A cover letter is the first thing your potential employer will see in your application, so it’s important to make a lasting impression.
When applying for an apprenticeship, a cover letter is often needed to accompany your CV. When you are applying for an apprenticeship writing a top-notch cover letter will make your CV stand out from the crowd.
The idea of writing a cover letter can be overwhelming if you’ve never written or seen one before. This blog outlines a few handy tips on how to make the most of your cover letter and give yourself the strongest chance of being invited for an interview.
WHAT IS A COVER LETTER?
Your cover letter is a personal introduction, telling the employer why you would be a great candidate for the role. It is usually written with a professional tone of voice, in the format of a traditional business letter. It should outline who you are and why you are sending the CV to the company. This is your opportunity to express your interest in the job role and highlight your key skills and abilities.
Not all employers request a covering letter, but it’s often a valuable part of your apprenticeship application.
How to start a cover letter
First things first, do your research. Before you start to write your cover letter make sure you have read the job description and have researched the company as thoroughly as possible. Researching the company will show that you have gone the extra mile and will help you to write an eye-catching cover letter. It will also help you to decide whether you would be a good fit within the organisation.
As for starting the actual letter, you should address it to the hiring manager if they’re named in the application documents or on the company website – but if not, Dear Sir/Madam will be absolutely fine.
What to include in a cover letter
Firstly, we recommend creating a plan for all of your ideas which you want to include within your cover letter. This way you don’t risk the chance of missing something out.
Within the cover letter, it is important to covey your interest in the business and the apprenticeship. You could do this by including the reasons why you are interested in the job and why you think you would be a good fit for the role.
Be careful not to overload your cover letter with information. Too much writing on a cover letter can draw away from the important parts of it.
Apprenticeship cover letter template
There’s no fixed structure for an apprenticeship cover note, but to help you get started, we’ve created a rough template on what to include:
- Introduction – Why are you writing the letter? Who are you? What job role are you applying for? What are your goals and objectives?
- 2nd Paragraph – Why do you want to work for the company? What knowledge or passion do you have for the specific sector you are applying for?
- 3rd Paragraph – Highlight your relevant skills and experience and mention any other qualifications you have or are working towards.
- 4th Paragraph – Briefly recap your key skills and how they link to the job role. Thank the employer for taking the time to read the letter and let them know that you’re looking forward to hearing from them.
How long should a cover letter be?
The cover letter is best kept short and on one page. The best covering letters will consist of 3-5 short paragraphs. A clear and concise cover letter is much more attractive to an employer than one which rambles on.
Your cover letter is where you can express your interest in the role and show off your personality.
Top tips for writing a great cover letter
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for writing an apprenticeship cover letter. For every new application you send, it’s a good idea to review your cover letter and make sure it’s relevant to the role and the company.
Try to make your cover letter as authentic as possible so that it stands out from other applicants and impresses your potential employer. Finally, always proofread your cover letter and ask a friend or family member to take a look – an extra pair of eyes is a great way to spot typos or mistakes.
FInd out more
A cover letter is just one element of your apprenticeship application. Check out our recommendations for further reading below, or search and apply for our apprenticeship vacancies.