How do I make my AAT apprenticeship application stand out?

AATAAT .Posts: 102Administrator, Tutor
edited December 2014 in Apprenticeships
With increasing numbers of young people turning to apprenticeships, making your application stand out is especially important. Taking a little extra time over your application can make all the difference in getting ahead over other candidates. It's important to approach applying for an AAT apprenticeship as you would any other job.

First thing: be proactive. Find local employers and approach them directly – even if they’re not publicly advertising positions (here's a PDF of AAT-accredited employers). Explain you’re looking for an apprenticeship, and show them your passion and enthusiasm for work and learning. This kind of initiative is really valued by employers and although there’s no guarantee, if you keep this approach up you might find something.

Tailor your CV and cover letter to each application. Sure, this is time-consuming - but that's exactly why doing it is an important way of demonstrating your commitment to kick-starting your career. Make sure you go through the job specification and include any skills or experience relevant to the role. Research the company you’re applying to and demonstrate this understanding in your covering letter, showing an interest in what they do and why you’d be the right person to appoint. This research will also pay off in your job interview.

Show, don't tell. You can be sure that loads of people will submit applications claiming to be 'results-oriented', or 'a team-player' - you should aim to take it a step further and show how you've demonstrated these qualities, giving examples. Have you been the captain of a sports team? Did you hold down a job while studying for your A-Levels? Have you donated your time through volunteering? These may not seem relevant to accountancy, but they show your influencing skills, conscientiousness and reliability.

Finally, and no less importantly, don’t forget attention to detail. While employers won’t expect your life story, they will expect a CV that looks good and reads well - with so many people applying for positions, a single grammatical mistake can mean you're passed over for consideration. A second pair of eyes is invaluable for this. Have someone else check your application; if possible, someone who has been working for a while. That fresh perspective can be invaluable in spotting spelling mistakes and gaining useful suggestions for improvement.

Check out our YouTube channel, AAT career coach. Experienced recruitment consultant Aimee Bateman has loads of tips for making sure your applications and interviews are the best they can be. Here, she discusses how to avoid letting social media ruin your chances of landing that job:

As well as watching her videos, you might also want to read her articles: You might also find AAT member Ceris Williams's tips on using email alerts to find AAT opportunities useful - before she became an AAT member she was a recruitment consultant!

Next steps

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More information/resources
  • Venn Group apprentices explain why they chose the AAT apprenticeship route:
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