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Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

May 29, 2017

With CISL’s Career English program, students spend time with an American company and practice their English in a real working environment. Before spending time with their host company, students work with the Career English Coordinator to improve their interview skills and to create their American-style resume. Students quickly find that the American resume is very different from the format used in their home country! One of the most difficult aspects of creating a resume is vocabulary. This useful vocabulary for creating a resume will help students write a resume that reflects the vast vocabulary of the English language.

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

It is common to use words such as make, do, improve, or get on resumes. However, these words are too common and are seen as “weak” words: there are other stronger verbs in the English language that much more effectively express what you did at your last job. Try using some of the words below instead. In the parentheses, you will see the words or concepts that are commonly used with these power verbs. Some of the words are applicable for more than one category, so they may appear twice.

Instead of MADE or DO, say:

  • Acted as (an employee with a title)
  • Conducted (research, studies)
  • Coordinated (events. meetings, groups, activities)
  • Developed (ideas, projects)
  • Delivered (results)
  • Designed (projects, spaces, events, graphics)
  • Devoted (yourself to a cause, devoted time to something important)
  • Gathered (information, ideas, objects)
  • Participated in (events, conferences, meetings, projects)
  • Performed (tasks, duties, responsibilities)

Instead of THINK/RESEARCH, say:

  • Analyzed (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Evaluated (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Examined  (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Defined (target markets, audiences)
  • Developed (research studies, ideas, projects)
  • Observed  (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Recommended (actions based on professional experience or research)

 Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

Instead of GOT/RECEIVED, say:

  • Achieved (a goal)
  • Accomplished  (a goal)
  • Earned (a new job title, an award, money)
  • Fulfilled (a goal)
  • Gathered (data, information)
  • Obtained (data, information)
  • Received (data, information, objects)

Instead of HELPED or IMPROVED, say:

  • Advanced (an industry, a cause, an idea)
  • Assisted with/in (a job, tasks, duties)
  • Contributed to  (an industry, a cause, an idea)
  • Contributed by + ing (an action you took to improve this cause)
  • Consulted (a company, a person)
  • Encouraged (growth through action, a company, a person)
  • Enhanced (growth through action, a company, a person)
  • Generated  (revenue, sales, internet traffic, acclaim)
  • Gained (revenue, sales, internet traffic, acclaim)
  • Identified (a problem, a market, an audience)
  • Maximized (profits, efficiency, sales)
  • Modernized (an industry, a system, an organization)
  • Strengthened (an industry, a system, an organization)
  • Upgraded (technology, software)

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

For ACTIONS you took (organizing, managing), say:

  • Delegated (responsibilities, tasks, duties)
  • Diversified (a company’s portfolio)
  • Facilitated (meetings, changes)
  • Formulated (ideas, projects, change)
  • Headed (a project)
  • Hosted (a conference, a meeting)
  • Implemented (change)
  • Influenced (a person or company to change)
  • Launched (a project, advertising campaign)
  • Managed (people, a company, a project)
  • Mediated (issues between people, departments, or companies)
  • Negotiated (agreements and transactions between people, departments, or companies)
  • Operated (machinery, computer programs, production)
  • Organized (meetings, plans)
  • Overhauled (change in a company)
  • Oversaw (a project or company)
  • Pioneered (a new idea)
  • Planned (an event, a project)
  • Prepared (a presentation, a proposal, anything to be presented or given to the public or co-workers or clients)
  • Presented (ideas, findings, proposals)
  • Promoted (ideas, companies)
  • Provided (support, professional help)
  • Pursued (a goal or new project)
  • Redesigned or Re-engineered or Restructured (a way of doing things, a system)
  • Reorganized (a way of doing things, a system)
  • Represented (a company, an organization, a team, a department)
  • Spearheaded (a project)
  • Trained (a person or a team)
  • Unified (a group, departments, companies)
  • Utilized (resources, tools)

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

Would you like to learn more about what it is like to spend time with an American company through CISL’s Career English program? Read about some of the experiences of former students!

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Career English Student Success: Hyebin’s Talent Scout and Marketing Experience!

May 5, 2017

CISL’s Career English program allows international students to master English skills and then spend time with an American company. Our student Hyebin recently completed the Career English course by spending time with Gaslamp Event Management, a marketing company that also is a talent management company for models. Hyebin provided us with some information about her experience with the Career English program and her time with GEM.

Hyebin remembers the interviews before her placement. “I had two interviews. One was for B Green Foods and the other was for GEM.” She says that she “searched about the companies in advance,” but of course she was anxious! Hyebin remembers that “it was my first job interview, so I was nervous, but both were casual interviews, so it was comfortable for me.”

In the end, Hyebin’s chose Gaslamp Event Management, a company located downtown just five minutes from the CISL campus.

What did she do each day? “At first, I made tickets which were for Saint Patrick’s Day. After preparing tickets for 1 week, I sold them on Saint Patrick’s Day. There was a booth in front of a bar, so it was good for meeting a lot of customers.”

What an awesome opportunity to speak English with native English speakers!

Hyebin’s responsibilities also included working with models. “My CE placement was also a model agency, so I was a talent scout & manager. Every day, I received a lot of application letters and I invited them to our interview. In addition, I was in charge of Downtown Dolls’ social media marketing.” She states that “experiencing many tasks was good for me. As I mentioned, I was a talent scout & manager, so I had to respond to application letters so it was good for improving my writing skills . . . I managed Downtown Dolls’ official website and social media sites. I could do a real social media marketing.”

When looking back on her experience, Hyebin is very pleased. “My boss and colleagues were friendly. I was the only one who couldn’t speak English fluently. Every time when I didn’t understand what they were saying to me, they told me again and helped me. They encouraged me and I could work happily. I was satisfied with my CE program.”

Would Hyebin recommend this program to others? Absolutely! She says “I would recommend CISL’s Career English program to potential students who want to experience real tasks at a company. You can learn English and experience many things and meet nice people. It will definitely be worth it.”

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Hyebin! We are so happy that you enjoyed your time at your company and that your English improved!

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Five Common Interview Questions for CISL Career English Students

February 16, 2017

CISL’s Career English students work closely with the Career English Coordinator to find the host company that meets their professional goals. Students also work with the Career English Coordinator to prepare for their interview, which all students must complete before being accepted to a host company. An interview? Yikes! To many, this is intimidating in their native language . . . but it’s exceptionally intimidating in English! Before going on your interview, make sure that you know how to answer these five common interview questions.

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Five common interview questions

#1: Tell me a little about yourself

What they’re looking for: This is one of the typical questions to begin an interview. The interviewer is allowing you to “break the ice”: to warm up a little, speak about yourself and your background, and maybe include some of your interests.

Tips: Don’t speak too long . . . but don’t give a short answer either! Tell the interviewer where you are from, what you are doing in California, and how long you’ve been here. You can also include a little about your academic and professional background.

Example language: It’s a good idea to learn some phrasal verbs and idioms that make your speech natural.

  • I was born in Berlin, but I grew up in Munich.
  • I’m a fourth-generation Venezuelan living in Spain.
  • I have a passion for design and I’m a huge anime fan, so I majored in Graphic Arts at college.

#2: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What they’re looking for: How well can you describe what you’re good at (and what you’re not so good at)? In most cases, the interviewer is looking for honesty when speaking about your weaknesses and humility when speaking of your strengths.

Tips: This is one of those questions that is really difficult to answer, so be sure to think of your answers before your interview . . . and be honest! Try to avoid cliche phrases like “I’m a hard worker.” This is boring and unoriginal.

Another tip? Don’t give a “weakness” that is actually a strength. This is called “humble bragging,” and it’s really annoying! An example of a humble brag is this: “I would say that one of my faults is that I’m always early. I’m always the first one to arrive at work in the morning and to arrive at every meeting. It makes everyone else feel like they’re behind me.” That’s not speaking of a fault: it’s speaking of a part of your character and trying to make yourself sound good!

Example language: Language of speculation is used here: words such “I suppose” and “X could be considered” are useful.

  • I suppose my greatest weakness is that I tend to take charge of group projects. I need to work on my teamwork a little and be more trusting of my colleagues.
  • One of my strengths is my loyalty to my co-workers and my company.

InternshipWorkBusinessOffice

#3: What was your favorite/least favorite thing about your last job?

What they’re looking for: An answer to this question helps the interviewer get a picture of your ideal workplace.

Useful tips: Don’t speak poorly about your former co-workers or boss, but be honest.

Example language:

  • I loved my old job, but I was unhappy with the hours I worked. I would prefer a more set schedule and more weekends off.
  • The best thing about my last job was that they trained me very well. I felt very prepared on my first day.

#4: Where do you see yourself in five years?

What they’re looking for: Are you a person who has personal and professional goals and a clear vision? If so, then you can easily speak of your plans for the next few years!

Useful tips: Be clear and specific. What do you aspire to, and how will you achieve these goals?

Example language:

  • In the next five years, I definitely see myself . . .
  • I’d love to . . . . in the next few years.
  • I’ll most certainly . . .

#5: Why did you leave your last job?

What they’re looking for: Can you diplomatically explain why you chose to leave your last company? This is a skill necessary for competent and capable employees.

Useful tips: Sometimes you left for a logical reason: you moved, you got a new job offer, etc. Sometimes, it just wasn’t the right fit for you. Be honest, but don’t give too many details.

Example language:

  • I loved my old job, but I didn’t see much ability for advancement in my position.
  • I left my position because I moved here.

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#5: Do you have any questions for me?

What they’re looking for: Did you do your research about the company? This is your chance to show this!

Useful tips: Do some research ahead of time, and come to the interview prepared!

Example language:

  • I do! On your website I saw . . .
  • I certainly do. I was wondering if . . .
  • Sure! Could you please explain . . .

For more information on how to enroll in CISL’s Career English program and gain experience with an American company, contact CISL!

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Sales Vocabulary + CISL’s Career English Program

January 24, 2017

CISL is proud to offer students the Career English program, where students master business English and communication skills before spending time in an American company. Past students have experienced architecture, marketing, event planning, and even real estate through CISL!

One of the most requested areas of interest for students is sales and marketing. Do you know these common sales and marketing related terms and expressions?

WorkBusinessOfficeChartMeetingProfessionalTech

Sales and Marketing Vocabulary

Cold call

Definition: (verb, noun) to call a person or company that you do not have relations in hope of beginning a new business relationship.

Example: We estimate that 70% of our cold calls are not successful . . . but 30% are!

Example: The first time I cold called someone when I was at my host company, I was so nervous! But my English got better each time I did.

Conduct (research)

Meaning: (collocation) to do research (on the market, customers, competitors, etc.)

Example: We conducted extensive research before choosing our logo.

To close (a deal/sale)

Meaning: (verb) to finalize an agreement or sale.

Example: After closing the deal, we celebrated with a little champagne!

Meeting.Work.Business.Internship.CareerEnglish

Follow up

Meaning: (phrasal verb) to make contact with someone after a meeting.

Example: He made a follow up call to see if they were still interested in the product.

Implement

Meaning: (verb) to begin something, to put a plan into effect.

Example: They implemented their new marketing plan in January 2017.

Intern.Presentation.Present.Internship.Work.Business.Study

Innovative

Meaning: (adjective) original, advanced (ideas, plans, etc.)

Example: Her innovative marketing plan led to her promotion.

Lead

Meaning: (noun) a tip; a potential client or sale.

Example: I have three leads to look into today.

Optimize

Meaning: (verb) to make something better; reach its potential.

Example: After optimizing the website, we saw sales increase by 15%.

Money.Save.Finance.Business.Bank

Profitability

Meaning: (adjective) the ability to make money/be profitable.

Example: They were worried about the profitability of the new product, but in the end it was incredibly successful.

ROI

Meaning: (phrase, acronym) “return on investment.”

Example: The ROI on social media marketing is becoming easier to track.

Strategic

Meaning: (adjective) carefully planned; with purpose.

Example: They asked us to design a strategic sales plan . . . in two hours!

For more information on CISL’s Career English, contact the CISL Career English Coordinator.

Business English Career English CISL San Diego English for Engineers Featured Vocabulary

English for Engineers: Vocabulary for Dimensions

January 14, 2017

Tech.Study.School.Lab.Technology.Engineering

English is quickly becoming the language of engineering, which is why CISL now offers the English for Engineers program. With this program, Upper Intermediate and Advanced students learn the skills necessary to help them succeed in an English speaking Engineering environment. Among other things, students learn:

  • Language related to engineering (such as design, procedures, and processes)
  • How to express problems, solutions, and communication related to capabilities, limitations, problems, solutions, regulations, standards, etc.
  • Practice working with written instructions, drawings, and notices
  • Grammar, vocabulary, and writing and speaking skills focused on discussing quality, repairs, maintenance, technical requirements, regulations, standards, suitability and relative performance

Finally, students learn vocabulary about engineering and technology, such as dimensions, precision, and causes and effects. The CISL Blog has already looked at Five must-know English Adjectives for Engineers. Today we are taking a look at some college Engineering vocabulary regarding the dimensions of an object. Do you know all of these words?

Engineering Vocabulary: Dimensions

Area

The measurement of a surface or piece of land.

Engineering-vocabulary-dimensions-area-skateboard-parkinglot-city

Which is more difficult: calculating the area of a square parking lot . . . or skateboarding?

Breadth/width

The distance or measurement from side to side of something

Engineering-vocabulary-dimensions-river-valley-nature

The width of the river changes during different parts of the year.

Circumference

The distance around something

Engineering-vocabulary-dimensions-mathematics-circle-cone-cylinder-calculations

Which of these can you calculate the circumference of?

Depth

The distance from the top or surface to the bottom of something

Engineering-vocabulary-dimensions-ocean-deep-depth

The depth of the ocean scares many people . . . but not surfers!

Diameter

A straight line passing from side to side through the centre of a body or figure, especially a circle or sphere.

Flat

Having a level surface; without raised areas or indentation

Engineering-vocabulary-dimensions-flat-tree-nature

This flat land is perfect for playing sports, running, or biking.

Height

The measurement of someone or something from head to foot or from base to top.
Engineering-vocabulary-dimensions-height-skyscraper-city

It’s amazing to think of the height of these large skyscrapers.

Length

The measurement or extent of something from end to end; the greater of two or the greatest of three dimensions of an object.

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Radius

A straight line from the centre to the circumference of a circle or sphere.
Engineering-vocabulary-dimensions-radius-mathematics

Remember high school math?

Thickness

The distance through an object, as distinct from width or height.
Engineering-vocabulary-dimensions-book

Have you ever read a really thick book?

Volume

The amount of space that a substance or object occupies, or that is enclosed within a container.
Engineering-vocabulary-dimensions-sea-ship-sail-water-sunset-clouds

Is it possible to calculate the volume of the ocean?

For more information on CISL’s English for Engineers (and to learn more about the Career English program, where you can spend time in an American Engineering firm!) contact CISL.