Advice & Tips

Getting you ready for the world of work


When it comes to starting an Apprenticeship, it can be a daunting time. For many of you, this will be your first real experience of the working world. From CV writing to job interviews, 3aaa Apprenticeships will equip you with key employability skills. Whether it’s staying ahead of the curve by learning some valuable industry specific skills or understanding how you ought to behave on your first day, we will ensure that you are ready for the world of work.

preparing for your apprenticeship

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Technology


When it comes to applying for an Apprenticeship, any applicable skills you have will set you head and shoulders above the rest! However don’t be discouraged if you don’t have many IT skills at this point in time. There are hundreds of things you can teach yourself which will make you a much more viable candidate for an IT Apprenticeship and you can teach yourself these skills from the comfort of your own home!

Coding

Coding, to put in the most simple of terms, is a set of instructions that you type into your computer that it can understand. However, it’s not as simple as typing an instruction (as you or I would understand it) straight into a computer. Computers require a completely new language, and there are several that you can use in order to translate your instructions into something a computer can understand, such as Python (for beginners), C#, Javascript, etc. It may seem daunting to think that you’d have to learn an entire new ‘language’, however there are dozens of online tutorials which you can access via YouTube, and online training academies (many of which are free) which can give you instructions on how to code.
Spyware Removal
Spyware is an umbrella term for programmes that record what you do on your computer. Legitimate forms of spyware can be completely harmless. However, there are malicious forms of spyware that are more often than not used to capture personal information that you would otherwise keep private. There is software available which can guard computers from such risk, and it is imperative for someone working within IT to know how this software operates in order to better protect your company’s online activity.
Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting is the practice of analysing and detecting serious problems in a company’s electronic system. It is an issue any computer user will face at some point or another, and knowing how to fix these problems is crucial to maintaining a healthy computer system.
Computer repair, assembly and maintenance
For those of you who wish to work within the computer repair or manufacturing industries, it is important for you to know the inner workings of all manner of technology. With a lot of repair jobs, it’ll be worthwhile you understanding how to disassemble and reassemble a computer, and with such a vast amount of tutorials online it is something you can practice at home on your own computer.
Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting is the practice of analysing and detecting serious problems in a company’s electronic system. It is an issue any computer user will face at some point or another, and knowing how to fix these problems is crucial to maintaining a healthy computer system.
Establishing network connections
Every office imaginable will require an internet connection in order to carry out their day to day activities. For an IT Apprentice, a key responsibility of yours will be to ensure each member of staff has a sufficient working network connection, whether that’s through WIFI or an Ethernet cable.
Phone manner
This may seem surprising as a skill required for an IT job, but the vast majority of IT jobs involve a lot of remote IT support, usually in the form of telephone customer support. There are a number of key things you can do to ensure you are speaking in the most eloquent and appropriate way possible. Our 3aaa Apprenticeships' employability sessions will help you learn appropriate telephone manner, giving you the chance to carry out practice calls with our team to make you prepared for the world of customer support!

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Digital Marketing


As with any job, any relevant skills that you have will set you apart from other applicants when applying for your new Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Anything that will allow you to hit the ground running within your first few days will certainly be of interest to employers, so here are a few things you can acquaint yourself with before you start your new career:

Web Design
Not every digital marketing role will require you to make your own company’s website, however some start-up companies, or companies who don’t have much of an online presence may require you to create a website from scratch. Here are some online free publishing platforms that can make website creation simple:

Wix

– Wix is an online web development tool which allows you to create your own websites and mobile sites. Wix is a drag and drop programme, which means you can build your website up piece by piece, like building blocks. This is one of the most user friendly and straight forward website building platforms available, and it’s free!

WordPress

– WordPress allows users to create and manage their own websites, or build and update their own blog pages. You can pick from a vast number of WordPress themes which makes the whole process quick and easy. WordPress is also free, however for more advanced themes you will have to upgrade to a premium service.
Graphic Design
As a Digital Marketing Apprentice, one of your key roles could be to design marketing materials for your company. Although some companies outsource some of their design work, a lot of it will be done internally by you and the design team. Here are a few programmes which you can familiarise yourself with before beginning your new Apprenticeship:

Photoshop

– Photoshop is an image editing software that allows you to manipulate, improve or alter images. There are numerous YouTube videos devoted to showing users how to use Photoshop in the best way.

InDesign

– InDesign is a publishing software, most commonly used for the creation of posters, flyers, magazines, brochures, etc. Like with Photoshop, there are many tutorials available online which ca make you more familiar with how to use this programme.

Illustrator

– Illustrator allows users to create graphics completely from scratch, such as logos or animated graphics. It is seen as the partner programme to Photoshop and, as with the previous two you’re never short of tutorials on YouTube.
social media
Contrary to popular belief, a digital marketing Apprentice’s day does not solely revolve around Facebook and twitter. However, social media is a powerful tool for businesses if utilised correctly. It is the role of a digital marketing Apprentice to maintain a strong social media presence throughout any number of online platforms. Although not every company will use every single social media platform, here are a few of the most popular and most used by businesses. The vast majority you will already use day to day, and whatever you don’t know will be easy to get to grips with:
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Instagram
Google +
YouTube

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Accountancy


With Accountancy, there isn’t a list of programmes or software that you need to learn in order to carry out your new job role. However, Accountancy does require a certain set of skills to ensure you are able to perform in this job well. Here we have listed a number of ways you can prepare yourself for your new accountancy role, and ultimately thrive within it:

Complete the AAT online skill set test
This is an online multiple choice test that determines what your accountancy ability level is. The test only lasts around 30 minutes and is a necessity for you to be accepted onto any accountancy course. It will measure your ability based on a number of topics, such as office skills, bookkeeping, IT, etc. It’s a good way of measuring your natural ability. You can access the test here: http://www.aatskillcheck.org/home.aspx
Manage your own finances
Accountancy involves the recording, processing and measurement of finances, however many of you may not have had any real experience of managing any form of finance in your own name. In order to work with finances you need to understand how they work, and the easiest way to practice is to take control of your own bank account. Working with finances is a job that requires a lot of responsibility, therefore by being more independent and responsible for your own means you will be more prepared to deal with your company’s finances.
Organisation and time management skills
Accountants are notoriously organised, and for a good reason. Managing a company’s finances is a big responsibility, and one that requires a lot of work. Managing your workload and keeping track of your tasks is extremely important. In order to prevent something getting misplaced or lost, you need to make sure that you have organised your work in the best way possible. You also need to learn how to manage your time better. You will be working to tight deadlines within an Accountancy role, and handing work in late is not acceptable in the working world. The best way to do this is to get yourself an organiser or a diary, so you can get used to noting down all the things you have done or need to do in the day. It’s never too soon to get into good habits!
Communication Skills
You will be dealing with clients and colleagues on a daily basis if working within an agency or any organisation, and being able to communicate well is a crucial skill. Whether you’re discussing an account with a client, networking with potential clients at events or building relationships with colleagues the ability to communicate in a professional manner is very important.

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Business Admin

A Business Administration role requires great organisational skills, communication skills and a pleasant demeanour. Here we will list a number of skills which are covetable in a Business Administration Apprentice:

Organisation and time management skills
As a Business Administration Apprentice, you will be responsible for a lot of organisational tasks for the entire company. You will be managing tasks such as filing, recording data in spreadsheets, speaking with clients, etc. It is a big responsibility, and one that requires a lot of work. Managing your workload and keeping track of your tasks is extremely important. In order to prevent something getting misplaced or lost, you need to make sure that you have organised your work in the best way possible. You also need to learn how to manage your time better. The best way to do this is to get yourself an organiser or a diary, so you can get used to noting down all the things you have done or need to do in the day. It’s never too soon to get into good habits!
Customer service Skills
Very often you may be required to deal with clients face to face, and you will have to have deliver a good level of customer service. Customer satisfaction is very important to a company’s reputation, and any communication you have with them is an opportunity for you to make sure they have an exceptional level of service. Communicating coherently and in proper English will portray a great and professional impression to customers.
Touch type test
Business Administration may require you to type up documents and fill in databases exceptionally quick, and the easiest way to do this is by learning to touch type. There are a number of touch typing tests you can take online, one of which being http://www.typingtest.com/. The test will include a number of practice rounds where you will be given the opportunity to get used to only looking at the screen and with time increasing your speed. You can carry out the test as often as you like to hone your skills, and there’s no such thing as too much practice.
IT Skills
With typing documents, recording data in databases and answering emails you will spend a great deal of time on the computer. Having a sufficient level of IT capability will allow you to step into the role with minimal training. Before you begin your Apprenticeship, get familiar with all Microsoft office software such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. It would also be wise to research proper email etiquette, to ensure that even from day one, you know how to address clients and colleagues in the most professional way.
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