Business English / Деловой английский язык
Appointments and applications
Industrias Montresor is a company based in Zaragoza, in northern Spain. It manufactures heavy machinery for the chemical industry. Every department in Montresor uses computers, and as the organisation grows, the computer systems grow with it. Montresor now decides that it needs a Divisional Software Engineering Manager. This lesson is about finding the right person for this job.
You may also be interested in "Getting a job" lesson by lion Leo (click on him for details)
|Joe Andrews||is Staff Controller at Industrias Montresor, Zaragoza, Spain. He is American.|
|Pilar Soto||is Data Manager at Industrias Montresor. She is Spanish.|
|Carlos Vila||is Senior Software Development Engineer at Topdown Software, Consett, County Durham, England. He is Spanish.|
|Helen Tomlinson||is Manager of the Industrial Clients Department at Topdown Software. She is Carlos Vila's manager. She is British.|
|Vocabulary||Job descriptions; job advertisements.|
|Skills||Making a telephone call; writing a business letter; applying for a job; asking for and giving a reference.|
|Documents||A job description; a job advertisement; a comparison chart; a c.v.; a letter of application; a reference request; a reference.|
Describing the job - drafting the advertisement
3.1 Speaking practice: returning a call
Joe Andrews is Staff Controller at Industrias Montresor in Spain. Pilar Soto calls him on the telephone. Listen to what they say. When you hear it the second time, there will be pauses. You speak the part of Pilar Soto.
|JOE||Extension 7385: Joe Andrews speaking.|
|PILAR||Good morning, Joe. It's Pilar Soto. I'm returning your call.|
|JOE||Oh, hello, Pilar. That's right, there was something I wanted to ask you about. That new software engineering post.|
|PILAR||Yes, indeed. We need to appoint someone pretty soon.|
|JOE||Right. Do you want to come and have a chat aboutthe job description?|
|PILAR||Well, I've jotted downa few ideas. I'll tidy them up and get them typed and you can have a look at them.|
3.2 Document study
Pilar Soto is Data Manager at Industrias Montresor. This is what her notes looked like when they had been typed. Notice how careful she is to say exactly what the new employee will have to do.
3.3 Listen and read
Joe Andrews and Pilar Soto meet to discuss the qualifications and experience they are looking for in the new software manager. Listen to what they say. Make notes of what they want, under the headings 'essential' and 'desirable'. You will need these notes for 3.7.
|JOE||Come in, Pilar - take a seat, won't you?Thanks for your draft of the job description - it looks OK to me - what we need to do now is to draft the advertisement.|
|PILAR||Yes. That's more your line, of course. But I can tell you something about the qualifications we'll be looking for.|
|PILAR||Well, to start with, a degree in computing - preferably a postgraduate qualification- plus at least three years' experience.|
|JOE||Mhm. Need that be in the chemical industry?|
|PILAR||We can't afford to be that specific. We just need a good software engineer.|
|JOE||Right. How old should he be?|
|PILAR||Joe, it needn't be a 'he'.|
|JOE||Sorry! What's the top age limit?|
|PILAR||Just say 'the successful applicant is likely to be under thirty-five'.|
|JOE||And they must be fluent in English, I suppose.|
|PILAR||Oh yes, that's essential, because whoever gets the job, their first assignment is going to be a training course in Japan.|
3.4 Document study
This is the advertisement that appeared in several daily newspapers and specialist journals. Which of the items discussed by Joe Andrews and Pilar Soto (in 3.3) appear in the advertisement?
3.5 Reading for key words
Find the words or phrases in 3.1-3.4 that tell you the following:
|1||Joe and Pilar have already discussed the software engineering post.
|2||There is a risk of computer programs being stolen or deliberately damaged.
|3||It may be difficult to find someone who is exactly suitable for the job.
|4||Industrias Montresor operates in several countries, and is getting bigger.
|5||The company needs a software engineer who is also a good leader.
|6||Whoever gets this job can expect to be promoted quickly.
3.6 Find the word
Read the text below on recruitment. Fill the gaps with words from the box. If you're not sure of the meaning of any of the words, you will find them in the glossary.
|Most companies recruit new staff by advertising in the press. Pages with job (a) are usually headed (b) ''. They contain descriptions or specifications of the sort of people the advertiser is looking for. (c) (degrees, diplomas, certificates) are obviously important, but (d) may count for much more. The aim is to attract a small number of well-qualified applicants, so that it is fairly easy to make a short list of the people you actually want to (e) . If the advertisement is not specific enough, hundreds of people will send in their (f) ; but if it demands too much, they may be discouraged from applying at all.|
3.7 Sorting out the applicants
Joe Andrews reads hundreds of applications each year. He has a printed form which he and Pilar use to help them choose who to interview. Write the qualifications and experience they are looking for, first the most important, then the less important. The notes you made for 3.3 will be useful here. Save it somewhere for further comparison in the next lesson.
Putting in your application
3.8 Structure practice: writing and speaking dates
You will see and hear a lot of dates on these pages. Listen to the dates below being spoken and then practise saying them.
1 March 1988 'the first of March nineteen eighty-eight'
17 November 1990 'the seventeenth of November nineteen ninety'
2 June 1995 'the second of June nineteen ninety-five'
You could also say:
'March the first', 'November the seventeenth', 'June the second'
In America, and sometimes in Britain, dates are written like this, with the month first: November 17 1990; June 2 1995. Be careful! Dates are sometimes written in number form only: 3.7.90. In Britain this would mean 'the third of July nineteen ninety'; in America, and on many computers, it would mean 'the seventh of March nineteen ninety'.
3.9 Listen and read
Carlos Vila is a Spanish computer programmer working in Britain. He saw the Industrias Montresor advertisement after the closing date, but he thought he would telephone Joe Andrews anyway. Listen to what they say. Is Carlos too late?
|JOE||Joe Andrews speaking.|
|CARLOS||Good morning. My name is Carlos Vila. I've just seen an advertisement in the 'International Herald Tribune'. It said you were looking for a Divisional Software Engineering Manager. I'm very interested, but I wonder if it's too late to apply.|
|JOE||Well, the deadlinewas two days ago, but give me some details about yourself. What did you say your name was?|
|CARLOS||Vila - Carlos Vila Monterde.|
|JOE||Could you spell that, please - surname first.|
|CARLOS||Vila, V-I-L-A. Monterde, M-O-N, T-E-R-D-E. First name, Carlos, C-A-R, L-O-S.|
3.10 Speaking practice: talking about yourself
Joe and Carlos continue their conversation. Joe's part of the conversation is printed below. Listen to what they say, then listen again and speak the part of Carlos. To help you, the information that Carlos gives is printed on his c.v. in 3.11.
OK, Mr Vila. Now, can we have your date of birth?
And what about your education? - secondary education, I mean.
Uh-huh. What qualification did you get when you finished school?
I see. Where did you go then?
Yes, I suppose everyone has to, don't they? What about further education?
And that led to - a degree?
And when you finished that, you started work?
Oh, so it's Doctor Vila, is it? What year did you finish your PhD?
Did you? But then, I suppose, you started work. What company did you go to first?
What post did you hold?
OK. What other companies have you worked for?
Mm, interesting. I think we'd certainly like to have your c.v., Dr Vila. As time is short, why don't you fax it to us today or tomorrow? I'll put your name on our list of applicants.
3.11 Document study: writing your c.v.-1
3.12 Structure practice: prepositions of time
The most common prepositions of time are 'in', 'from' and 'for':
in 1984 — in March 1993
from 1976 — from April to June — from 14 December
for three years
Re-read the dialogues and documents in this lesson, then answer the questions below, using 'in', 'from' or 'for'. Use the information from Carlos's c.v. in your answers. There are many possible answers; the answer key gives one typical answer for each question.
|1||How long have you been working for Topdown Systems?
|2||When were you in Italy?
|3||I see that you did military service. When was that?
|4||Have you travelled much?
|5||You've lived in Zaragoza before, haven't you?
|6||When did you live in Santander?
|7||How long were you in Paris?
|8||When were you at university?
3.13 Listen and read
Before he wrote the letter to Industrias Montresor, Carlos wanted to speak to his manager at Topdown Systems, Helen Tomlinson. Listen to what they say. What words do they use to show that the conversation is private?
|CARLOS||Helen, could I have a quick word with you?|
|HELEN||Sure! Come into my office. Have a seat.|
|CARLOS||There was something that I wanted to ask you about. I don't want to say anything about this officially yet- this is just between you and me — but...|
|HELEN||But you think it's time you moved on and you're applying tor another job.|
|CARLOS||Well, yes. How did you know? Anyway, could I ask you a favour? Can I give your name as a referee?|
|HELEN||Of course you may. Are you applying for a particular job, or are you just looking generally?|
|CARLOS||Oh no! It's a chemical machinery corporation which operates in several countries, including Spain. They want a software engineering manager, someone to build up a new team. They’re sending me full particulars.I'll photocopy them for you.|
|HELEN||There’s no need. They’ll send me a copy anyway if they ask for a reference. OK, Carlos, thanks for telling me. You'll let me know what happens, won't you?|
|CARLOS||If anything does! Actually, I’ve spoken to them on the phone. They sound quite interested.|
|HELEN||Well, I wish you luck. I promise I won't mention it to anyone else unless you're called for interview.|
3.14 Reading for key words
Find the words or phrases in 3.13 that tell you the following:
- Carlos doesn't want people to know that he is looking for another job.
- Helen has already guessed that he is looking for another job.
- She wants to end the conversation.
- He thinks that he won’t get the job.
- But he also thinks that he might get the job.
3.15 Letter layout
Business letters are usually quite formal. The different parts of a business letter are listed below. Look again at Carlos's letter to Industrias Montresor (click to show). Which items has he not used?
- the writer's signature.
- the subject of the letter.
- the writer's name.
- the company letterhead (that is the company's name and address).
- the signature block.
- the farewell.
- the date.
- the greeting.
- the name and address of the recipient.
- the writer's job title.
- the company logo.
3.16 Document study
A day or two later, Helen receives a reference request from the Staff Controller of Industrias Montresor. This is her reply. Each of the parts has a label. For each label (a-k) write the number of one of the parts of a business letter listed in 3.15.
This is the original task. Unfortunately, the page from the original source is missing. Just study the document with promptsto it.
3.17 Writing practice: a formal letter
After reading Helen's letter carefully, you should be able to work out what Joe Andrews wrote in his letter to her. It was quite short, but it asked for all the information that Helen gave in her letter. Write Joe Andrews's letter. The beginning is shown below.