Eight words you need for job-hunting in English

Are you looking for job using English?

Sometimes the job advertisements will be written in English.  Sometimes you will also have to apply in English.  Below are eight key words you need to know.


1. résumé (noun)

Meaning: A short document that you send to apply for a job. It gives a summary of your experience and skills.  Be careful, it is pronounced /ˈrezəmeɪ/, not /rɪˈzuː m/ (resume) which means to restart something.

・Please find my résumé attached to this email.
・Applicants should forward their résumé to the following address.

Sometimes, especially in British English, people also call this a CV (Curriculum Vitae).  A CV can also mean a longer document giving more information to apply for academic jobs (eg. including past presentations and publications).

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2. candidate (noun)

Meaning:  A person applying for a job (=applicant).

・Successful candidates will be contacted by email after May 20th.
・She is the best candidate for the job.


3. background (noun)

Meaning:  Experience you have.  It can also mean knowledge you have (=educational background).

・This job would suit someone with a business background.
・Tell me about your background in the IT field.


4. position (noun)

Meaning:A formal word for job.  It is often used in job advertisements and interviews.  Sometimes the word role is also used. 

・I am writing to apply for the position of Sales Director.
・He held a senior position in a large company,

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5. reference (noun)

Meaning: A letter written by somebody to recommend you for a job (=letter of reference).  This is somebody who you know and usually have worked for in the past.  Often you have to give references when you apply for a job.  Sometimes the people who give references are called referees.

・We’ll need a reference from your current employer.
・She asked him to provide a letter of reference for her.


6. qualification (noun)

Meaning: A document showing you have passed exams (or courses) giving you some kind of skills or knowledge.  A license (British English=licence) is a kind of qualification which gives you formal permission to do sometime eg. driving license, teaching license.

・In this job, experience is more important than qualifications.
・He left school without any formal qualifications.

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7. cover letter

Meaning:A letter (or email) sent with a résumé to apply for a job.  The cover letter says what job is being applied for and often gives a short summary of the résumé.

・Please also briefly state in your cover letter why you think you are suitable for the position.
・Please find my résumé attached with this cover letter.


8. equivalent (adjective)

Meaning:The same as or equal to.  There are many different types of qualifications and experience, and some of them are almost the same.  So job advertisements often use this word to say that similar backgrounds are also okay.

・Applicants need to have a diploma in child education or equivalent qualification.
・Candidates require a PhD in chemistry or equivalent research publications.


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