Looking to ace your application for an apprenticeship but staring at a blank page and wondering where the heck to start? 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 is even so important to include with your apprenticeship application. Surely everything should just be explained in your CV? This shouldn’t be the case…
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) and how you think you’d make a great addition to an existing or new apprenticeship scheme they are offering.
Sell yourself. Tell them why they shouldn’t miss out on your skills and experience – and/or 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 and avoid the repetitive nature if possible – nobody wants to read the same thing twice.
Employers are very busy individuals, 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.
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, we’ve given you a mini guide below.
Again, this is only a suggestion so make sure you add your own creative flair!
- 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.
- Show 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.
- Tie in your research on 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 if applicable.
How long should a cover letter be?
Don’t waffle – this is the most important piece of advice. 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 an A4 page.
Top tips for writing a 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 exact one!
- Avoid buzzwords and cliches – be authentic.
- Identify your USPs.
- Include examples where appropriate.
- Don’t reuse the same cover letter – tailor the content to each role.
- Proofread two or three times before sending.
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 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].
As you can see in my CV, I have a keen interest in [explain your interests related to the job role]. From research, I can see your company holds high values in [this can 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].
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I would be keen to discuss my relevant skills and details of the [apprenticeship programme] with you further during an interview.
Where to begin applying for apprentice roles?
So now you’re feeling confident that you can master the basics, where can you start applying for apprenticeship roles?
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 narrowing down your interests and the niches you’d like to go after.
At the HomeServe Foundation, we’re also happy to help you on your way and you can find out more about apprenticeships on our site.
Our friendly colleagues are on hand to answer any questions you may have. Contact us by phone on 0115 697 7177 or send us an email.