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Write the perfect apprenticeship CV

Your CV is important: it’s the first impression given to your potential employer and contains all the information on why you’d be a great fit for the job. Here is some advice on how you can stand out.

CV Essentials

A strong and targeted CV can lead to an offer of an interview, but what should you include? Here we explain how to write the perfect CV, including tips on presentation and how to structure the content.

Remember the basics. Put your most up-to-date personal details at the very top of the CV, including your full name, the area you live in, your telephone number and your email. You should create a professional email specifically for your job applications.

This is an opening paragraph all about you, introducing yourself and any relevant skills and experiences. It should be a paragraph of four to five sentences summarising the most relevant skills, qualities and achievements. This section can be easily tweaked to fit the job role, so your CV stands out to your potential employer

A chronological list of your work experience and employment history, with the most recent at the top. You should include the company name, your job role, and dates you worked there, followed by a summary of your responsibilities and key skills.

A chronological list of your education and qualifications, with the most recent at the top. Include the institute, the qualification, course title, and date studied.

Include any recent work-based training you have received, or any other relevant qualifications. If you have recently started training or are learning a new skill, remember to add this in.

Include relevant hobbies, interests and achievements in this section. For example, charity work and membership of clubs, societies and sports clubs. This section demonstrates your overall character to a potential employer.

You should prepare at least two contacts for professional or personal references. Include their name, their job title and company, their relationship with you, and contact details. Always ask permission from the reference to be included.

Your two references should include your latest employer and can include personal references such as a tutor or teacher.

References are usually contacted once you’ve been given a preliminary offer. Your new employer will ask a series of questions to make sure you’re of high personal or professional character.

Tips when writing your CV

Your CV should be clean, simple and professional, and convey all the information an employer might need. Follow these tips for the best presentation.

Keep it relevant
Create a base CV as a template, then tweak it each time you apply for a new position. This way it is relevant to every type of job you are applying for, and you can emphasise your suitable skills and experience in relation to the role.
Keep it simple
The employer might be viewing hundreds of CVs, so keep the content short and sharp. Use bullet points to summarise and avoid large chunks of text. Place each section in clear boxes and remember that a CV should not be more than two pages long.
Formatting tips
Create your CV as a Microsoft Word document and export it as a PDF ahead of sending. Name the file something suitable such as your full name followed by CV. Use a clear font such as Arial, Times Roman or Helvetica, and don’t go smaller than font size 11.
Always read it through
Be sure to thoroughly check all spelling and grammar to spot any typos. Get someone else to double-check your CV to spot anything you may have missed (they might be able to feedback on things you hadn’t thought of too).

Now you’re equipped with the tools to create an impressive and attention-grabbing CV, why not find the perfect role for you through our apprenticeship vacancies page?

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I'm so pleased I made the choice that I did! The nursery I volunteered at interviewed me and asked me to come in for a 'play day' and were so impressed they put me in touch with the team at their sister nursery. I secured a 12-month contract initially and was then offered a permanent position based on my performance.

Jaryd Evans, Early Years Level 3 Apprenticeship, Woodland House Day Nursery
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