It’s that time of year when large multinational companies around Australia open applications for their major apprenticeship intakes. They do this mid-year as their programs are often large and finely tuned machines. It also allows them to review hundreds of applications and employ from 6 to 60 new apprentices or trainees at one time (sometimes even more) to commence in the new year.
We are seeing a lot of these lately with major mining companies taking on large cohorts of apprentices and trainees. This is a strong sign that the mining industry is picking up and companies are preparing their workforce to future proof their business. But it’s not limited to only mining companies, we are seeing major intakes within the electrical and power supply industry, heavy machinery and automotive industry take on some very large number of apprentices this year.
This is a good sign for candidates that the opportunities are out there. And they are somewhat endless.
So how do you stand out from the pack when you are competing against potentially hundreds of other hopeful applicants?
Here’s our top tips.
- Always, always, do your research. No matter what the role, it’s important to do your research on the company you’re applying for. As with any job application, passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of who it is you are applying to and what it is they do will take you a long way.
- Understand what the apprenticeship is all about. You'll be surprised how many people apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship but know little to nothing about what they'll be doing each day. We've made it a little easier for you and have explained a day-in-the-life scenarios for each of our trade areas we specialise in. Read these so you know'll know what you'll be doing and why you will love it.
- Read the job ad in detail. Make sure you possess the skills and personal attributes required. Also consider if the location of the workplace is feasible for you to travel to and also the working hours. Some vacancies you will need to have a vehicle to get to and from work and others require a licence.
- Write a strong cover letter and get someone to read it beforehand so that you have a second pair of eyes to complete a thorough spell and grammar check prior to submission. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been working for 15 years or this is the first time you have written your cover letter, it’s just good practice to have someone else read it to pick up any mistakes.
- Highlight your experience in your resume. This includes subjects at school that you have done, part-time work and even doing things like maintaining the lawn mower for your parents at home. This can show a selector this trade career is for you. Provide specific examples of the projects, activities and people with which you’ve been involved in and try to avoid talking too vaguely, be direct and to the point.
- Call recruiters back quickly and action what they need you to do straight away. It shows a selector, that you’re genuinely keen on the role. If you don’t return their call within 48 hours they’ll potentially just move to the next best applicant. Always, always be polite on the phone, recruiters take interest in how you speak on the phone to demonstrate how well you listen and communicate.
- Be prepared for a long selection process for several months. Sometimes this can involve an assessment centre where you and other applicants in the running for the roles will be assessed on your practical ability, teamwork, communication skills, ability to problem solve and adapt to different situations. You can prepare by simply being yourself and ensure you’re interacting and contributing to the activities throughout the day.
- Get a drivers licence as soon as you can. Many of our businesses we work with need apprentices to have their licence so they can drive to pick up supplies and go out on work sites. Highlight this in your resume and if you haven't got you licence yet, tell them how far off you are from getting it.