Preparing for work
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Preparing for Work. Aims. Looking for a job CVs (resumes) Interviews English at work How BEC can help. Think about yourself. qualifications, experience, interests independence, responsibility contact with other people using English hours of work location. Job advertisements:

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Preparing for Work

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Preparing for work

Preparing for Work

Preparing for work


  • Looking for a job

  • CVs (resumes)

  • Interviews

  • English at work

  • How BEC can help

Think about yourself

Think about yourself

  • qualifications, experience, interests

  • independence, responsibility

  • contact with other people

  • using English

  • hours of work

  • location

Preparing for work

Job advertisements:

an example.

Preparing for work

Location: SHANGHAI

Job Title: Business Development Manager for a major consultancy company

  • Main responsibilities

  • Identify, target and manage key business partners

  • Develop and recommend marketing strategies including direct marketing, telemarketing and promotional events

  • Implement marketing plans necessary to ensure achievement of marketing objectives

Preparing for work

Experience/Knowledge requirements: - Graduate in Business, Marketing or MBA

- Preferably with 2 to 3 years marketing experience

- Excellent written and spoken English is essential

- Knowledge of basic accounting

Personal Competencies required: - Strong business sense - Excellent interpersonal skills - Effective in verbal and written communication - Energetic and enthusiastic - Good team player

- Able to take initiative

Preparing for work

What the ad says

what’s essential

what’s desirable



  • What the ad doesn’t say

  • company culture

  • the job

  • the person

First impressions

First impressions

Your CV needs to show

  • what sort of person you are

  • that you’re worth interviewing

100+ CVs

5 seconds



  • professional

  • well-organised

  • use a PC

  • no more than 2 sides

  • easy to read: headings, white space

Preparing for work

Personal Details



Work Experience

Personal Skills




A functional cv

A Functional CV

Haven’t started your career?

Identify relevant skills/job functions, e.g.

  • problem-solving

  • communications

  • team building

  • computer skills

Problem solving

Problem solving

I was part of a team set up to improve

poor communications between students

and lecturers at my college.

We interviewed a number of people to

find out the causes of the problem, and

suggested some ways of solving it. These

had considerable success.



  • I have written several articles which were published in my college newspaper.

  • I gave a successful presentation to my classmates and lecturers about global marketing strategies.

  • I worked as an assistant teacher for disabled children.

Team building

Team building

  • During my college course, I was in a project team of four people carrying out research by interviewing CEOs of large companies.

  • I have helped to organise social events for the college baseball team.

Computer skills

Computer skills

  • I am familiar with Excel and PowerPoint.

  • I have designed promotional leaflets for several events at college.

  • I kept the accounts of a college club using Excel.

  • I set up and maintained a database of potential customers for a small business.

Personal skills

Personal skills

Relevant to the job but not already included

  • good time management

  • motivating others

  • assessing alternatives and making decisions

  • accurate written work

  • speaking in public

Preparing for work

organisational skills

dealing with conflict

attention to detail

team player


establishing good working relationships with others

computer-literate (I am familiar with Excel and PowerPoint)

Languages you

Languages you…

  • speak:

English: BEC Vantage, Pass (2004)

Cantonese: native speaker

  • have studied:

English: upper intermediate

  • have qualificationsin:



  • professional, personal

  • positive

  • contact details

  • ask first!

Covering letter email

Covering letter/email

  • keep it short

  • begin by saying why you are writing

    I am writing to apply for the position of Clerical Assistant, ref. T2, as advertised in “The Times” of 15 May.

  • draw attention to the most relevant points in your CV

    As you can see from my CV, I have two years’ experience of working in this field and have completed a number of relevant training courses.

Preparing for work

  • stress your main qualities that are relevant

    I enjoy working as part of a team and am good at meeting tight deadlines.

  • tailor your letter to that particular company

  • I was interested to read on your website about your company’s plans for expansion, and would like to be part of your forward-thinking organisation.

  • refer to future contact

  • I am available for interview at any time (except between 10 and 17 July), and can be contacted by email or phone (details above). I look forward to hearing from you.

Preparing for work

your address

your address

Company contact

Company address

Company address


Dear Sir/Madam or Dear Mr/Ms XXX

I am writing to apply for etc. etc. etc.

Why I’m perfect for the job Why I’m perfect for the job Why I’m perfect for the job Why I’m perfect for the job Why I’m perfect for the job

Why I want to work for you Why I want to work for you Why I want to work for you Why I want to work for you Why I want to work for you

I am available for interview at any time, and look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely

your signature

your name printed

Before you send your application

Before you send your application…

  • have a break

  • check your CV and covering letter

  • enclose copiesof certificates

Recruitment procedures

Recruitment procedures

  • face-to-face interview

  • telephone interview

  • presentation

  • problem-solving

  • handwriting analysis

  • psychometric tests

Before an interview

Before an interview

  • accept the invitation

  • find out how long you’ll be needed

  • reread the ad

  • do more research on the company

  • decide what you want to tell them

  • decide what questions to ask

  • practise practise practise!

What you might ask

What you might ask

What are the company’s plans for the next few years?

How successful are the company’s products in East Asian markets?

What are the prospects of more responsibility in the future?

What are the main situations where English is necessary?

The interview

The Interview

  • one or more interviewers

  • a few minutes or all day

  • no immediate job offer

  • dress appropriately

  • try to relax

  • be friendly, smile

  • look at the interviewer/s

    If you don’t understand, ask!

What you might be asked

What you might be asked

Why do you want to work here?

What would you say are your main strengths?

Can you give me an example of how you’ve dealt with a problem?

Tell us about something you find difficult to do.

Language skills

using social language

answering questions

asking questions

expressing opinions

giving information

giving explanations

asking for clarification


Language skills

B usiness e nglish c ertificates

Business English Certificates

BEC Preliminary

BEC Vantage

BEC Higher

What is bec

What is BEC?

An English language exam which tests the 4 skills of English in a businesscontext.

What do you need to succeed in getting a job

What do you need to succeed in getting a job?

Take part in a discussion about the business

Listen to an explanation and respond

Write a formal letter

Read company literature

Preparing for work

What do you need to do at work?

Take part in a discussion about the business

Listen to an explanation and respond

Write a formal letter

Read company literature

Reading skills and bec

Reading skills and BEC

  • Read graphs and charts

  • Skim and scan texts like job adverts

  • Read business articles for specific information

  • Understand the structure of a text

Writing skills and bec

Writing Skills and BEC

  • Shorter documents, e.g. memo, note, email,

  • Longer documents, e.g. letter, fax, report, proposal

  • Formal and informal styles

  • Responding to written or graphic input

Preparing for work


  • You are the manager of Arvon Industrial Park and you have just received the letter below from FNT Ltd, a potential customer.

  • Look at the information below, on which you have already made some handwritten notes.

  • Then, using all your handwritten notes, write a letter of reply to FNT Ltd.

  • Write 120  140 words.

Preparing for work

give example of transport links

  • The manufacturing company I work for, FNT Ltd., is expanding and needs to rent a new factory unit in a suitable location.

  • It is important for us that the industrial park offers:

  • security services

  • adequate staff parking

  • good electricity supply

give example of serviceoffered

parking for

500 cars

Arvon Industrial Park

Units between 1000m2

and 3000m2

Short or long-term rentals

Competitive prices


for further information


last year

We are uncertain about the length of the rental period we need, but would welcome details of possible contracts

explain benefits of

long-term rental

Bec listening

BEC Listening

A variety of people and situations – in a meeting, on the telephone, an interview, a presentation, a discussion between colleagues…

  • hear everything twice

  • 4 different tasks

  • 30 minutes listening



Part 1

Part 3 (a)


Part 2

Part 3 (b)



  • 2 candidates and 2 examiners

    • interlocutor

    • assessor


Bec candidates

BEC candidates

  • are confident

  • can express themselves well

  • have a range of speaking skills: have conversations, give presentations, respond to questions etc

  • are easy to understand

  • can understand what they’re asked to do

Preparing for work

Reports, reviews, articles

Formal styles, letters, summaries







Presentations, introducing yourself, social conversations

Formal conversations about business

Who recognises bec

Who recognises BEC?

Internationally :

BMW AstraZeneca

Nestlé PricewaterhouseCoopers

Siemens Johnson & Johnson

Coca-Cola Motorola and more

In China:

  • BASF (China) Co. Ltd.

  • BP Amoco China

  • Jardine Matheson (China) Ltd

  • National Westminster Bank Group

  • Shell Development (China) Co. Ltd. and more

Why take bec exams

Why take BEC exams?

  • international recognition for work and study

  • communication for essential business needs

  • international business context

  • value for study and business career

    Preparing for BEC prepares you for the real-life working environment!

Further information

Further Information

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