What You Need to Know
- Your child will need to apply for different opportunities – work experience, jobs, Apprenticeships and courses. You can help by taking time to understand what they need to do, by supporting them through each stage and making sure they get the help they need.
- You might not feel confident but remember you have a lot more experience than they do, so you can help. The ways you apply for things might have changed, but how to present yourself well hasn’t.
- Your son or daughter may not have had the chance to build lots of skills and qualifications yet, so think about things they’ve done at school, through hobbies and in the family and put these on their application.
- There are lots of useful websites – visit the local info page – that tell you about different types of application and give tips for how to go about it.
- Your child can apply for more than one course, job or Apprenticeship at a time, so encourage them to keep options open.
Things to Think About
- Don’t do it for them! Your child will need to live up to what they’ve said and will be found out if they don’t use their own words.
- Stay positive. We all have experience of not getting something we apply for, so help your child to understand that they may not be successful every time. Encourage them to keep trying and to have back up plans if their first choices don’t work out.
- You might never have had a phone interview, or done an aptitude test or even had to use a CV, so if you’re unsure find out more or get help from an adviser.
- When your child is applying for learning after Year 11, include anything they may need additional need help with, as well as what they are good at and enjoy. It won’t go against them, and means they’ll get the support they need. Talk to an adviser or check with the provider what additional support is available.
- Leave plenty of time. Suggest doing a draft application first, or planning how to get to an interview before the day. More preparation means more confidence!
- Keep an eye on important dates, usually before the end of January, to make sure you don’t miss deadlines.
- Find out what needs to be done, how and when. Go through instructions and guidance with your child so you’re both clear.
- Point out skills and qualities that your son or daughter might not think of – volunteering for things at school, putting in extra effort to get better at something, doing things for other people and organising themselves.
- Get family, friends or colleagues to help. They might have more experience of interviews, or be better at checking spelling and grammar, so use them!
- Encourage your child to get feedback if they’re unsuccessful. They probably won’t want to, but it will help them to do a better application next time. Feedback can also point to the experience, skills or qualifications they need to work on to get where they want.
- Find out what support and resources are available in your school to help your child make applications.