Today we’ve started with the first theme in Advanced Level (A.1) student’s book in English course at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas from Santander. The first section (1A) is titled consuming passions, pp. 6-7. At first page (p. 6) we were introduced to leisure interests (SPEAKING & VOCABULARY activity) There were four photos at the heading named A to D, depicting several people dressing or doing some activity related to their hobbies or passions. There were also four texts with descriptions related to the photos and we had to match them to the photos. The descriptions had some highlighted words and phrases which expressed passion related issues.
Our teacher asked us to put them into three groups:
(a) Words that describe people who like something
(b) Words that refer to people’s interest
(c) Words that refer to the starting of an activity
These were the words and phrases and classification:
(a) supporter, fan, aficionado
(b) to be crazy about something, to be obsessed with something, to be keen on (something) and to be into (something)
(c) to get the (something) bug, to turn (something) into a passion, to give (something) a try, to take up (something) and to get a taste for (something)
Gemma (our English teacher) assigned us to do as homework a little writing about one of our hobby using the words of the three groups stated above.
After all those activities about leisure interests we read an article about CVs and how not to write them (READING activity) Well, the first thing we did was to skim the article an choose a title for it among these alternatives: (1) Great ways to lose your job; (2) The truth can be dangerous; (3) What not to put on your CV
People write such strange things on their CVs that it’s tempting to believe that they don’t want the job at all. What, for example, was going through the mind of the applicant who wrote that his previous contract had been terminated because ‘they insisted that we get to work by 8:45 every morning and I couldn’t work under those conditions’? Or the candidate who described himself as ‘married, eight children, would prefer frequent travel’. And let’s not forget the typos — people who are proud of their ‘rabid typing’ or who announce that they were responsible for ‘ruining their company’s sales department’.
But the most revealing part of the CV is often the ‘personal interests’ section. Job seekers need to make their application stand out, so there’s little point in saying that you’re into pop music, that you like going to the cinema or that you’ve been a supporter of your local football team for ten years. And if you’re thinking of putting down something more original, think carefully. The fact that you have a passion for rock climbing and have been training for the World Championship may be of central importance in your life, but prospective employers are more likely to think ‘Uh-oh, dangerous, injuries, absences …’ Most bosses would rather their employees didn’t risk their lives every weekend.
A recent survey has shown that one in four CVs contain a lie of some kind, but resist the temptation to invent an interesting background for yourself. If, at the interview, you are asked questions about your voluntary work with those with special needs, you could find yourself in deep water if you made it all up. Even the truth, however well-meaning, can be dangerous. One job applicant who was obviously trying to make good impression wrote that she had taken up blood donating (fourteen gallons so far!). Weird.
The simple rule to remember is that you are applying for a job, so only include personal interests that are relevant to the application. Do your research carefully and identify what personal qualities are being looked for. Only decide what to write when you have found out what the job involves. And if you can think of nothing relevant to say, just say nothing at all!
NOTES: the typos were: ‘rabid’ instead of ‘rapid’ and ‘ruining’ instead of ‘running’ (to be in charge of); ‘climbing’ is pronounced without the ‘b’ sound; an expression of preference: would rather + past simple; ‘to terminate a contract’ means to sack an employee (to be sacked or fired); ‘to stand out’ means to be noticed; ‘voluntary’ is pronounced without ‘u’ and almost without ‘a’; ‘to find oneself into deep water’ means to get into trouble; ‘to make it up’ means to invent;
After skimming, we chose the title number three as best title for the article. And then we delved into the exercise number two that make us to read again the article — this time carefully and to find examples of …
(1) an unfortunate typing mistake: ‘rabid typing’ and ‘ruining their company’s sales department’
(2) dishonest information: ‘to invent an interesting background’ and the ‘blood donating’ episode
(3) completely uninteresting information: ‘to be into pop music, to like going to the cinema, to be a football supporter’.
(4) information which says too much about the candidate’s personal life: the candidate who stated that he was ‘married, eight children, …’
(5) information which shows that the candidate is not a reliable employee: ‘to invent an interesting background’ , again.
(6) information which will worry an employer: ‘to have a passion for rock climbing’