Looking for a job

“If you love the job, the job will love you.”

Society has changed a lot over the last few years. Nowadays unemployment is a big problem, and some people decide to move to other countries in order to find a job. It is not easy, and it is necessary to do a lot of research.

There are three main steps to take when looking for a job: writing your CV or resume, writing a cover letter, and going to the job interview.

These are some hints to prepare your resume: Start your resume with a good objective statement that indicates your key competencies. Mention your qualifications which will be helpful to perform this job efficiently. List your work experience in reverse chronological order. If you do not have any relevant experience, include any position you occupied (internship or summer job, etc.) which might have some relevance to this position.

In the “Interesting links” section you will find some webpages with information about jobs in the UK.

Here is an example:

Curriculum Vitae

Name and surnames: Céline Garcia Torres

Address: Av. Paral·lel, 71 08004 Barcelona

Telephone Number: 666 222 333

Objective

To work in a position that will allow me to use my caregiving experience

Experience

  • Elderly caregiver:

February-August 2014, Barcelona

  • Transferring patient from bed to wheelchair, to shower, to pool, etc., including lift transfers
  • Driving and wheelchair transportation
  • Dressing, bathing, finding solutions to problems caused by incontinence
  • Administering oral medication according to the doctor’s prescription
  • Assisting with the paperwork
  • Caregiver for Alzheimer patient:

January 2008-September 2012, Badalona

  • Supported walking, monitoring symptoms of the disease
  • Following exercise programme
  • Administration of medication under direction of nurse
  • Household duties and maintenance, preparing meals
  • Care assistant at retirement home:

June 2002-November 2007, “Llar d’Avis” (retirement home), Barcelona

  • Took part in an innovative programme to helping older adults to remain independent
  • Recreational activities
  • Performing duties for patients, such as changing bed linen, assisting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing and grooming
  • Administering oral medications under doctor’s orders

Education

  • Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) at “Institut Emperador Carles”, Barcelona
  • Certificate of vocational studies on social and health assistance (“Tècnic en assistència a les persones dependents”), at “Institut Obert de Catalunya” (IOC), (distance learning)

Skills

  • Driving license and reliable vehicle
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
  • Able to handle elderly and people with disabilities

Language notes

Unemployment: (Cat. atur) Situation in which a person does not have a job.

Hints: (Cat. consells, suggerències) Helpful suggestion.

Wheelchair: (Cat. cadira de rodes) A chair mounted on wheels for use by those who cannot walk.

Lift transfers: (Cat. aixecament (per exemple de malalts o persones amb discapacitat)) Transferring a patient from one place to the other (for example from bed to wheelchair).

Paperwork: (Cat. gestions de tràmits, papers) Dealing with official documents that are needed for something.

Disease: (Cat. malaltia) Sickness.

Household duties: (Cat. feines de la llar) Everyday work at a house.

Bed linen: (Cat. llençols) Cotton articles of a bed.

Storyline

Thomas: “I would like to propose you something.”

Céline: “Tell me, Mr Marble.”

Thomas: “Linda and me have decided to take some holidays in Costa Brava. We are very happy that you are here with us, and my parents and Annie are used to you. So, my question is… Will you join us if we go there?”

Céline: “Oh, that’s a good idea! Of course I will come. I can tell you the places where you can rest and enjoy the weather.”

Thomas: “That will be amazing! If I had time, I would study Catalan, but I only know some Spanish words.”

Céline: “Don’t worry, in Costa Brava there are a lot of people who speak English. And I can help you with the words that you don’t understand.

Thomas: “And can you advise us on a place to stay?”

Céline: “There are good offers which include hotel and meals. We’ll plan it.

Thomas: “Great! I’m looking forward to our holidays!”

Grammar

The conditional sentence is a type of complex sentence composed of a main clause and a subordinate clause. It expresses the action that takes place if a condition is fulfilled. The characteristics of the conditional sentences are these:

  • The subordinate clause expresses the condition and the main clause describes the action that takes if the condition is fulfilled (the result).
  • The subordinate clause (or conditional clause) is normally introduced by the word ‘if’ (Cat. si).

There are four types of conditional sentences:

  • Zero-conditional: for example, if you drop a stone, it falls (Cat. si deixes anar una pedra, aquesta cau a terra).
  • First conditional: for example, if he comes, I will call you (Cat. si ve, et trucaré).
  • Second conditional: for example, if he came, I would call you (Cat. si vingués, et trucaria).
  • Third conditional: for example, if he had come, I would have called you (Cat. si hagués vingut, t’hauria trucat).

In the present course, we are only going to study the first and the second conditionals, which are the most widely used forms. The first and the second conditionals have the same syntactical structure (because they are both conditional sentences), but there is a difference in the verb tenses and, obviously, in the meaning.

The first conditional

We use the first conditional to express real conditions. This means that, in the speaker’s opinion, the situation will probably happen.

The structure of the first conditional sentences is the following:

  • IF + SUBJECT + VERB (in present simple), SUBJECT + WILL + VERB (in the base form) + …

Here are some examples of first conditional sentences:

  • If you don’t save your files, you will lose all your work (Cat. si no guardes als arxius, perdràs tota la feina).
  • If you practise a lot, you will speak English fluently (Cat. si practiques molt, parlaràs anglès amb fluïdesa).
  • If you do all the activities, you will pass the exam with no problems (Cat. si feu totes les activitats, aprovareu l’examen sense problemes).

Notes:

1) We can change the order of the main clause and the conditional clause without any change in the meaning, but we must write a comma if we put the conditional clause in the first place:

  • If you practise a lot, you will speak English fluently.
  • You will speak English fluently if you practise a lot.

2) Apart from ‘will’, we can use other modal verbs in the main clause of the first conditional sentences. For example:

  • If you practise a lot, you may speak English fluently (Cat. si practiques molt, és possible que parlis anglès amb fluïdesa).
  • If you can do it, I will be very grateful (Cat. si ho pots fer, estaré molt agraït).
  • If he says anything, you shouldn’t respond (Cat. si diu alguna cosa, tu no hauries de respondre).

3) In the main clause, we can also use the imperative form:

  • If you notice a fire, go out immediately (Cat. si detectes foc, surt de seguida).
  • If you have problems, please tell me (Cat. si tens problemes, si us plau digues-m’ho).

The second conditional

We use the second conditional to refer to unreal or hypothetical situations, or about conditions that are impossible that are fulfilled (for example: if I were you…, if I were younger…, if I were a dog…, etc.), we must also use the second conditional.

The structure of the second conditional sentences is the following:

  • IF + SUBJECT + VERB (in past simple), SUBJECT + WOULD + VERB (in the base form) + …

Examples:

  • If I had enough time, I would go out more (Cat. si tingués prou temps, sortiria més).
  • If I were the director in this company, I would raise the workers’ salaries (Cat. si jo fos el director d’aquesta empresa, apujaria el sou dels treballadors).
  • If I were you, I would be more polite to customers (Cat. jo en el teu lloc seria més amable amb els clients).

Notes:

1) In the second conditional clauses, the form of the verb ‘to be’ is ‘were’for all persons (if I were you …). The form ‘was’ is not generally accepted, except in the informal spoken language, where it is possible to say: If I was you …. In most situations, however, the form is ‘were’.

2) Apart from the verb is the past simple tense and the modal verb ‘would’, in the second conditional we can use some modal verbs, but they must refer to the past when the modal verb has time distinction:

  • If I had enough time, I could go out more (Cat. si tingués prou temps, podria sortir més).
  • If I were the director, I might rise the salaries (Cat. si fos el director, podria ser que pugés els salaris).
  • If I could be you, I would be more polite (Cat. si jo pogués estar en el teu lloc, seria més amable).

The use of the first or second conditional sentence very often depends on the context or on the subjective perception of the speaker. Compare these sentences:

  • First conditional: if it rains tonight, I will stay at home (Cat. si plou aquesta nit, em quedaré a casa). The meaning is: it is very cloudy, so it is very probable that it rains.
  • Second conditional: If it rained tonight, I would stay at home (Cat. si plogués aquesta nit, em quedaria a casa). The meaning is: It is sunny now, so it is not probable that it rains, but there is a possibility.

Communication

In this section, we are going to study three common communicative situations: suggestions (Cat. suggeriments), advice (Cat. consells) and requests (Cat. requeriments, peticions, demandes). Suggestions and advice are very similar and we can generally use them in the same situations. The speaker can be included in a suggestion we), for example, when you suggest doing something with other people; however, a piece of advice is always addressed to a second person (you). A request is a little different. In a request you ask other people to take specific actions.

We may need to use these three communicative tools in our daily and working lives because they are very common, so we should learn when and especially how to use them.

Making suggestions

Here are some ways of making and responding to suggestions

Making suggestions

There are different ways of making suggestions. They are all valid, but sometimes we may need to use a specific one rather than another. Here is a list of the verbs and expressions used to make suggestions, with their corresponding syntactical structures:

1) Suggest (Cat. suggerir). This verb has three different syntactical structures:

  • SUGGEST + VERB in -ING: I suggest speaking in English (Cat. suggereixo parlar en anglès).
  • SUGGEST + THAT-CLAUSE: I suggest that we speak in English (Cat. suggereixo que parlem en anglès).
  • SUGGEST + NOUN: I suggest a Japanese restaurant (Cat. suggereixo un restaurant japonès).

suggest with indirect object

If you want to indicate the person whom the suggestion is addressed, you must use the structure to + object pronoun or the that-clause, and not the object pronoun. For example:

  • I suggest a Japanese restaurant to you (Incorrect: I suggest you a Japanese restaurant)
  • I suggest that you speak in English (Incorrect: I suggest you to speak in English)

2) Recommend (Cat. recomanar). We can use this verb in four ways:

  • RECOMMEND + VERB IN -ING: The doctors recommend walking one hour every day (Cat. Els metges recomanen caminar una hora cada dia).
  • RECOMMEND + INDIRECT OBJECT + TO + INFINITIVE: I recommend you to go home (Cat. Et recomano que vagis a casa).
  • RECOMMEND + THAT-CLAUSE: I recommend that you speak in English (Cat. Et recomano que intentis parlar en anglès).
  • RECOMMEND + NOUN: She recommended a private teacher (Cat. Ella va recomanar un professor particular).

3) Let’s:

  • LET’S + VERB (in the base form): let’s speak in English! (Cat. anem a parlar en anglès!).

The form let’s (=let us) is always written in the contracted form. It is used informally to make a suggestion the includes the speaker + one or more people.

4) What about…?:

  • WHAT ABOUT + VERB in -ING…?: what about speaking in English? (Cat. què tal si parlem en anglès?).

5) Why don’t you/we…?:

  • WHY DON’T YOU/WE + VERB (in the base form)…?: why dont we speak in English? (Cat: per què no parlem en anglès?).

6) You/We can…:

  • YOU/WE CAN + VERB (in the base form): you can speak in English (Cat. pots parlar en anglès).

7) You/We could…:

  • YOU/WE COULD + VERB (in the base form): you could speak in English (Cat. podries parlar en anglès).

Responding to suggestions

We can respond to suggestions in different ways, which usually depend on whether we agree or disagree with the suggestion.

The following table shows different ways of responding to a suggestion.

I'm afraid ...

If we disagree with a suggestion, we should use this expression. It is used to soften the negative idea and show that you are not angry.

Taula: Responding to suggestions
To agree To disagree
Yes, we could do that I’m afraid it’s not a good idea
Yes, that’s a good idea I’m afraid we can’t do that
Ok, let’s do that I’d rather not
Yes, why not? No, we can’t do that, I’m afraid
Ok, that’s great! No, we shouldn’t do that

When you disagree with a suggestion, the social etiquette requires to explain the reason of your disagreement:

  • A: Why don’t we go to a restaurant?
  • B: No, we can’t do that. We have no time and no money.

Giving advice

As when making suggestions, we can give other people advice with a variety of verbs and expressions.

Giving advice

The noun ‘advice’ is uncountable in English. This means that it has no plural form and we cannot say the indeterminate article ‘an’ or the numeral ‘one’. It’s wrong to say: I’ll give you an advice. We must say: I’ll give you advice, I’ll give you some advice or I’ll give you a piece or advice.

The verb “advise” (Cat. aconsellar, donar consell). There are two different syntactical structures with this verb:

  • ADVISE + GERUND
  • ADVISE + INDIRECT OBJECT + TO + INFINITIVE

There is a difference in spelling between the noun (advice) (Cat. consell) and the verb (advise) (Cat. aconsellar). The pronunciation is also different: -c- sounds like /s/ and -s- sounds like /z/. See Annex ‘Phonetic Alphabet’ for a description of the sounds /s/ and /z/.

Examples:

  • He advised getting up earlier (Cat. Va aconsellar llevar-se més d’hora).
  • We advise you to see a doctor (Cat. T’aconsellem que vagis al metge).

Should. The modal verb ‘should’ is the most common way of giving advice in English. The correct structure is:

  • SHOULD + INFINITIVE (without ‘to’)

Examples:

  • You should work hard (Cat. Hauries de treballar molt).
  • You should save money (Cat. Hauries d’estalviar diners).
  • He should go back to school (Cat. Ell hauria de tornar a estudiar).

When we use ‘should’ to give advice, it is very common to add: I think (that) …:

  • I think that you should work hard (Cat. Crec que hauries de treballar molt).

Had better. The expression ‘had better’ is used when we want to give advice in a stronger way. The structure of this type of sentence is:

  • HAD BETTER (NOT) + INFINITIVE

Examples:

  • You had better work harder (Cat. És millor que treballis molt).
  • We had better go (Cat. El millor és que marxem).
  • He had better speak (Cat. El millor és que ell parli).

This expression is mostly used in informal spoken English, where ‘had’ is often contracted or is omitted:

  • You’d better work harder or You better work harder
  • We’d better go or We better go

‘If I were you, …‘. This is a second conditional clause, so the correct structure is:

  • IF I WERE YOU, + I + WOULD + INFINITIVE

Examples:

  • If I were you, I would work hard (Cat. Si jo estigués en el teu lloc, treballaria molt).
  • If I were you, I would save money (Cat. Jo, en el teu lloc, estalviaria diners).

Responding to advice

When responding to advice, we can decide to take the advice or we can reject it. In both cases, it is customary to thank the other person for his/her advice. If we decide to reject it, we should add some type of ‘excuse’. Here is a short list of possible ways of responding to advice:

Taula: Responding to advice
To accept To reject
Thank you, I’ll do that I’d rather not do that. Thanks anyway
Good idea! Thank you Thank you. but I’m afraid I can’t do that
Excellent! Thanks for your advice Oh, no. That’s not possible, I’m afraid

Here is an example of how to reject a piece of advice appropriately:

  • A: If you want to improve your English, you should go to England
  • B: Thank you, but I’m afraid I can’t do that. Going to England is too expensive for me right now

Making requests

A request is very much like an order or command. In fact, an order is the strongest way of making a request. We make requests with a variety of modal verbs. Their choice depends on the degree of formality.

Making requests

In all these sentences, we make the same request (to open the window), but we use an increasing degree of formality:

  1. Open the window! (Cat: Obre la finestra!)
  2. Can you open the window? (Cat: Pots obrir la finestra [si us plau]?)
  3. Could you open the window? (Cat: Podries obrir la finestra [si us plau]?)
  4. Will you open the window? (Cat: Obriràs la finestra [si us plau]?)
  5. Would you open the window? (Cat: Obriries la finestra [si us plau]?)
  6. Do you mind opening the window? (Cat: T’importa obrir la finestra [si us plau]?)
  7. Would you mind opening the window? (Cat: T’importaria obrir la finestra [si us plau]?)

Notes:

  • Example 1 is made with the imperative form (open!). This is actually an order.
  • Most of the sentences are made with a modal verb (can, could, will and would). This means that the verb must go in infinitive (open)(examples 2-5).
  • The verb mind is always followed by a gerund (opening) (examples 6 and 7).
  • Very often, we add the word please to soften a request.
  • All the examples, except 1, take the form of a question. In writing, we must not forget to write the question mark (?) at the end.

The position of please

If we use the word please to soften our request, we can place it in different positions. Here are examples with the most common positions of the word please:

  • Please, open the window! or Open the window, please!
  • Can you please open the window? or Can you open the window please?

Responding to requests

There are different ways of responding to requests. Here are some examples:

  • Accepting the request:
  • Yes, of course
  • Ok, no problem
  • Yes, of course I (can) (the modal verb in the reply must be the same as that in the request)
  • Of course I don’t mind
  • Certainly
  • Sure
  • Rejecting the request:
  • I’m sorry, but I can’t (I’m on the phone right now)
  • I’m afraid I can’t (it’s too cold in here)

As when responding to a suggestion or a piece of advice, we should explain why we reject a request by giving some ‘excuse’.

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