While getting the layout and key details of your CV right is essential, it’s important to get the basics of your cover letter correct too, so that you make the best impression with potential employers.
Just like full employment positions, apprentices and trainees may need to provide a CV and cover letter for an employer to look over.
Even for those pursuing school-based apprenticeships that don’t have any industry experience, these documents can provide some background as to who you are, what your skills and strengths are, and why you are interested in being employed by this particular company.
Much emphasis is put on the preparation of your CV, but it is often the cover letter that really sells what you have to offer and draws the employer in.
Here are a few of the basics to cover when writing your letter.
Personalise the letter for the role
Instead of using the stock-standard cover letter templates that are quite broad and general in explaining your strengths, personalise your letter by going into extra detail.
Pick out the most relevant skills and experiences that can be used in the apprenticeship role you are applying for, stating specific examples which illustrate how these could be an advantage.
Anyone can say that they are good problem-solvers, but you can make yourself stand out by giving the employer good examples of relevant challenges you overcame, and how your problem-solving skills played a part.
Write in your own words
With cover letter templates, you may find that there are a lot of words that you wouldn’t normally use. Write your cover letter in your own words. This shows that you took the time and effort to create your own letter, further demonstrating how much you want the role.
You can use cover letter templates to get an idea of the structure needed, but remember to use your own language.
Cover all the essentials
Overall, your cover letter should give the employer an idea of who you are, why you are interested in a role with their company, and the skills that you could bring to the job.
Throughout your letter, it should appear that you have a genuine interest in pursuing an apprenticeship or traineeship role with this employer.
To help make your letter stand out from others, do your research on the company to demonstrate your knowledge, and to show your made the extra effort.
Don’t go too fancy with your paper or font type. Use a program such as Microsoft Word to write your cover letter, and a font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
Keep your letter to one page at most and don’t forget to sign it if you’re handing in a hard copy.