Where and how to find an apprenticeship employer?


You are looking forward to starting your apprenticeship: an opportunity to validate your training, your first practical experience in the professional environment, your first salary! But first and foremost, you must find a company that will welcome and train you, the very company without whom none of this will be possible. Students often struggle to find an apprenticeship. However, with the right tools, great CV and cover letter, nothing is impossible! Follow our guide to find an apprenticeship.

1. Where to find an apprenticeship employer?

Looking for an apprenticeship employer is very similar to looking for a job. To put it simply: you can't make it up as you go! The most requested training courses are full from July, so you should start the process as soon as possible, as early as March or April.

Here are some possibilities to target promising companies:

  • The apprenticeship offers available on official apprenticeship sites;

  • Apprenticeship scholarships, depending on where you live. Go to the dedicated website, consult the apprenticeship offers published by the companies and submit your CV;

  • Jobboards;

  • Dedicated fairs, meetings, or training centres;

  • Les sites de carrière des entreprises;

  • Dedicated fairs, meetings, or training centres;

  • Online job dating or the companies’ career websites.

2. 5 steps to find an apprenticeship

1. Start looking as early as possible to organise and prepare yourself

You must take into account the schedules of both the companies and your courses. Whatever you are looking for, you should start looking at least three months before the start of your apprenticeship contract.

In order not to lose time and send applications into the void, you should set specific goals for yourself and be organised. What works the best? For example, you could use reverse scheduling to display the time you need for each task.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of steps to find a company before the start of the school year:

  • Define the type of position you are looking for, related to your training: field of training, geographical area, missions you are looking for...;

  • Know the type of apprenticeship contract you are looking for, depending on your graduation level;

  • Look for companies that are recruiting;

  • Write a personalised CV and cover letter;

  • Send a follow-up email to the recruiters you have contacted.

2. Target your research

Before sending your application to hundreds of companies, you need to define your professional project. Are you able to describe your project precisely? This could help target the companies and positions as accurately as possible.

Remember that this first professional experience will be a significant first step in your future job search. Therefore, you must choose wisely.

First of all, what interests you? Which professions? Which fields? Which type of company? Then, which skills would you like to mobilise? Write, calculate, organise, animate, exchange, convince... What do you feel the most comfortable with? This can help you target fields and missions.

3. Ask your personal network

  • Are you looking for an apprenticeship? Mention it! Do not hesitate to use your LinkedIn profile to prospect and get in touch with companies.

  • Your family (parents, cousins...), close circle (friends, neighbours, etc.) or local acquaintances (local traders, doctors...) may be able to do something for you.

  • Feel free to contact your school or university’s alumni network. Most of them once struggled with finding an apprenticeship as well, so they know where you are coming from! Maybe they can share your resume in their company.

4. Use the web tools

LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, blogs... All these tools can be valuable assets to find an employer.
Use them wisely and take care of your image: if you want the recruiters to notice you, your e-reputation must be flawless! Beware the party pictures…

Now that your online profile is ready, get in touch with your acquaintances; then, expand your network by contacting professionals you met at fairs or in class. Follow the accounts of the companies you are interested in: keep up to date with their news, their apprenticeship offers in real time... So you can be among the first applicants!

5. Do not overlook any company

Do not only go for the “big shots”: corporations are not the only ones that hire apprentices. Think about the small and medium businesses. Little or not at all known, these companies struggle to find applicants for their positions. However, they often offer more varied missions, with more responsibilities than that you can be offered in big companies with compartmentalised organisations. That being said, corporations are good experiences: you will benefit from an ordered system and from advantages as part of a big company.

You can also meet interesting profiles for your network and your CV, because no matter the missions you do, the name of a corporate is always more impactful than that of a startup.

So, weigh up the pros and the cons before choosing between a small and a big company!

3. How to stand out from other applicants?

1. Be proactive and reactive

Upload your CV on all job sites and platforms dedicated to recruitment from the largest companies.

Send speculative applications to companies in the field in which you are looking for an apprenticeship. A speculative application coming in at the right time can, why not, prompt the creation of a position.

Finally, submit your CV on recruitment agency websites. These specialised websites have a large network of companies and sort profiles according to the employers’ criteria. Your profile will stand out better and will allow you to find companies that fit you.

2. Be motivated

Good grades are not enough. To stand out and seduce recruiters, your motivation is your best weapon. Your mission is to prove that you are the ideal candidate. Be positive, be confident and show your interest in your company and in the position. Also be available when exchanging emails and for the interview. This will show that this application is your priority.

3. Customise your resume and your cover letter

Personalise your cover letter . Write your letter with dedication, so that it highlights your assets and shows your interest in the company, its news and its projects. In your CV, do not hesitate to mention your interests. Hobbies often stand out more than diplomas: the more the employer learns more about you as a person, the more he or she can picture you as an employee with what you can bring to the company besides your technical skills. Show your soft skills!

4. Go to the company in person

Nothing compares to a meeting with the directors or managers. Take care of your appearance, stay yourself and, of course, stay polite!

4. Key takeaways

Now you are ready to find an internship! Filled with motivation and organisation, you have all the tools to find an apprenticeship. Fairs, professional network, web tools... Stay on the lookout for opportunities! For instance, Societe Generale recruits apprentices in all kinds of different positions. So, shall we see you soon?