Business English book for Beginners

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TOMSK POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSTY E.B. Nikolaenko BUSINESS ENGLISH Textbook Tomsk Polytechnic University Publishing House 2008 FOREWORD This book includes practical materials of Business English initially designed for students of the Institute of International Management of Tomsk Polytechnic University. Taking into account the topics presented and the urgent need to introduce business technologies in modern scientific, educational and industrial context, the textbook can also be applied to students of technical educational institutions (Intermediate, Upper- Intermediate and Advanced). Business English will help students to activate and extend your knowledge of English and gain the necessary confidence and skills to use it for your own purposes. It encourages you to think about language creativity. There are opportunities for individual, pair and group work and private study at home. This book includes a wide range of activities and approaches designed to appeal to different personal learning styles. The course consists of ten units, each containing the same component sections which cover various types of activities. 1. Unit 1: Introduction into Business English 2. Unit 2: Recruitment 3. Unit 3: Writing CV and Letter of Application 4. Unit 4: Job interviews 5. Unit 5: Business Etiquette 6. Unit 6: Types of Business Organizations 7. Unit 7: Company Structure 8. Unit 8: Money Matters 9. Unit 9: Telephoning 10. Unit 10: Giving a Successful Presentation. Each unit has a separate section on Listening, Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Vocabulary, but the order of the sections varies from unit to unit. Each section focuses on a particular area of language use, but also integrates and practices other skills. The listening passages provide examples of authentic or typical spoken English. There is a variety of accents, and a mix of monologues and conversations. The passages vary in length depending on their purpose. You may be asked to respond verbally or non- 3 verbally, to work alone or with other students, and to focus on what the speakers say or on how they say it. The tapescripts are included on pages 157-180. In reading sections the passages have been chosen for their intrinsic interest. They are drawn from a variety of sources: newspapers, magazines, letters, literature and the Internet. The purpose of reading exercises is to help and encourage you to read without stress, for enjoyment, and for specific information. Almost every unit has some speaking activities. Sometimes you will be asked to focus on accuracy, other times on fluency. These activities provide the opportunity for students to interact in pairs and groups, using language in a freer, more relaxed and more creative way. There are a wide range of exercises to master your writing skills. The book provides fairly detailed guidelines, particularly in the early units and it is advisable that these are discussed fully in class, and that students are given the opportunity for planning, on an individual or group basis, before the writing stage. This book uses a variety of learning strategies to introduce new words, to provide opportunities to use words you already know, and to encourage you to use words generatively. There is a detailed unit vocabulary at the end of this book. The author would like to express special thanks to all teachers contributing to this course and all people working at the language resource centre “Mediateka” of the Institute of International Management for their encouragement, kind support, help and invaluable advice in the selection and publishing of educational materials. 4 UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION INTO BUSINESS ENGLISH Exercise 1. Explain the following words and make up sentences with either of them: 1. to mind one’s own business; 2. bad business; 3. dirty business; 4. personal business; 5. business hours; 6. monkey (funny) business; 7. annual business; 8. to be in business; 9. to be out of business; 10. booming business; 11. to build up business; 12. business competition; 13. business corporation. Exercise 2. Choose three words which you consider the most important ones in any business from the list below. Explain your answer: money business promotion customer challenge result respect profit team spirit prestige Exercise 3. Read the text about business and answer the questions below: Business is an organized approach to providing customers with the goods and services they want. The word business also refers to an organization that provides these goods and services. Most businesses seek to make a profit - that is, they aim to achieve revenues that exceed the costs of operating the business. Prominent examples of for-profit businesses include Mitsubishi Group, General Motors Corporation, and Royal Dutch/Shell Group. However, some businesses only seek to earn enough to cover their operating costs. Commonly called nonprofits, these organizations are primarily nongovernmental service providers. Examples of nonprofit businesses include such organizations as social service agencies, foundations, advocacy groups, and many hospitals. Business Operations A variety of operations keep businesses, especially large corporations, running efficiently and effectively. Common business operation divisions include (1) production, (2) marketing, (3) finance, and (4) human resource management. Production includes those activities involved in conceptualizing, designing, and creating products and services. In recent years there have been dramatic changes in the 5 way goods are produced. Today, computers help monitor, control, and even perform work. Flexible, high-tech machines can do in minutes what it used to take people hours to accomplish. Another important development has been the trend toward just-in-time inventory. The word inventory refers to the amount of goods a business keeps available for wholesale or retail. In just-in-time inventory, the firm stocks only what it needs for the next day or two. Many businesses rely on fast, global computer communications to allow them to respond quickly to changes in consumer demand. Inventories are thus minimized and businesses can invest more in product research, development, and marketing. Marketing is the process of identifying the goods and services that consumers need and want and providing those goods and services at the right price, place, and time. Businesses develop marketing strategies by conducting research to determine what products and services potential customers think they would like to be able to purchase. Firms also promote their products and services through such techniques as advertising and personalized sales, which serve to inform potential customers and motivate them to purchase. Firms that market products for which there is always some demand, such as foods and household goods, often advertise if they face competition from other firms marketing similar products. Such products rarely need to be sold face-to-face. On the other hand, firms that market products and services that buyers will want to see, use, or better understand before buying, often rely on personalized sales. Expensive and durable goods - such as automobiles, electronics, or furniture - benefit from personalized sales, as do legal, financial, and accounting services. Finance involves the management of money. All businesses must have enough capital on hand to pay their bills, and for-profit businesses seek extra capital to expand their operations. In some cases, they raise long-term capital by selling ownership in the company. Other common financial activities include granting, monitoring, and collecting on credit or loans and ensuring that customers pay bills on time. The financial division of any business must also establish a good working relationship with a bank. This is particularly important when a business wants to obtain a loan. Businesses rely on effective human resource management (HRM) to ensure that they hire and keep good employees, and that they are able to respond to conflicts between workers and management. HRM specialists initially determine the number and type of employees that a business will need over its first few years of operation. They are then responsible for recruiting new employees to replace those who leave and for filling newly created positions. A business’s HRM division also trains or arranges for the training of its staff to encourage worker productivity, efficiency, and satisfaction, and to promote the overall success of the business. Finally, human resource managers create workers’ compensation plans and benefit packages for employees. 6 Exercise 4. Discuss the following questions: 1. Give definition to the word ‘business’. 2. What is the difference between for-profit and non-profit organizations? Support your answer with relevant examples. 3. What is production? 4. Specify the notion of ‘just-in-time inventory’. 5. What is marketing? 6. Define such business operation as finance. 7. What does the HRM involve? Exercise 5. Discussion. How do you see your future profession? Please answer the following questions: What kind of work are you interested in: 1. well paid work 2. interesting work 3. work in a large and famous company 4. quiet work 5. work in an industry which has future prospects 6. prestigious work 7. a kind of work such as not to sit the whole day in the office 8. to travel a lot Please, discuss advantages and disadvantages of your future profession: 1. Do you think that your future profession is prestigious? 2. Do you think it will be still prestigious and well paid by the time you graduate? 3. How difficult is it to find a good work in your field? 4. Is there a competition in your group? 5. Do you think that competition among your coeds is a good stimulus to study well or it just makes communication between you more difficult? Exercise 6. Do the questionnaire, and then compare your answers with a partner: How do you rate as entrepreneurs? 1. Are you a self starter? a. I only make an effort when I want to. b. If someone explains what to do, then I can continue from there. c. I make my own decisions. I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do. 2. How do you get on with other people? a. I get on with almost everybody. b. I have my own friends and I don’t really need anyone else. c. I don’t really feel at home with other people. 3. Can you lead and motivate others? a. Once something is moving I’ll join in. b. I’m good at giving orders when I know what to do. c. I can persuade most people to follow me when I start something. 4. Can you take responsibility? 7 a. I like to take charge and to obtain results. b. I’ll take charge if I have to but I prefer someone else to be responsible. c. Someone always wants to be the leader and I’m happy to let them do the job. 5. Are you a good organizer? a. I tend to get confused when unexpected problems arise. b. I like to plan exactly what I’m going to do. c. I just like to let things happen. 6. How good a worker are you? a. I’m willing to work hard for something I really want. b. I find my home environment more stimulating than work. c. Regular work suits me but I don’t like it to interfere with my private life. 7. Can you make decisions? a. I am quite happy to execute other people’s decisions. b. I often make very quick decisions which usually work but sometimes don’t. c. Before making a decision, I need time to think it over. 8. Do you enjoy taking risks? a. I always evaluate the exact dangers of any situation. b. I like the excitement of taking big risks. c. For me safety is the most important thing. 9. Can you stay the course? a. The biggest challenge for me is getting a project started. b. If I decide to do something, nothing will stop me. c. If something doesn’t go right first time, I tend to lose interest. 10. Are you motivated by money? a. For me, job satisfaction cannot be measured in money terms. b. Although money is important to me, I value other things just as much. c. Making money is my main motivation. 11. How do you react to criticism? a. I dislike any form of criticism. b. If people criticize me I always listen and may or may not reject what they have to say. c. When people criticize me there is usually some truth in what they say. 12. Can people believe what you say? a. I try to be honest, but it is sometimes difficult or too complicated to explain things to other people. b. I don’t say things I don’t mean. c. When I think I’m right, I don’t care what anyone else thinks. 13. Do you delegate? a. I prefer to delegate what I consider to be the least important tasks. b. When I have a job to do I like to do everything myself. c. Delegating is an important part of any job. 14. Can you cope with stress? a. Stress is something I can live with. b. Stress can be a stimulating element in a business. c. I try to avoid situations which lead to stress. 15. How do you view your chances of success? a. I believe that my success will depend to a large degree on factors outside my 8 control. b. I know that everything depends on me and my abilities. c. It is difficult to foresee what will happen in the future. 16. If the business was not making a profit after five years, what would you do? a. give up easily. b. give up reluctantly. c. carry on. Key to the questionnaire: 1. a=0 b=2 c=4 9. a=2 b=4 c=0 2. a=4 b=2 c=0 10. a=0 b=2 c=4 3. a=0 b=2 c=4 11. a=0 b=4 c=2 4. a=4 b=2 c=0 12. a=2 b=4 c=0 5. a=2 b=4 c=0 13. a=2 b=0 c=4 6. a=4 b=0 c=2 14. a=2 b=4 c=0 7. a=0 b=4 c=2 15. a=0 b=4 c=2 8. a=2 b=4 c=0 16. a=4 b=2 c=0 44 or above You definitely have the necessary qualities to become the director of a successful business. You have a strong sense of leadership, you can both organize and motivate and you know exactly where you and your team are going. Between 44 and 22 You may need to think more carefully before setting up your own business. Although you do have some of the essential skills for running business, you will, probably, not be able to deal with the pressures and strains that are a part of the job. You should perhaps consider taking some professional training or finding an associate who can compensate for some of your weaknesses. Below 22 Managing your own business is not for you. You are better suited to an environment where you are not responsible for making decisions and taking risks. To operate successfully you need to follow well defined instructions and you prefer work that is both regular and predictable. Exercise 7: How would you generally feel happy or unhappy, if you were in the following situations. Use the words in italics to help you decide: 1. The company you work for is well-known for its job security. 2. You were suddenly made redundant. 3. You received a promotion. 4. You were given an increment. 5. You worked unsociable hours. 6. You had a steady job. 7. You had adverse working conditions. 8. You suddenly found yourself unemployed. 9. You took time off work because of repetitive strain injury. 9 10. The office where you work has sick building syndrome. 11. You receive regular perks as part of your job. 12. Somebody called you a workaholic. 13. Your company doesn’t give you many incentives. 14. Your boss announces that there is going to be some downsizing of the workforce. 15. Your work didn’t offer much job satisfaction. 16. Your company has a generous incentive scheme. 17. You receive a commission for the work you have done. 18. You receive support from a union. 19. You were under stress. 20. You were forced to resign. 21. You received a cut in your salary. 22. Your company gave you sickness benefit. 23. You found your job very demanding. Exercise 8: Match sentences 1-6 in the first box with one of the sentences A-F in the second. Use the words in italics to help you: 1. Samantha is the assistant manager of a bank and she works from 8.30 to 5.30 every day. 2. Tracy works on the production line of a factory which makes cars. She uses a machine to spray paint onto the finished car parts. 3. Jane works for herself. She is a photographer. She works every day for about eight or nine hours. 4. Jeanette is a cleaner for a company in Birmingham, but she only works there for about three or four hours a day. 5. Claire has a powerful job in the personnel office of a large multinational company. She is responsible for employing new people and getting rid of those that the company doesn’t want to employ anymore. 6. Marie works in the finance department of an international college in Oxford. A. She is a semi-skilled blue-collar worker in a manufacturing industry. B. She is a self-employed and works full-time. She likes to describe herself as freelance. C. She is responsible for hiring and firing. D. She calculates the wages, salaries, pension contributions and medical insurance contributions of all the staff. E. She is a full-time white-collar worker in a service industry. F. She is an unskilled part-time employee. Exercise 9: Now read this essay and complete the gaps with one of the words or expressions from Exercise 7 and 8. You may need to change the form of some of the words: ‘Some people live to work, and others work to live. In most cases, this depends on the job they have and the conditions under which they are employed. In your opinion, what are the elements that make a job worthwhile?’ 10 In answering this question, I would like to look first at the elements that combine to make a job undesirable. By avoiding such factors, potential 1)__________ are more likely to find a job that is more worthwhile, and by doing so, hope to achieve happiness in their work. First of all, it doesn’t matter if you are an 2)____________ worker cleaning the floor, a 3)_______________ 4)______________ worker on a production line in one of the 5)____________, or a 6)____________ worker in a bank, shop or one of the other 7)_____________ : if you lack 8)_____________, with the knowledge that you might lose your job at any time, you will never feel happy. Everybody would like a 9)____________ in which he or she is guaranteed work. Nowadays, however, companies have a high turnover of staff, 10)____________ new staff and 11)____________ others on a weekly basis. Such companies are not popular with their workers. The same can be said of a job in which you are put under a lot of 12)___________ and worry, a job which is so 13)____________ that it takes over your life, a job where you work 14)____________ and so never get to see your family or friends, or a physical job in which you do the same thing every day and end up with the industrial disease that is always in the papers nowadays – 15)_______________ . With all these negative factors, it would be difficult to believe that there are any elements that make a job worthwhile. Money is, of course, the prime motivator, and everybody wants a good 16)____________ .But of course that is not all. The chance of 17)____________, of being given a better position in a company, is a motivating factor. Likewise, 18)___________ such as a free lunch or a company car, an 19)____________scheme to make you work hard such as a regular 20)___________ above the rate of inflation, 21)___________ in case you fall ill and a company 22)_____________ scheme so that you have some money when you retire all combine to make a job worthwhile. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to find all of these. There is, however, an alternative. Forget the office and the factory floor and become 23)___________ and work for yourself. Your future may not be secure, but at least you will be happy. Exercise 10. You are going to hear four conversations in which a number of men and women agree and disagree about different suggestions concerning working life. As you listen, write down the topic of the conversation and put a () for the people who agree or a (X) for those who disagree: Conversation 1 Conversation 3 Topic:………………….................... Topic:…………………..................... st st 1 woman 1 man st st 1 man 1 woman nd nd 2 woman 2 man 11 nd nd 2 man 2 woman rd rd 3 man 3 man rd th 3 woman 4 man rd 3 woman Conversation 2 Conversation 4 Topic:…………………........... Topic:…………………........... st st 1 man 1 man st st 1 woman 1 woman nd nd 2 man 2 man nd nd 2 woman 2 woman rd rd 3 man 3 woman th rd 4 man 3 man rd 3 woman 12 UNIT 2: RECRUITMENT Exercise 1. Read the following information about recruitment procedures: A. Recruitment The process of finding people for particular jobs is recruitment or, especially in Am. English, hiring. Someone who has been recruited is a recruit or, in Am. English, a hire. The company employs or hires them; they join the company. A company may recruit employees directly or use outside recruiters, recruitment agencies or employment agencies. Outside specialists called headhunters may be called on to headhunt people for very important jobs, persuading them to leave the organizations they already work for. This process is called headhunting. B. Applying for a job Fred is a van driver, but he was fed up with long trips. He looked in the situations vacant pages of his local newspaper, where a local supermarket was advertising for van drivers for a new delivery service. He applied for the job by completing an application form and sending it in. Harry is a building engineer. He saw a job in the appointment pages of one of the national papers. He made an application, sending in his CV (curriculum vitae – the “story” of his working life) and a covering letter explaining why he wanted the job and why he was the right person for it. Note: BrE: CV; AmE: resume BrE: covering letter; AmE: cover letter. C. Selection procedures Dagmar Schmidt is the head of recruitment at a German telecommunications company. She talks about the selection process, the methods that the company uses to recruit people: “We advertise in national newspapers. We look at the backgrounds of applicants: their experience of different jobs and their educational qualifications. We don’t ask for handwritten letters of application as people usually apply by email; handwriting analysis th belongs to the 19 century. We invite the most interesting candidates to a group discussion. Then we have individual interviews with each candidate. We also ask the candidates to do written psychological tests to assess their intelligence and personality. After this we shortlist three or four candidates. We check their references by writing to their referees: previous employers or teachers that candidates have named in their applications. If the references are OK, we ask the candidates to come back for more interviews. Finally, we offer the job to someone, and if they turn it down we have to think again. If they accept it, we hire them. We only appoint someone if we find the right person”. Exercise 2. Complete the following sentences with the right word or phrase: a. I hope she …………., because if she …………….the job, we’ll have to start 13 looking again. b. That last applicant was very strong, but I understand he’s had two other ……….. already. c. They’ve finally ……….. a new receptionist. d. I phoned to check on my application, but they said they’d already ……….someone. e. This job is so important, I think we need to ………… someone. f. Computer programmers wanted. Only those with UNIX experience should ……………. g. The selection process has lasted three months, but we’re going to ……someone next week. Exercise 3. Replace the underlined phrases with correct forms of words and expressions from A, B and C: Fred had already refused two job offers when he went for a discussion to see if he was suitable for the job. They looked at his driving licence and contacted previous employers Fred had mentioned in his application. A few days later, the supermarket asked him if he would like the job and Fred said yes. Harry didn’t hear anything for six weeks, so he phoned the company. They told him that they had received a lot of requests for the job. After looking at the life stories of the people asking for the job and looking at what exams they had passed during their education, the company had chosen six people to interview, done tests on their personality and intelligence and they had then given someone the job. Exercise 4. Read this newspaper article and find the answers to the following questions in the text: 1. What were the TWO reasons why Virgin Atlantic was considering redundancies? 2. What were the TWO things Richard Branson invited his staff to do? 3. How many people volunteered to take unpaid leave? 4. How did the long break affect the staff’s attitude to their work? 5. Why is the scheme attractive to new recruits? 6. Is the scheme going to become permanent? Branson’s new route to more jobs by Celia Weston For many young people lucky enough to get a job after leaving school or college, the biggest shock of the transition to work is how few holidays they get. Having spent their academic years working an eight or nine-month year, it can be depressing to realize that for the rest of their working lives they will be able to take only four weeks off a year. Many would jump at the chance to take three months off - and that’s exactly what happened at Virgin Atlantic, the airline run by Richard Branson. He believes the new initiative could help to reduce unemployment. Faced last autumn with the recession and with its failure to acquire more flight slots out of Heathrow airport, the company was having to consider redundancies. Mr. Branson wrote to staff saying that cutting back on jobs was “something I have never wanted to do”. 14 Instead he invited employees to take up to six months unpaid leave and to participate in a job sharing scheme. The immediate crisis passed but the idea of a shorter working year took off. When the company later asked for 300 volunteers to take three months unpaid leave, 450 put their names forward. Mr. Branson said: “To be fair and share it around, in some cases we said that people could only take six weeks.” Most of the volunteers were cabin crew but other staff, including secretaries and pilots, took advantage of the offer as well. “And when they came back from their break ... they definitely seemed to enjoy work more,” he said. The company tends to recruit and train its own staff from scratch. As Mr. Branson said: “If you’ve been at college or on the dole, working for only nine months still makes you a lot better off financially than you were before.” He believes there is a broader social benefit to be achieved. “If you are only taking on people for nine months, that will enable others who would otherwise have no work or be living on the dole to have a chance too.” And he goes further. “I think this should be the basis of a pattern across the whole European Community for the first few years of working life.” Nor was a shorter working year only applicable to young people. “If older women and men with children can afford it because one partner’s working 12 months and the other nine, I think a lot of people would like to earn slightly less and be able to spend more time with their children,” Mr. Branson said. This year the scheme is on offer again, although not over the busy summer period. “All the people who took time off last year would like to do so again,” Mr. Branson said. But its realization depended on whether the company could recruit enough people to allow 400-500 existing staff to take three months off. The company was considering whether the arrangement should become a permanent feature, Mr. Branson said. “For new people being taken on in most departments, we’re thinking about making nine-month working a standard contract.” Exercise 5. Work in groups. Discuss these questions: 1. What are your views on Richard Branson’s scheme? Would you like to participate in such a scheme? 2. Would such a scheme succeed in the firm you work/have worked for? Why not? 3. Why do you think so many of Virgin’s cabin crew took advantage of the scheme? 4. Could this kind of scheme only succeed with a youthful staff who have few family responsibilities? 5. How could you persuade people who have considerable working experience and are used to earning a certain wage that they should take a pay cut? 6. What do you think of the following: a four-day week a nine-day fortnight seasonal work job sharing Exercise 6. Insert the following words in the gaps in the text below: applicant application application form apply candidate 15 curriculum vitae or CV (GB) or resume (US) employment agencies interview job description job vacancies references short-listed Many people looking for work read the (1) …………………….. advertised in newspapers by companies and (2) …………………. . To reply to an advertisement is to (3) ……………… for a job. (You become a (4) ………………… or an (5) …………………………). You write an (6) ……………………, or fill in the company’s (7) ……………………, and send it, along with your (8) …………………….. and a covering letter. You often have to give the names of two people who are prepared to write (9) ………………….for you. If your qualifications and abilities match the (10) …………………., you might be (11) ……………………, i.e. selected to attend an (12) ……………………… . Exercise 7. When employees ‘give notice’, i.e. inform their employer that they will be leaving the company (as soon as their contract allows), in what order should the company carry out the following steps? a. either hire a job agency (or for a senior post, a firm of headhunters), or advertise the vacancy b. establish whether there is an internal candidate who could be promoted (or moved sideways) to the job c. examine the job description for the post, to see whether it needs to be changed (or indeed, whether the post needs to be filled) d. follow up the references of candidates who seem interesting e. invite the short-listed candidates for an interview f. make a final selection g. receive applications, curricula vitae and covering letters, and make a preliminary selection (a short list) h. try to discover why the person has resigned i. write to all the other candidates to inform them that they have been unsuccessful Exercise 8. While you are listening to the interview on the tape, complete the table below: 1. Name of applicant 6. References (very good/good/fair/bad) ......................................... 2. Job applied for …………………………. 3. Education 7. Hobbies………………………………... ………………………… 4. Qualifications 8. Which Department is the applicant interested in? ………………………… ................................................................ 5. Work experience 9. Interviewed by: (years)………………… 1. ………………………… 2. ………………………… 16 Exercise 9. Below you will see some extracts from wants ads. Fill in each blank with a word or phrase from the following list: competitive initiative suit kitchen staff ability outgoing team pension plan clear contact experience preference required skills willing busy office hard work potential customers successful candidate thorough training - Our new 200-seat restaurant is opening in May and we are looking for waiters, waitresses and (1)………. - If you are a friendly and (2)……….person who is not afraid of (3)………., we have the job and hours to (4)……….you. - For more information, (5)……….Helen at (415) 331-2012. - Secretary/Receptionist (6)……….for a (7)……… . Typing and shorthand between 80 and 120 wpm. We will give (8)……….to applicants who have experience using word processors and computers. - We want a positive person who is (9)……….to work hard and can use their own (10)………. . You must be lively and have a good sense of humour and a (11)……….speaking voice. You will receive (12)……….to enable you to inform (13)……….of the benefits of advertising with us. - The (14)……….will have had (15)……….in booking and banking procedures. The position calls for word-processing and secretarial (16)……….plus the (17)……….to work as part of a (18)………. A (19)……….salary is offered as well as a company (20)………. 17 UNIT 3: WRITING CV AND LETTER OF APPLICATION Exercise 1. Work in pairs. Discuss these questions:  What impression do you try to give in an application letter?  Should an application letter be handwritten, typed, or laser-printed?  Do you always tell the absolute truth in application letters? Exercise 2. Listen to an expert discussing letters of application. What information does she consider to be essential? Exercise 3. Write ten DOs or DON’Ts to help people who are writing letters of application. The first ones have been done for you. Do write clearly. Don’t use a pencil. Exercise 4. Listen to the tape and write down anything which is not on the list you wrote. Exercise 5. Read the following information about writing letters of application: Writing application letter A letter of application should create enough interest to make the potential employer want to look at your application in greater detail by reading your CV and hopefully invite you for an interview. Your application letter, however, should not contain too much detail about your experience and qualifications because that is the job of the CV. Layout and style The letter should be limited to one page and a few paragraphs will normally be sufficient. It is better to address a letter to a specific person, e.g. Dear Miss Chan, rather than to Dear Sir or Madam. However, in some job advertisements the name of the person you are writing to is not given. It is good practice to try to find out the following information before you write your letter:  the full name of the person you are writing;  their title - Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms, Dr, Professor, etc, and;  their position - Personnel Manager, Human Resources Manager, etc. All this information can be obtained by a quick phone call to the company. Remember, never write Dear Miss W. Chan. It should be Dear Miss Chan. Do not use the initial except in the address. If you start with Dear Sir/Madam, it is accepted practice to finish with Yours faithfully. Whereas, if you start with Dear Miss Chan, you may finish with Yours sincerely. Your letter should be neat and free from careless mistakes. You can follow the blocked and open punctuation style. Whichever layout style you choose to use, you should use it consistently throughout the letter. Structure of the letter 18 Paragraph 1 It should state clearly why you are writing and where you saw the job advertised. 1. I would like to apply for the post of ... as advertised in today’s issue of.. 2. With reference to your advertisement in ... on ..., I am writing to apply for the position of ... Paragraph 2 It should give a little information about your qualifications and experience. Make sure the information you give is relevant to the job that you are applying for. 1. As you can see from my enclosed CV, I have worked in my present position for five years. During this time I have gained invaluable experience in ... 2. I am currently a student at TPU studying ........ I am due to graduate in....... Although I have been studying full time, I have had a number of summer jobs which have helped me to gain experience in ... 3. My experience over the past two years has been at the managerial level, where I have had responsibility for ... Paragraph 3 It should say why you believe you are suited to the job and what you can offer the company. Those currently employed can state the reason for wishing to change their present job. However, you should not sound critical of your present employer. 1. I am currently working as a receptionist in ...The reason for my seeking a new position is that I wish to pursue a secretarial career. Unfortunately, there are no openings for advancement in my present employment. 2. For the last two years I have been working as a receptionist in ...Unfortunately the company is moving its main offices overseas and I have therefore decided to look for a new position. I believe that the experience I have gained in ... has given me the qualities you are looking for ... 3. I believe I would be an asset to your company. I will be able to bring with me my experience of ... which I believe would be useful in this position… 4. I feel that my ability to ... will help/enable me to ... Paragraph 4 It should tell the reader when you are available for an interview and how to contact you. 1. I would like to have the opportunity to talk to you further about my application. I am available for interview at any time and I can be contacted at/on ... 2. I am available for an interview at any time but would appreciate two days notice. I can be contacted on/at ... I look forward to hearing from/meeting you soon. 19 3. As requested in the advertisement, I enclose a copy of my resume together with a recent photograph. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further. I am available ... and can be contacted on/at ... Remember you might have to give a bit more detail than in the above examples. You can also combine the language in these examples. Also, it is sometimes useful to gather information about the company so that you know more about its background and policies. This may help you present yourself in the best light. Exercise 6. Read the following extracts from two letters about the advertisement for administrative clerk. Fill in each blank with a word from the following list: as audio available consider enclose inquiries favourably for form further in opportunity position take to with A. Dear Sir or Madam, In reference (1)……….your advertisement in today’s ‘Morning News’, I am interested (2)……….applying for the (3)……….of administrative clerk with your company. Could you please send me (4)……….details and an application (5)………. B. Dear Sir, I would like to apply (6)……….the position of administrative clerk with your company. I (7)……….my application form. I am presently working (8)……….a secretary in the accounts office at TW Industries. My responsibilities include (9)……….and copy typing and dealing (10)……….correspondence and telephone (11)………. . Twice a week I have been going to evening classes in bookkeeping and I intend to (12)……….an examination in three month. I am applying for the position because I would like an (13)……….to make more use of my training. I would be (14)……….for an interview at any time. I hope that you will (15)……….my application (16)………. Exercise 7. Look at this job ad: what would be its attractions - what might be its drawbacks? Based on the information from Exercise 5 write a letter of application to ACME Atlantic. Work in Bermuda ACME Atlantic are a well-known and respected trading company. We handle imports directly from manufacturers in 35 different countries, often to our own specifications, and currently export to 46 different countries worldwide. We are looking for enthusiastic people to work in our office in Bermuda on temporary 3- 6- and 9-month contracts. Applicants must be able to speak and write at least one foreign language fluently and can be nationals of any country. 20 Experience in import/export will be an advantage, but as special training will be available this is not essential. The main requirements are a willingness to work as a member of a team, to cope with pressure, to use the telephone in a foreign language and in English and to be prepared occasionally to work long hours when necessary. There are several posts available and long-term prospects are good, though initially all successful applicants will be contracted for a maximum of 9 months. The salary we will offer is excellent. We will pay for your return air fare and provide adequate accommodation at a nominal rent. Please apply in your own handwriting, enclosing your resume, to Charles Fox, European Sales Office, ACME Atlantic Ltd, 45 Pentonville Road, London EC2 4AC. Exercise 8. Listen to the following conversation and complete the notes below: NOTES ON APPLICATION J onat han B r i ggs Name: Degree: Economics and 1)…………………………… Teaching experience: Volunteer Teacher Location: 2)……………………………………………. Dates: 3)……………………………………………. Volunteer organization: 4)……………………………………………. Type of school: 5)……………………………………………. Subjects taught: 6)………………… Forms 1, 2 and 3 - English Form 7)............... - Agricultural Science Form 6 Other responsibilities: ran school farm NOTES (continued) Reasons for wanting to leave in - 8).................................................................. the first year: - few teaching resources Reasons for wanting to extend - success of cattle breeding project tour: - obtained funds for farm buildings Reasons for wanting to train to - It is his 9)..................................................... teach Geography: - It has many 10)............................................ Exercise 9. Read the following information about CV writing: Format for a Curriculum Vitae (CV) A Curriculum Vitae, commonly referred to as CV, includes a summary of your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, and affiliations. International employers often expect to read the type of personal information on a curriculum vitae that would not be included on a resume. When writing a CV for graduate school or academia the personal information included in this curriculum vitae template would be omitted. 21

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