C. Describing Professional Skills

Many skills are transferable: they can be transferred from one field to another. Such skills could include selling, writing and editing, speaking, organizing, supervising, managing, raising money, computer knowledge. Here follows the recommended list of skills descriptions which can be relevant for a great number of positions:

- Organizational and administrative skills.

- Proven business management skills.

- Excellent interpersonal, negotiating and persuasive abili­ties / skills.

- Developed presentational skills both in writing and orally

- Strong leadership skills.

- Ability to plan, manage, prioritize and complete assigned tasks.

- Knowledge of correspondence, file and records management.

- Knowledge of Western accounting.

- PC working experience:... (names of software programs).

- Knowledge of hardware & software market.

- Computer literacy and good typing skills.

- Fluency in English, near-fluency in French

- Excellent command of both written and spoken English.

- Good command of English and French

- Conversational English (not fluent).

- Competent in French and English

- Working knowledge of German.

- Technical literature reading skills.

- Ability to translate written documentation into English and provide interpretation.

- Ability to prepare, type, copy and distribute documents, business letters and faxes, review correspondence for correctness.

- Ability to schedule meetings, make appointments, make local and international travel arrangement.

- Ability to maintain and periodically update division’s working files.

- Driving licence.

RESUME Name: Amily Alison Biggins Address: 47 Putney Hill London SW 16 4QX Tel.: London 475 78 65 Date of birth: 15 July 1976 Age: 28 Marital status: Single Nationality: British
Objective To secure a part-time position that offers a variety of tasks, in which to use my secretarial skills and knowledge of foreign languages.
Education Dates: 1993 – 1998 College: South Themes College, London. Qualifications: Secretarial Courses; Shorthand Grade 2; Typing Grade 3. Dates: 1999 - 2000 College: Oxleigh Secretarial College, College Road, Oxleigh Qualifications: Secretarial Skills Refresher Course Shorthand (90 w.p.m.); Typing (60 w.p.m.). Book – keeping Grade One. Word-processing
Employment Dates: 2001 – to present Company: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd. Position: Secretary to the Sales Manager. Responsibilities: Taking shorthand ;typing and filing correspondence, maintaining diaries, office support, etc. Other Skills and Occupations I now work regularly as a volunteer for the Red Cross. I also have a clean driver’s license and a good knowledge of Spanish and French. My personal interests include classical literature reading, independent travel, modern jazz and swimming. References References are available on request.
CURRICULUM VITAE Name: Maria Ivanova Address: ul. Tverskaya, dom 55, kv. 134 Moscow Telephone: Home: (095) 292 52 22 Education & Training December 1991 – April 1994 Moscow State Linguistic University, Department of English Lexicology. Qualifications: Linguistic Researcher; PhD diploma was obtained in April 1994. September 1981 – June 1986 Moscow State Linguistic University, Department of German Languages. Qualifications: Higher education diploma: teacher of English and German. Employment July 1996 to present Price Water House, Translating & Interpreting Department. Position: Translator from/to English and German. Responsibilities: Interpreting, audit documents translation from/to English and German. August 1995 - July 1996 British Petroleum. Position: Translator and Administrative Assistant . Responsibilities: Translating from/to English, administrative duties performance. August 1994 – August 1995 Norton Rose. Position: Translator and interpreter. Responsibilities: Translation from/to English and German (commercial contracts ,legal documents, etc.). August 1986 – August 1994 English language teaching at the Department of English Lexicology of the Moscow State Linguistic University. Position: Tutor of English. Responsibilities: Practical English and Grammar for third year students, Stylistics. 1986 up to present Free-lance interpreter and translator at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Skills Good typing skills, strong organizational skills, ability to work under pressure, customer- oriented, good time management. Computer literacy WordPerfect, MS Word for Windows, Lotus Ami-Pro 3.1., Lotus1-2-3, e-mail, Internet user. Languages Native Russian ,professional level level of English and German. Interests Social / culturalTravelling, classical literature, world history, jazz music. Sporting Swimming, skiing. Countries visited UK, USA, Spain, Japan, Australia, New Zealand. References are available upon request.


Study the examples of a resume and a CV carefully and write a resume or a CV of your own.

The following expressions will be helpful too:

I developed; I created; I took responsibility for; I managed; I devised; I controlled; I initiated; I worked for; I negotiated.

E-mail Style

E-mail letters are less formal in style than ordinary business letters.

E-mails do not necessarily contain all the elements important for business letters. So e-mails are usually shorter and it takes less time to compile and send them. The e-mail language is much closer to spoken English than traditional business correspondence style. But the point is the e-mail sender has a free hand to choose the style and form of his message.

Information about the sender and the receiver (addressee) appears at the top in special frame – so the writer doesn’t have to use traditional greetings. Mr Black, Dear Peter, Peter are all acceptable ways of starting an e-mail. It is easy to sound abrupt in an e-mail, so a short greeting can help to lighten the tone.

As e-mails are designed for speed, they usually avoid the formal expressions used in letters, and people very often do not write in complete or grammatically correct sentences using abbreviations and industry jargon.

E-mails usually contain fewer fixed expressions and are less formal than business letters. Nevertheless it is still very helpful for clarity if they are divided into paragraphs. Your message should be short to fit on one screen, whenever possible, thus keeping all important information visible at once. But don’t be so brief that your meaning is lost and your approach seems unprofessional. Be sure your message is easy to answer. Ask questions that can be given a one word response, but don’t give lengthy instructions.

You can end you e-mail with:

  • Best wishes
  • All the best
  • Best regards
  • Yours

To people you know well, you can end with:

  • All the best
  • Best

People often sign their e-mail with their first name.



1. Don’t type everything in capitals. (People may think you are shouting).

2. Limit the length to 65-70 characters.

3. Think carefully about what you write – it is a written record, not a telephone call!

4. Don’t waste bandwidth – what you write should be to-the-point.

5. Warn the recipient if you want to attach a large file.

6. Write descriptive subjects lines so the receiver knows what to expect.

7. When replying, don’t quote back the whole message – delete the excess.

8. When forwarding a message, put any comments you have on the top.

9. Don’t overuse acronyms, smileys or Internet expressions – not everyone will know what you are talking about.

10. Use a spell checker or be sure of your spelling.

11. Read through your e-mail before sending it – it may be informal but you still have to be clear and concise.

2. Find the definitions for the words in the box.

control panel – network – hyperlink – web browser – offline – operating system – download – applet – search engine – web site – book marking – online – message board – mailing list – newsgroup – chat site

a). A type of software that enables your computer to load and display pages in a web site.

b). A special web site that enables conversation between people on the same site at the same time.

c). Working on a computer without a “live” connection to the Internet.

d). A set of tools to look up system features and change the setting.

e). A service that collects messages and broadcasts them to a specific group of people by e-mail.

f). An easy way to find page you liked again.

g). An Internet discussion group about a particular topic.

h). A word or a graphic which, when licked with a mouse, pens up a new Web page or pert of the same page.

i). A special kind of Web site used to search for a topic.

j). A small program in your Web browser to provide interactive or animated content.

k). The software which manages the software.

l). Working on a computer that currently has a “live” connection to the Internet.

m) A collection of pages with text, pictures, moving images and sound to describe an organization/ service etc.

n). A page on a Web site use to display a topic or a question to which anyone can respond.

o). Put information/ a program from the Internet onto your computer.

p). Computers joined together by cables and software.

3. Rewrite the following extracts from business letters as e-mails using the words and expressions in the box.

Sorry about … Bad news: … Could you do me a favour and …? Got your message on … Sorry, but I can’t make … Best wishes Good news from Shall I…? If you have any questions, let me know. Following … About … Are we still OK for …? I’m sending you … as an attachment. Thanks. Speak to you soon. Please … See you …
Dear Mr Brown,   Thank you for your letter of June 17th. Unfortunately, I shall be unable to attend the meeting on the 25th. I would appreciate it if you could send me a copy of the minutes.   Yours sincerely, Tom Grant
I regret to inform you that the board turned down your proposal. I would like to apologize for not getting back to you sooner on this, but I’ve been in London all week.
I am writing to confirm our appointment on October 8th. My flight gets in about 11 a m. With regard to my presentation on the 9th, could you make the necessary arrangements? I enclose the list of the equipment I will need.   I look forward to meeting you next week. Sylvia Wright
Further to our telephone conversation this morning, I would be grateful if you could send me a full description of the problem and I will pass t on to our technical department. Thank you for taking the time to do this. If I can be of any further assistance, please do contact me again.   I look forward to hearing from you.

4. Make the massage below simpler and clearer by deleting as many unnecessary words as possible without changing the meaning.

From: Brian Huxbury [email protected]

Date: Monday, July 7, 2008 10.50

To: Otto Nugen [email protected]

Cc: Jonas Kamprad

Subject: Fact finding trip to B&C (France)

Dear Mr Nugen,

On behalf of myself and my colleague, Karen Sharpe, may I take this opportunity to thank you and your team once again for your kind hospitality during our brief stay in Paris. Karen and I both felt that the two-hour meeting we had with you at your headquarters last week was, no doubt, a great success, and we very much look forward to discussing our ideas with you in much more detail than we were able in that extremely short but highly productive meeting.

I am sure you will be pleased to know that I passed on your valuable comments to our Managing Director, Diane Lee, and she assures me that she will certainly be in contact with you over the next couple of weeks or so. In the meantime, let me just say that it was a very great pleasure meeting you, your managers and enthusiastic staff and exploring the possibilities of some kind of a joint venture between us in the not too distant future.

With my very best wishes,

Brian Huxbury, Senior Product Manager, Thermoflex (UK)

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