If you’ve found an apprenticeship scheme that is the perfect fit for you, it’s time to start the application process. Along with your CV, producing an enthusiastic cover letter will help ensure your application stands out from the crowd.
A cover letter is a formal letter that accompanies a CV. It should highlight to your potential employer who you are and why you are interested in the role.
Don’t overload your cover letter with an excessive amount of information. The overall aim of your cover letter is to persuade the company to read your CV.
Hints and Tips
- An apprenticeship cover letter should typically be 3-4 short paragraphs in length
Any longer than 3-4 paragraphs risks losing the interest of the reader. It is important to remember that you are pitching for an apprenticeship, not a book deal so there is no need for flowery prose. There is nothing you can say in a letter of a longer length that you can’t say in four short, succinct paragraphs.
- Tailor your letter specifically to the role and company you are applying for
This shows that you have done your research and that your letter isn’t just one of the hundreds of identical letters that you are sending out. It demonstrates that you have put thought into how to connect with them and proves that you have good problem-solving skills and initiative.
- Double-check your spelling and grammar
This is important because there is no excuse not to do it in this day and age, with the technology we have at our fingertips. The free version of Grammarly can take care of this for you and highlights any changes that you need to make. Not taking the time to get the basics right will give them the impression that you don’t particularly care about getting the apprenticeship, no matter the quality of the content otherwise.
- Be concise, honest and enthusiastic
All of these are qualities that will be valued by potential employers. They will have to wade through a great many applications and they will look favourably on those who have made a difficult job for them slightly easier by being concise. Honesty is important, lies will be picked up and can seriously harm your reputation in the industry for a long time afterwards. Genuine enthusiasm for the company and the role will shine through in your letter and can distinguish you from a great many other applicants.
Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Apprenticeship Cover Letter
The Opening Address
The opening address of an apprenticeship cover letter is crucial. You should address your cover letter to the name of the person who will be reading your application. Spend time researching the apprenticeship you are applying for and check for the details of the apprenticeship provider.
By directly addressing the provider, you are reassuring them that this cover letter is specific to their company and apprenticeship scheme. Wherever possible, try to avoid addressing your cover letter to Dear Sir/Madam or To whom it may concern. Recruiters will presume you are sending the same pro-forma cover letter out to numerous employers.
The correct way to address your cover letter is:
- Dear Full Name (e.g. Dear Daniel Smith);
- Dear Mr Surname (e.g. Dear Mr Smith); or
- Dear Ms Surname (e.g. Dear Ms Smith)
Your first sentence should clarify the role you are applying for and the specific company. This will help clarify to the reader that you are fully aware of the position you are applying for.
‘I am very interested in the Autocare technician apprenticeship at Alba tyres because…’
Explain Your Interests
Continue building on your first words by explaining to the reader why you are keen to take on the apprenticeship.
‘I am very interested in the Autocare technician apprenticeship at Alba tyres because of the programme’s focus on hands-on mechanical work.’
Spend a few sentences discussing the aspects of the scheme that are of interest to you and explain why you are excited. It is important you have done the necessary research into both the apprenticeship and the company involved. The reader wants to hear why you think you’re the perfect fit for the scheme on offer.
This is your chance to shine and is the most important part of the letter to get right. It can be tempting to gush and write a lot at this point but it is important to remember not to go too overboard. Explain your passion for the subject area and perhaps how you developed an interest in it. Let them know you know about their company and what they do. Every manager likes to hear that people have heard of their company, so it won’t hurt to let them know you have.
Experience and Qualifications
This is the time to start explaining your background, skills and experience that make you the ideal apprentice. Keep this content concise and relevant to the apprenticeship you are applying for; you can use your CV to expand deeper into your broader skill set so there is no need to go quite so deep in the cover letter.
This section of your cover letter could include relevant information regarding your work experience, education at school and other desirable attributes that make you the perfect candidate. These don’t all have to be academic, they can be as simple as that you have always been interested in how things work and have tinkered with gadgets and taken them apart for as long as you can remember.
Before closing the letter, be sure to thank the reader for spending the time to consider your application and include a clear sentence to highlight you have attached your CV. This is important so that if your CV has become separated from your cover letter in their offices, they know to look for it and reunite them.
Close the letter with yours sincerely followed by your full name.