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Want to Score a Great Apprenticeship? 5 Top Tips to Help You!

13 April 2022   |   by Explore Careers

You might have heard the popular saying “finding a job is a full-time job”, and while that might sound a little negative, it essentially means applying for a new opportunity takes time and dedication.

A little tip? Apprenticeships are the same!

Scoring a great apprenticeship also takes a little bit of time and dedication. You’ll probably need to apply for a few before you land the one for you – don’t be disheartened by this!

It’s all part of the process, but there are definitely some savvy tactics you can use to help you get there.

First Things First: A Little Apprenticeship Refresher

Apprenticeships allow you to gain industry-recognised and accredited qualifications alongside actively working in your chosen sector.

You’ll gain hands-on experience in a real-world environment, learn new skills, and get paid. Apprenticeships are available across over 500 different occupations in Australia, and this list is growing every year.

Traditionally, apprenticeships focused on trade roles such as plumbing, construction and mechanics, but there’s so much more to them now. From hospitality and catering to childcare, social work, marketing and business administration. Apprentices typically split their time between the workplace and place of study.

You can learn heaps more in our definitive guides here and here.

5 Top Tips For Landing a Great Apprenticeship

Aside from time and dedication, you can really help to set yourself up for success with some thorough preparation, planning and motivation!

Here are our top five tips (and a few bonus points – you’re welcome!) to help you on your way:

1. Do Your Research and Be Strategic

Whatever you do, don’t just apply for anything and everything you can in the hope that something sticks! It’s essential to be at least a bit selective and use some strategy in your application process.

Spend time researching different opportunities and the companies offering them. Which do you feel excited about, and what do you see yourself fitting into? Which would you be gutted about not getting?

Those are the opportunities you apply for.

Bonus Tip: Did you know you can search for employers offering apprenticeships right here on Explore Careers? Simply pop ‘apprenticeships’ into the search bar (in the top right corner), and you’ll see who’s out there!

2. Nail Your Application

We could probably dedicate an entire section of our website to what nailing your application could include, but for the sake of keeping things short and sweet, here are a few starting points:

  • Read ALL instructions on the website/application guidelines and follow them EXACTLY.
  • Get a careers advisor, parent, teacher or someone in the know to help you.
  • Proofread EVERYTHING at least twice. And then get someone else to proofread it for you!
  • Ask some successful apprentices for their tips on nailing it!

Bonus Tip: We speak with current apprentices ALL the time to bring you some top-stuff insights on their roles, their employers and how you can follow in their footsteps! Find out more here.

3. Don’t Dismiss Interview Preparation

Don’t wait until you have an interview to panic and try and cram preparing into a week (or less!). You can start prepping NOW for the common interview questions, practice talking confidently about your skills and experience, and do some background research into your desired roles.

That way, when an interview does land your way, you’ll already feel pretty ready to take on the challenge.

Bonus Tip: We’ve got you covered on nailing your interview! Whether you’re a pro or your first one – everything you need to get ready is available in our Career Advice section!

4. Show Some Passion

It’s really easy for us to throw this in as a tip, but what does it look like for your application or interview? Well, as you asked:

  • Do some micro-courses online on specific areas of the role/industry you want to work in (it’ll look great on your resume AND give you something to talk about at the interview!).
  • Join a team, hobby group, or other extracurricular activity that helps your skills development (think teamwork, communication, and managing deadlines).
  • KNOW your chosen industry – keep up to date on the latest news, chat with people in the industry, attend networking events or open days – it will all give you talking points and help you stand out as someone passionate about what they want to do.

5. Keep Track of What You’re Doing

Like any job market at the moment, apprenticeships can be competitive. Accepting this will help you feel less down if you do face a few rejections. All you can focus on is what’s within your control.

This includes everything we’ve mentioned above, but you can also keep track of your applications so you can see how much you’re doing, where you might be able to do a bit more and when you might need to take a little break.

You can create a very simple spreadsheet and keep details on:

  • The role you applied to and links to the job description/company website.
  • When you applied and when you should hear back.
  • Interview dates and outcomes.
  • Any feedback you receive on your applications or interviews.

Resilience is an excellent personality to trait to develop. Tackling application rejections can be demotivating, but see it as an opportunity to build this trait.

Bonus Tip: Don’t go it alone. Speak with teachers, parents, careers advisors, and your mates to help get feedback and pointers on where you might be able to make tweaks for improvement on your applications. They can also be a fantastic source of moral support to help you keep going!

Final Word

We know putting yourself out there can be daunting at first, especially when you get rejected or don’t hear back at all! It often leaves us wondering, are we even doing this right?

We promise this is the hardest step, and once you take it, nothing will stop you! Stay positive, ask for feedback wherever you can, learn from each experience and keep applying! You WILL get there.


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