Top Tips 

With GCSEs fast approaching, you might be wondering how to improve your revision routine, polish your CV and eventually apply for next destinations or apprenticeships.

We appreciate there’s quite a lot to think about! So, with these questions in mind, we’ve put together a handy guide featuring some top tips for those wanting to boost their prospects.

Keep reading to discover:

  • The best revision techniques
  • How to successfully fill out application forms
  • How to write a CV
  • How to apply for an apprenticeship

The best revision techniques

There are lots of tips out there when it comes to revision. Here are three simple recommendations that we want to give you:

  1. Organise time wisely
  2. Revise YOUR way
  3. Take regular breaks

1. A timetable makes revision more manageable. Create a daily chart with three columns: morning, afternoon and evening. Fill it in e.g. ‘mathematics revision’ in the morning, ‘science revision’ in the afternoon and ‘music revision’ in the evening, then adapt for the following days.

2. Everyone’s different when it comes to revision technique. Perhaps you’re a visual learner? Draw diagrams with information. What about the spoken word? Record useful statistics and listen to them! Don’t follow what others are doing, if it doesn’t work for you.

3. And remember to get some exercise, even if it’s just walking to the shops. This gives your brain a rest and enables you to re-focus on the task at hand on your return. Keep a bottle of water handy, too, to re-hydrate after using all that mental energy.

 

How to successfully fill out application forms

Ah, forms: questions, questions and more questions. How much to write? What to say?

When it comes to forms, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer as to how best to fill them out – as they’re all obviously very different. You’ll know it’s important, though, to try and answer the questions as succinctly as possible, and provide everything of relevance to support your answer.

For example, if a form asks you, ‘What are your interests?’ think about it from the reader’s perspective. What would they want to know? What interests of yours correspond to the job under question?

If you’re applying for an event assistant role, for instance, and you love horse riding, planning events and staging performances in your local town, you’ll probably be wise to omit horse riding and instead focus upon the latter two examples. You can then draw them out with a few examples of events and performances that you were involved with. Only including the two relevant interests demonstrates skills relevant to the role, and the recruitment professional will be impressed by your corresponding interests.

We’d also suggest:

  • Completing forms in pencil first, before committing to permanent ink – this way you can make changes without ruining the form
  • Taking a step back from your completed form, checking it over after a few days, so you get a clearer perspective on things you might like to improve
  • Asking someone you know to look over your form so they can offer you their honest opinion on it (remember, it’s not personal)

How to write a CV

There are many various ways in which to construct a CV – here are some of our ideas:

  • Create a clean structure: ensure your contact details, experience, qualifications, skills etc are clearly set out and differentiated on the page
  • Stick to one font and text colour (otherwise it can look too confusing and distracting)
  • Keep sentences short and free from spelling/grammar/punctuation error
  • Don’t hold back when it comes to showing off your achievements – even the smallest of experiences can be worded in a way that brings out their impressive side!
  • Try and aim to fit everything on one page – or, at a maximum, two
  • Pick out key words from your job advertisement and weave them into your CV wherever they naturally fit (some CVs get scanned by recruitment professionals for suitability, and the successful CVs are those that include a lot of keywords from the advertisement)

Something you might also like to try is, when you’ve completed your CV, reading it out loud. Sound strange? We don’t think so – imagine addressing an interviewer and telling them about who you are. Your CV should be honest, straight-forward and powerfully sell your strengths. If you find yourself stumbling over convoluted sentences, or struggling to link bullet points together, the exercise of reading aloud will have been worthwhile as you can just go back and edit it to improve it.

 

How to apply for an apprenticeship

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to apply for apprenticeships. If you’re considering an apprenticeship in connection with Lewisham Southwark College, here’s what you need to do on www.lesoco.ac.uk/apprenticeships:

  1. Call or email the contact details provided in the 'Contact Us' box
  2. The National Apprenticeship Service have introduced a new way to find and apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship in England – you can register to use the find an apprenticeship service
  3. If you’re currently employed and your employer has agreed that you can complete an apprenticeship, or you have an employer lined up ready for your apprenticeship, contact us to discuss your training needs

If you’re applying for an apprenticeship elsewhere, ensure you take the time to read through the application steps in great detail, with a family member or friend if it helps – so you don’t miss anything.

And do remember to ring up the institution or organisation if you have any questions, too. It’s sometimes worth ringing up to ask if they have any specific requirements they’re after that aren’t mentioned in the apprentice advert, as well. It could just put you ahead of the game!

 

Next steps

Whatever’s on your radar, we’re here to help you make the transition from school life into college life. So, if you’re considering further education at Lewisham Southwark College, just contact us; we’d love to talk you through your options.

We can be reached via:

  • Phone – 0800 834 545
  • Email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can also explore more about studying at the College and our apprenticeships.

And, in the meantime, good luck with your GCSEs!

 

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