Need to watch: The Apprentice Series 10

Learn about business and careers from Lord Sugar's top TV show

The Apprentice: Series 10

BBC One

Wednesdays, 9pm

The Apprentice is back. After a longer than usual wait (because of this summer's World Cup), the now ten-year-old show returns this autumn.

This series looks set to be one of the most entertaining yet. It's bigger and more bumptious than ever before, with a record twenty wannabe entrepreneur candidates, the most showing-off we've ever seen in the audition tapes, and practically a guarantee from Lord Sugar of multiple double and triple firings to come.

But as well as drama, comedy and the inevitable tragic cringe-behind-the-sofa moments, there are also bound to be plenty of business and careers insights on offer.

Here are what we think are some of the best tips to take away from Episode One.

Top tip for CVs and application forms: keep it simple

Marketing yourself on a CV or application form is a bit like selling a simple product like, say, a hot dog or a T-shirt. You don't have much time to convince your customer - apparently most graduate recruiters will only give a CV or application form a mere six seconds - but if you tick all the right boxes, you've got a good chance of getting through.

So keep things simple: think clear and to the point, like the girls did with the design of their T-shirts, and don't be tempted to mess up a good product with the CV equivalent of feta or exotic guacamole.

Top tip for interviews: be honest

It's good to be positive and confident about what you have to offer, whether you're selling your skills or anything else. But never be tempted to lie or make something up, even if you think it's what the person you're talking to wants to hear.

For example, it's not a good idea, as Sarah found out, to tell a zookeeper potential customer that your cleaning products are animal-friendly when they're probably, err, not. Especially as a student or graduate, it probably won't matter too much if you admit you don't have a certain kind of experience or the answer to a question, but honesty is something you've got no excuse for lacking.

Top tip for assessment centres: think about the big picture

Just like The Apprentice "process", assessment centres are competitions where you'll be judged primarily as an individual. But remember that they're also about working with others and getting something accomplished together.

And if you do your best to further everyone's interests and generally be a help (gold star, Felipe) and not a hindrance (fewer sighs and head-tosses please, Steven), then it's very likely to help you individually in the long run as well.

Top tip for business strategy: a good product at a good price

The first episode was just as full as ever of what sounded like fascinating but pretty crazy business ideas: a social project in the Arctic and a production company making "world-changing documentaries" are just two that Lord Sugar may be asked to fund in a few weeks' time.

But as the first task (selling coffee, hot lunches, window-cleaning, and other simple goods and services) emphasised, much of business success revolves less around apparently interesting projects and more around selling simple products that people actually want at a well-judged price.

Top tip for teamwork in the office: stay cool and collected

The Apprentice has a way of putting you off working in a team forever, as one side or the other is usually reduced to a collection of screaming monsters at some point in any given episode. Though it was great to see that, for a change, the producers decided to edit "the boys" rather "the girls" into the most annoying squabblers of this year's opener.

But success as a team member is always achievable if you follow some key rules: keep your wits about you, pitch in and get things done as well as talk about them, and, above all, stay calm at all times. Just like your average Apprentice candidate then...

Comments