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Application tips for apprenticeships

Our 2020 apprenticeships are now open, and with opportunities that range from IT to Technical Engineering to Finance, we’re helping people into all kinds of new careers, with paid qualifications and hands-on government work experience.

The best part is, you don’t even have to be a school-leaver: there’s no upper age limit to our programmes, so as long as you’re 16 or over, this could be the programme for you.

But if you’ve never had a job before, or it’s been a while since you applied for one, you might want some tips on how best to approach it. So, with help from our current apprentices and our HR colleagues, here are a few of our top tips:

Research your career area
We don’t need you to be experienced in your chosen area, but we do need you to demonstrate that you’re interested. Start by exploring the career area, both on our site and elsewhere, to understand what interests you about it. Why do you think you want to do this? What particularly excites you about what you’ll be doing?

Research the organisation
Lots of people haven’t heard of FCO Services, and that’s okay, but if you’re applying to us, we want to know that you’ve taken the time to understand who we are and what we do. What interests you about our work? Do you understand the difference between FCO Services and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office? Check out our About Us page for more on that.

Check your work
Remember that your written application will be your first impression, so take as much care as you can to get it right. If spelling and grammar aren’t your strong point, ask a friend or a relative to look over it for you. Even the best writers need a fresh pair of eyes on their work to check for things they’ve missed.

Be thorough
When you’re answering written questions, be as thorough as you can. If you have early experience of something, tell us where you got it and why you enjoyed it: rather than writing ‘I can wire a plug’, tell us ‘I’ve wired plugs for a college project, and regularly take on small electrical DIY projects around my Grandad’s house’. Equally, it’s not enough to write ‘See my CV’ as the answer to a question – try to be as helpful as you can at every stage, so that assessors get the best possible impression of you.

For more on how to apply for our apprenticeships, visit our Applying for an Apprenticeship page