short introduction that covers why you’re applying for an apprenticeship job. It’s a great opportunity to show your skills, knowledge or achievements, but should always relate back to your career goals and aspirations. Think – why are you applying for a tech apprenticeship, how will it help you achieve your goals? Your personal statement should be no more than 4-5 sentences.

3. Add any previous employment

Even if the job is unrelated to a tech apprenticeship, you should add any work experience that you’ve had. Add the professional and personal skills you’ve gained through your previous jobs, like time management, attention to detail, working as part of a team and good organisation. For example, instead of saying “I used to be a cashier” you could say “Worked quickly and efficiently to help customers, processing payments in a timely manner.”

This information should be displayed in short bullet points underneath the company name, your job role and start and end employment dates.

4. Include previous qualifications

Add any qualifications that you’ve achieved. This may include GCSEs, A-Levels and BTEC qualifications. For example, you may wish to write it like “Achieved 10 grades at GCSE level A-C including IT, English and maths.”

5. Show personality through your hobbies and interests

Most employers know that you might not have a lot of work experience if you’re just leaving education, so like to see your hobbies and interests. This is a chance to show how your personal interests relate to the apprenticeship job. Have you taught yourself to code or build apps? Do you enjoy being creative? Even things like being part of a sports team show commitment and indicate you’re a team player. Whatever you choose to include, make sure it adds value to your CV and relates to work in some way.

6. Check your formatting

Your CV should be displayed in a typed document or PDF. It should be no longer than two pages at standard size A4, and make sure you display the most important information, like your personal statement, any work experience and qualifications on the first page. You don’t have to include a picture of yourself, but your name should be the title of the document rather than titling it CV.

Use sensible margin spaces (most word documents have this setup automatically), make the layout easy to read and well-spaced, and use bullet points when possible. Do add a bit of personality into your formatting if you wish – such as different font for your titles, or simple coloured title underlines can add impact. But be careful not to make it too flashy!

7. Use appropriate language

Try to write your CV in third person. This means avoid using “I” when discussing your achievements and experience. You should try to keep your language simple; although the thesaurus is very helpful, not every word needs a synonym!

Be honest in your CV and make sure that you provide a brief explanation or detail for each of your qualifications.

8. Include relevant information for the job you’re applying to

You should always try to tailor your CV to every apprenticeship job you apply for. Start with a good generic CV, and then adjust to match the job vacancy. Try to add in keywords that the employer is looking for; for example, if the vacancy lists “Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal” then you may wish to adjust your experience to match this requirement – but only if it’s true! You want to make yourself look as suited to the role as possible but being honest is far more important.
It takes a bit of work to get a good CV setup, but once you do, it will be with you for life. A good CV can be easily tweaked to match the job you’re applying for and can also be added to throughout your career, meaning you don’t need to create a new CV at each stage of your career!
Good luck on creating your CV! If you have any questions when applying for an apprenticeship vacancy, just get in touch and one of our resourcers will be able to help.

Explore additional apprenticeship resources