ESL Job Interview Vocabulary

English Job Seeking Words

Job Opening
Listen to the phrase »

A position with an employer that is vacant. The employeer is actively looking to hire someone for this job.

“Do you know of any job openings in your company? I need a job!”

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Resume
Listen to the phrase »

This is a document that lists all of your work experience. Employers will want to see this before they give you an interview.

“My resume is full of jobs in sales that I’ve had.”

Cover Letter
»

A letter that you include with your resume that explains what job you want and why you are qualified for it.

“In my cover letter I explained that I was born for this job.”

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Thank You Letter
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This is a letter you send to a person who interviewed you for a position. In this letter you thank him for his time.

“Make sure you send a nice thank you letter. Employers like this.”

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References
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A list of former employers or contacts that a potential employer can call to inquire about your work performance.

“Since I have never had a job, I have no references. What am I going to do?”

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Background Check
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Employers will research your past and see how you have done at other jobs before they hire you. They will call your references and check your criminal history. This is a background check.

“We were going to hire him until we completed the background check. This guy had stolen money from three different companies and had gone to jail twice.”

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Overqualified
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If a job applicant has more experience and skills than the position requires he is said to be overqualified. Employers don’t like to hire people like this because they usually leave the company for something better.

“John was the CEO of a major company for years. Now that he is having to find a new job, he is realizing that he is overqualified for many positions.”

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Relative Experience
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A potential employer may ask if you have any experience in the past doing what the new position requires. This is relative experience.

“I listed my job as a car salesman as relative experience for the software sale job I am applying for. Both jobs involve working with customers and selling a product”

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On the Job Experience
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Actual real llife work experience doing a specific kind of work. Many job applicants are right out of college and have never worked in the field they are trying to get into. They have no “on the job” experience.

“Some people take low paying jobs just to get the valuable on the job experience.”

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Career Fair
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This is an event that colleges or towns put on to let employers meet potential employees. Different companies will set up an information booth and send a representative to talk to the people who are looking for jobs.

“Sam brought his resume to the career fair, but he was too scared to talk to anyone. What a waste of time!”

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Cold Call
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This is when a job seeker calls an employer that he doesn’t know to seek employment. This job seeker calls about a job even though there has not been an announcement about a job opening.

“I made a few cold calls to some accounting firms in my town. My goal was to see if there were any openings for accountants fresh out of school. It didn’t go well. Most offices politely said they weren’t looking for anybody.”

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Want Ads
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A section of the newspaper that employers use to advertise job openings.

“My first step in the job seeking process was to check the want ads.”

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Networking
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The act of contacting and communicating with people in your career field. Letting people know that you are looking for a job. One does this hoping that one day one of your contacts will call you about a job opening.

“Sara has spent the last week networking with local sales people. She hopes that one of these contacts will help her find a job.”

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Job Lead
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Information that one receives about a potential job opening.

“The career counselor in our college always has a few job leads for students who are in accounting. Local firms call her everyday.”

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To Put Your Feelers Out
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To actively look for potential job openings by communicating with other people and finding out about companies that are looking to hire.

His brother is really unhappy with his current job. He hasn’t quit yet, but he has his feelers out to see what other jobs are out there.”

  • Conversation Exercise for Job Interview Vocabulary
  • Script for Job Interview Conversation
  • Job Interview Vocabulary Listening Exercise
  • Job Interview Reading Activity
  • Job Interview Vocabulary Fill in the Blanks
  • Job Interview Matching Worksheet