Talking about previous Jobs

If it’s your first time applying for a job in an English speaking country, you may have never talked about your previous work experience in English.  Also, when writing your CV in English, you have to make sure you write the job roles you did in the past in proper English.

In this blogpost we’ll look at vocabulary you can use to talk about your previous work experience, why you liked or didn’t like your job, the roles you did, reasons for leaving and vocabulary specific to hospitality.

1. Talking about past work experience

You will most definitely be asked to talk about your past work experience.

Here are a list of phrases you could use when talking about previous jobs.

  • I graduated from University in 2012
  • I have a degree/qualification in Marketing and Finance
  • I started my first job when I was 17.
  • The job was very rewarding/challenging/exciting/interesting because ………………
  • In my last job ………
  • I learned a lot of valuable skills there, such as ……………..

2. Reasons you liked the job

Generally, it is better to speak positively about your past work experience. Here is a list of such phrases you could use to say what you liked about your previous jobs:

  • I loved my workmates, we were a great team.
  • My work was always supported.
  • We always supported one another.
  • My managers were really good to me.
  • My job challenged me on a daily basis.
  • I always enjoyed coming into work, it was like a second home to me.
  • I was always recognised for the work I did.
  • I learnt something new every day, there was never a dull moment.
  • The salary was quite good.
  • I was able to use my skills and knowledge every day.

Which of these could you use to speak about your previous jobs?

Jop Shop Talking About Jobs

3. Reasons for leaving

In some job interviews, you may be asked why you left your previous job. We recommend that you try not be negative about this and give good clear answers about why you left.

Reasons could include:

  • I moved country.
  • I didn’t feel the job was challenging enough.
  • There was no possibility of getting promoted.
  • The company closed down and I was made redundant.
  • I needed to further my career and learn new skills.
  • I wanted to do something more related to my studies.
  • They reduced my hours so I needed to find more work.
  • It was only a three month contract.

Have you ever left a job for any of these reasons?

4. Job roles

In job interviews, or even when you write your CV, you will need to speak about the specific job roles you did. Here is a list of the typical job roles that you could do:

  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Handle cash
  • Cash up at the end of the night
  • Maintain a clean and hygienic environment
  • Keep the files organised
  • Liaise with different departments
  • Wait tables
  • Data entry
  • Send and receive bills and invoices
  • Counting and refilling stock
  • Training new staff
  • Front of house
  • Mixing cocktails
  • Dealing with complaints in a friendly and efficient manner.

Which of the above would you relate to hospitality jobs and which could you relate to work in an office environment?

If you need extra advice when preparing for job interviews, why not come along to our Job Shop sessions. To help our students find a job in Dublin, we run these Job Shop sessions every Monday afternoon from 1.30pm to3.30pm or on Tuesday evenings from 5:15pm to 6:15pm. They focus on the skills you’ll need and the things you can do to get a job.

Contact us and we can help you improve your general English skills for better chances of getting a job while also focusing on the skills required to find a job in Dublin.

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