5 application mistakes to avoid

Filling out apprenticeship applications is the art of balancing two important things. On the one hand you have to ensure you have dedicated enough time so your application conveys your enthusiasm and interest in the company, but on the other hand you have to be ruthlessly efficient with the process in order to maximise your chances of success.

In that balancing act, it is very easy to make mistakes that will undermine an otherwise great application. Here are just five important ones to avoid!


1. Getting the company details wrong!

It is very easy to think that you can get away with copying and pasting answers from one application to another. It is a very risky strategy and one you should try to avoid. Each application will be different, and there is no one-size-fits-all response. By copying and pasting you risk mixing up company names, contact details or even emphasising your qualities that may not be applicable to that particular company. Misspelling the company’s name is an instant no-no from the perspective of an employer, so always read back through your application!


2. Not reading back

Just as with the company name, it is essential you read back through your application and spot any grammatical errors. If an employer sees an application full of mistakes it screams lack of attention to detail, or even convey a lack of interest in the application.

Even if you are confident that you haven’t made any mistakes, take some time away from the application and come back to it with a refreshed perspective. It would also be prudent to get someone else to cast their eye over the application. They can point out things that may make perfect sense but to other people may be incomprehensible. A fresh set of eyes can get you the prize!


3. Writing too much

You must resist the urge to just sit down write as much as as possible. If you do that you run the risk of saturating the listed qualities that are relevant to the apprenticeship. Employers are looking for concision and precision in an apprentice. They are two of the most important skills any employee can have and if your application feels and reads like that then employers are bound to react more positively.

Furthermore, don’t forget, your application is not the only one, so any effort to trim the irrelevant facts and or paragraphs will be noted!


4. Writing too little

This gets its own tip because it is just as important, if not more so, than overwriting. Writing too much – whilst obviously not welcome since it could distract attention from the great things within the application – still can convey enthusiasm and interest in the position. Writing too little on the other hand makes you look like you either don’t have many achievements to discuss or may even make the employer think you are not really interested in the apprenticeship. If the application gives you a box to reply, it’s advisable you fill in around three-quarters of that box. The general rule of thumb is to stick to filling 75 per cent of the space provided.

It’s really all about striking the balance between the two.


5. Not backing up your achievements

Whilst it is important to express your interest in the apprenticeship and emphasise how you would be a great fit at the company, it is absolutely essential to explain why you think you would be a great fit. It’s one thing to repeat adjectives such as ‘brilliant’ or ‘hard-working’, but employers will simply ignore them if you do not provide evidence to back it up.

Ideally, you should lead with an example of a relevant achievement and then continue to say how it improved you or your skillset. Examples will always speak louder than adjectives!