Am I work ready?

Education is coming to an end and the workplace beckons - how can you make sure you are ready for work?
Application form

Looking for a job can take a long time. But you can also find a job quickly. In Oxfordshire, unemployment is low.

Jobs are often advertised for a short time and close quickly. Apply quickly, but carefully. 

Take action: Are you ready for your first day at work? ACAS offer a short e-learning course to get you ready for your first day at work. Go to, create a free account, and select the "Starting Work" course.  

Employers value young people

Young people may feel that a lack of experience or confidence is a problem. But employers understand and value the benefits young people bring to the workplace. These include:

  • fresh perspectives and new ideas
  • energy, spark and enthusiasm
  • fewer obligations and greater availability

When employers are asked what they look for younger workers, one thing they always say is that you must be work ready

Instant Expert: Visit Barclays Life Skills for more information about how to get work ready.

Getting work ready

To be work ready, employers say that these 5 things help: 

  1. Positive attitude (willing to work)
  2. Gets along with colleagues
  3. Acceptable basic skills (written, number and ICT)
  4. Qualifications or evidence of learning
  5. Work experience 

All these things help. But you still need to look for the job. 

Take action: Any young person looking for a job in Oxfordshire can sign up for our weekly Hot Jobs newsletter for exciting apprenticeships, training and jobs opportunities.

Get work ready online

It is important to your future to make sure you look good online. A good time to do this is well before you are job seeking, for example when you are planning your work experience, or getting ready to make choices about post-16 learning.

Here are our top five tips for getting work ready online.

  1. Get a sensible email address for job applications
  2. Make sure that your social networking identities look tidy and professional
  3. Take down old content you might be embarrassed by 
  4. Defriend people you don't know, people who don't like you, and any risky contacts
  5. Join some professional networks. Linkedin is the most famous, but check for others including networks and mailing lists in your chosen job areas.

The internet can help you get work, find your learning destination and pursue your interests. Your own content online can also support this - as long as it looks good.

Support to get work ready

If you need help to become work ready, there is support available:

At School

Young people receive Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) about careers at school. This will include things like:

  • Careers interviews
  • Work experience placement
  • Information about apprenticeships, further and higher education and other choices.

You can ask any of your teachers about careers.

Seeking employment or learning

Young people aged 16-18 who are not at school or college can ask for support from the EET Service.  

Training providers 

Some young people need more support to get ready for work or complete their learning. This might be because they have learning difficulties or disabilities, or because there are other pressures in their life, like being a young parent or a young carer.

Local Training Providers can help with flexible programmes.

Experience: As a work experience student I have done a couple things to get ready for work. I have started writing my CV, which is almost compulsory for job interviews, and I have taken a look into careers which interest me, I am good at and also enjoy. I also plan to research into a job’s area and I have already looked at what interviewers are looking for. When I’ve done all this I feel I’ll be ready for whatever comes my way - Isaac, 15

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