School leaver blog: mastering the covering letter and more

  • Anna Vall Navés
  • 23 Oct 2019

Welcome to our AllAboutSchoolLeavers’ blog! This week, we’ll be looking at how to write a covering letter for your job applications. We’ll also be taking a look at the creative venue technician apprenticeship and Jamilah Simpson’s experience as a digital marketing apprentice.


Career insight of the week: the covering letter

If you’ve ever applied for a job before, you will probably have come across a covering letter. Generally sent alongside your (tailored!) CV, a covering letter gives you a chance to sell yourself to your potential employer in three to four paragraphs. So how do you write a covering letter that will make a great first impression?

The first thing is to make sure you’ve read the job advert and researched the company thoroughly, noting both the organisation’s values and the kind of candidate they’re looking for. Take a look at your CV and think about how your skills and experience fit into what the company is looking for (but don’t just repeat what’s already on your CV!). 

Once you’ve done your research and you’ve decided what you’re going to say, you should aim to write all of this information in under one side of A4. Generally, a covering letter will explain who you are, why you’re the best person for the job (referring back to your experience to prove it) and when you’re available for interview. You can find a template for a covering letter here, although there’s no need to follow it exactly—it’s better to let your own voice shine through (while keeping things formal, of course). 


“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” —Oscar Wilde

Weird and wonderful apprenticeships: creative venue technician

Although probably not a job that’s on your mind too often, creative venue technicians are in charge of the construction and removal of live performances. They can work in many different kinds of venues, from theatres to art centres and broadcast studios. So, if you like being creative and working behind the scenes, this might be an apprenticeship to consider.

This creative venue technician apprenticeship is an advanced apprenticeship that generally lasts two years. It requires a broad range of skills, including knowledge of audio, lighting, video and the building services related to performance arts. A starting salary upon completion of the apprenticeship is usually around £22,000, although there are opportunities for growth as you gain experience. 

Spotlight on: Jamilah Simpson, digital marketing apprentice at Google

Jamilah Simpson started her level 3 digital apprenticeship with Google after realising, in her final year of sixth form, that she thrived in environments where she could apply her learning immediately. She looked for other options in further education and came across this apprenticeship; now she works in the entertainment section of Google’s marketing team, working alongside clients in film, gaming, and music to sell and consult about their products.

Simpson says she enjoys her apprenticeship, and that “no two days are the same” at her job. She’s been able to work in many different areas and broaden her skillset. Her favourite part of her job, she says, “is having the opportunity to work alongside brands [she’s] grown up with”.

During the time she’s been working at Google, Simpson has also become an advocate for apprenticeships. “I believe they will start your career off with the best experience across numerous industries – also without the £50K debt! Therefore, the question of whether I would recommend apprenticeships to younger people who are unsure of what to do is a no-brainer”, Simpson explained.

Recommended reading

  1. Want to be as green as possible at university? Here’s a guide on how to be a sustainable student
  2. Want to travel the world without harming the environment? Andy Pietrasik looks at ways to make your travel more environmentally-friendly
  3. Whether you’re planning on going to university or starting a school leaver programme, it will be difficult to strike the right work-life balance. Here are some tips!
  4. There’s nothing wrong with being lazy, but according to this article, we’re just not very good at it. 
  5. A recent report found that the laughing emoji is the most frequently used of them all. This article looks at the psychology behind our obsession with this emoji.


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