To find the right job and to succeed in our career, we need various sets of skills, some of which are specific to the career that we choose and some useful to us whatever career we choose. The technical and professional skills sets that are needed in our career may vary depending on the work we do, our clients, the location where we are working, the requirements of our job, the level and hierarchy at which we work. They are career specific, each career demands a different set of them. But communication and language skills are fairly common to all careers. So it is crucial for us to learn them as they are going to be helpful to us irrespective of the career we choose.
To have a successful career, we must build strong communication and language skills apart from the analytical, interpersonal, professional and technical skills. The scope of this presentation is limited to a discussion of the first two – communication skills and English language skills. Communication skills are language neutral and refer to our ability to communicate our ideas confidently, correctly and fluently. English language skills refer to our ability to use – listen, speak, read and write – English language or all our career needs. Let us discuss some useful tips to develop these skills in the remaining slides.
It is most crucial to have excellent mastery over English for all career related communication skills. English is spoken all over the world by a very large number of people. It is the mother tongue in USA, England and Australia; the primary medium of communication in countries such as India and Singapore; and a popular medium of communication in many geographies, cultures and for peoples. English today meets most professional, educational, travel and business needs.
There is hardly any area today where you don’t need English. Starting from the top positions in MNCs to the jobs at the bottom rung – like sales boys and girls to even the clerical and menial jobs, you need English. What you see in the slide is a list of industries where thousands of jobs are waiting for you. Many of them are looking for just one eligibility qualification more than anything else – your English communication skills. You need a thorough command over English even if you are postponing your career search to a later date and are interested in pursuing university education or research.
Your knowledge of English and your ability to communicate effectively in English decide how far will your career take you. If you don’t know English, your career confines you to your village or maybe a few places around, offers you limited opportunity, and gets you a humble job at a low pay. On the contrary, if your English is good, you have the entire world in front of you with unlimited opportunities for big jobs and attractive pay packets. So your English language skills decide your career. It is a well known fact that anyone who has a good command over English language has more job opportunities today. It may not be an exaggeration to say that those who have not improved their English have found it nearly impossible to find a job. English not only opens up more opportunities for better jobs, but also very often earns you higher salary and gives you greater power and authority. After entering into a job too, your opportunities continue to grow and help you change roles at appropriate times.
Define your learning objectives early: What do you want to learn and why?
Vocabulary is the words necessary to effectively communicate your ideas, thoughts and experiences. Research has established that people capable of using words effectively are smarter, more competent and more successful than those who cannot. The slide lists a few words that describe movement. Using the right word for the right need at the right time is what is to be mastered.
Intelligibility vs Grammaticality Fluency vs Accuracy Clarity vs Precision
Develop good social skills to impress people you meet and avoid sounding rude. Use generously - Please, thank you, excuse me and I'm sorry: Not using these social lubricants will make you sound rude. Please = use whenever you are seeking a favor and making a request. Can you pass me the salt, please? Can you translate this passage for me, please? Please is not used in imperative forms except when giving directions. "Take the local train to Secunderabad and get off at Vidyanagar", but don’t say to someone "Pass me that newspaper". Thank you = use whenever someone does you a favor, or gives you something. Excuse me = use when you want to make a request, or if you want to catch somebody’s attention. Excuse me, can you guide me to the hospital, please? Excuse me, is this the right platform for the Nizamabad train? I'm sorry = use whenever you inconvenience someone or when you can't do a favor requested. I'm sorry, I think I haven’t made it clear. The post office is on your right side when you are going this way? Is Mr Kumar in the office? I'm sorry, he's not there right now. Ask permission before doing something that may inconvenience others Do you mind if I open the window? Do you mind if I take the chair?
Write your resume in your own words and write wisely because your answers at the interview are likely to be matched with what you have written in your resume. Use appropriate and powerful action verbs to describe your qualifications, accomplishments and experience. Action Verbs: administered, analyzed, adapted, interpreted, publicized, trained, tabulated, etc. For instance, instead of talking about your duties and responsibilities, talk about your achievements. Watch your grammar. Inaccurate punctuation marks, incorrect capitalization , misspelling a word or poor word choice may deny you a job. Avoid mistakes such as “Seeking a party time position in your company,” “I enjoy cooking Chinese.” Spend some time to fix your resume up and make it look professional and to present a nice, clean, concise resume.
Your cover letter is a supplement to your resume. It should be top notch.
Make it brief and relevant. Don’t use the same stereo cover letter with every job application. Customize it to the job requirements. Take special care about spelling and grammar. Even small mistakes can cost you jobs. Using ‘it’s’ for ‘Its’ or ‘than’ for ‘then’ may be small mistakes, but they could prove very expensive to you. “ I would like to apply for the teacher” vs “I would like to apply for the position of teacher”. ‘ Thanks you for the consideration’ is enough to assess your language skills. “ I am certain” and “I am positive that I can” are positive language. “I feel” and “I think” are negative. Endeavored, attempted, tried are weak verbs. Spellcheck does not correct mistakes such as “I have all the right qualities to make an excellent manger.”
The self-introduction exam lasts about 4-5 minutes and gives the interviewer a chance to find out a little about you through some simple 'getting-to-know-you' questions. You will have something to talk about such as your family, your interests and where you come from. This is your opportunity to get off to a good start!
As a part of your recruitment, you may have to present yourself either before one person or panel of interviewers.
In the process of your job searching, it's important to be prepared for a phone interview, sometimes with hardly any prior notice. Be prepared and learn how to pull off your phone interview without a hitch. A job interview gives you a chance to shine and prove that you are a good fit for it. What you say and what you do is going to either move you to the next round of consideration for employment or knock you out.
The first set of questions usually are about you.
How would you describe yourself? Your answer should show the interviewer why you are a good match for the job. For instance, you are a problem solver, creative thinker, people’s person, perfectionist, well organized etc. Give supporting arguments. What is your biggest achievement? Give an example of something you accomplished that is directly related to the job. What is your greatest weakness? Try to turn a negative into a positive. What is your greatest strength? Discuss attributes that will qualify you for the job. What motivates you? Share your enthusiasm and what you like best about your job. Why should we hire you? Give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job.
The interviewer may next move on to questions relating to your education and qualifications.
Describe your personal experience and background. Narrate your experience and convince why it is your most memorable. Who was your best teacher? Substantiate what you say. List a few activities and talk about one in detail.
Then there will be a few questions about your goals.
Don't discuss your goals for further studies or having a family, they are non-relevant and could knock you out of contention for the job. “ I see myself as a top performing employee in a well-established organization, like yours. I plan to further enhance my skills and move up into a managerial position.” How much salary are you expecting? Be realistic and reasonable. Find out how much the job and you are worth. Say the expectation is open based upon the position and the overall compensation package. Or tell the employer you would like to know more about the responsibilities prior to discuss salary. Or you may suggest a salary range based upon your research.
You may also be given an opportunity to ask a few questions seeking information about the employer.
Why do you want this job? I want this job because it seems tailored to my competencies. What can you contribute? Give examples of how your education, skills, accomplishments, and experience will make you an asset for the employer. Are you willing to travel/ relocate? Be honest. There is nothing wrong in asking how much travel is involved. Are you willing to work late hours? Be honest.
As a part of your recruitment process, you may have to go through a group discussion.