It can feel like a catch-22 when you’re applying for jobs or apprenticeships. Sometimes, you need some relevant experience to get a job, but first, you need a job to get that experience! It is understandably frustrating, especially when you’re in the early stages of your career.
But don’t fret, if you’re looking to secure an apprenticeship but don’t have much experience to speak of, hope is not lost. Through carefully crafting your CV you can effectively sell yourself to potential employers.
Below, we’ll discuss 3 things you can include on your apprenticeship application to help you stand out and finish off with some of our top tips for apprenticeship CV writing success!
1. Your hobbies and interests
The hobbies and interests section on your CV is usually optional, but if you don’t have any experience, it can be a great opportunity to sell yourself.
That said, be sure that any hobbies you do list on your CV are relevant to the apprenticeship you’re applying for, or that they demonstrate your transferable skills.
For example, if you’re applying for an apprenticeship in the marketing industry and you write your own blog or manage your own website, this could be the perfect way to demonstrate some of your digital marketing skills.
Alternatively, you might be the captain or a long-term member of your local sports team. This can help to show off some of your soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, and communication.
2. Part-time/volunteer work
You might not have had a full-time job in the past, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have any useful experience.
Have you ever had a part-time role, even if it was just for one day a week? Or perhaps you have volunteered or done some work experience through your school?
If so, be sure to outline all the transferable skills you’ve learnt from these roles on your CV, as this all counts towards demonstrating your skills and showing the employer why you’d be a good fit for the apprenticeship.
3. School projects
If you have worked on any relevant or particularly impressive school projects in the past, these can really help to bolster your CV.
Depending on the nature of the project, these could show desirable skills such as creativity, leadership and attention to detail — particularly if you were recognised for your efforts during these projects.
You have the option to include these projects in either an achievements or education section on your CV, depending on where you think they will be most beneficial for you.
Apprenticeship CV top tips
Now that you’ve gathered all the information you need, it’s time to start your application. But before you set pen to paper, check out our top tips below for CV writing success:
• When you don’t have any experience to shout about, it’s OK to keep your CV to just one A4 page. In fact, sometimes, it’s actually better to keep it short and sweet
• On a similar note, don’t try to pad out your CV with irrelevant information — it won’t help you in the long run
• Presentation is key! Make sure your CV is easy to read, with a clear, modern font and clearly labelled subheadings
• Make sure your spelling and grammar is correct. If you’re unsure, ask a family member or trusted friend to check over it for you.
By making the most of your hobbies, past projects and any part-time jobs you’ve had, you can really sell yourself to potential employers and be on your way to landing an apprenticeship in no time!
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.