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Tips for apprentices on finding a job


Know where to look

Employers’ own websites 
Many employers will advertise Apprenticeship opportunities in the jobs section of their own website – you’ll need to apply online or complete a paper application, depending on their recruitment process.
 
Jobcentre Plus
Some employers will advertise through your local Jobcentre Plus – you can search for your local centre on their website.
 
Local newspapers
Apprenticeship vacancies are sometimes printed local newspapers in the jobs section – which is usually a regular weekly feature.  If you’d prefer not to buy the newspaper you’ll be able to find copies in your local library and Jobcentre Plus.


Writing your CV

Get your CV up to date
 
A CV is designed to do one thing – get you an interview.  Your CV is usually the first thing an employ will see from you so it’s important it showcases your skills and sets you apart from other applicants.  Here are some tips on how to write your CV:
 
Personal statement
Think about this as a TV advert that’s selling you. Remember to use this to show why you would be a great member of staff, but keep it to the point – employers may not have time to read pages of text.
 
Qualifications & certificates
Always put your best qualifications first, but remember to list them all. 
 
Education
Include where you went to school or college, with the most recent first.
 
Employment/work related experience
Explain what roles/activities you did whilst on any work related experience or in employment, and include any specific achievements relevant to the role you’d like to get. 
 
Skills
Include any skills you have that will help you with the role that you are applying for, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving and computer skills. 
 
Personal interests
While your CV tells the story of your qualifications and your career, the personal interests section reveals a little more of your personality – include hobbies you have outside of school/college.
 
References 
Ideally you’ll have a reference in a role relating to the one for which you’re applying but if not, you can include a personal reference – someone who has a genuinely positive impression of you who will give you a glowing report.  Importantly, whoever you choose, make sure you’ve checked with them first.
 
Get help creating your CV with Careers Wales’s CV Builder.
 
Completing application forms
 
Make sure that your applications stand out from the rest; make a good first impression so employers want to meet you. Remember don’t forget to photocopy your final version; this is important if you get an interview as you might need to refer to what you written before interview.
 
Writing covering letters
 
‘Wow’ the employer with your covering letter.  Make sure the very first sentence clearly states what position you are applying for. Include something short and snappy that makes the reader want to look at your CV or application form, but don’t make it too long; two paragraphs is often long enough. Always remember to include your contact details so they can get in touch if they’d like to meet you.
 
Interview tips
 
Avoid interview nerves by:
 
  • Being prepared
  • Arriving in good time
  • Getting a good night’s sleep the night before
  • Planning your route to the interview
  • Controlling your breathing
  • Giving yourself credit where it’s due
  • Acting the part
  • Relaxing and trying not to worry
 
Dressing for job interviews
 
  • Don’t go too casual – hoodies are a no no
  • Don’t wear headwear – caps, hats or beanies
  • If you wear a tie, don’t pick your most outrageous one
  • Don’t wear too many accessories 
 
Typical interview questions
 
  • What are your strengths? Pick your three biggest attributes that you think will get you the job
  • What are your weaknesses? Pick something that you made positive steps to change
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your goals?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What are three positive things your teacher/employer would say about you?
 

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