Tag Archives: Business

Make, Do, and Have: which is right for the interview?

Let’s keep it clear. As a worker, you will have an interview with a boss.

As a boss, you will have or do an interview with a worker.

Nobody will make interviews with anyone.

An intern will do an internship. A worker will do a job.

Nobody makes internships or jobs, except when a boss might create a completely new job from nothing. “I liked that person so much I made a job for them. They start Tuesday.”

Work is noncount. “I did a lot of work with customers,” not “I did three works with customers.”


Six-Pack of Financial Words

Just a few words for work conversations today.

  • bankruptcy – noun – a time when a company runs out of money and can no longer pay their debts.
  • liquidation – noun – a time after bankruptcy when the company’s stuff is sold to get money to pay their debts.
  • liquid asset – noun – an asset is something that a business or person owns. A liquid asset is one that is easily sold or exchanged, like cash, gold, or certain investments.
  • fixed asset – noun – A fixed asset is not as easily sold or exchanged as a liquid asset. This group might include real estate, machinery, inventory, or contracts.
  • expenditure – noun – the money that a business needs to spend in order to do business. This might include buying supplies, paying salaries and rent, repairing machines, or advertising products.
  • revenue – noun – the money that comes into a business from doing its business activities, before expenses are paid

At the Job Interview

“How do you see this job fitting in to your planned career path?

This question gives you an opportunity to show off several positive aspects. A clear answer, with related detail, shows that you actually have a career plan! You’d be surprised at how many people don’t have one.

By showing how the job you want connects with your plan, you also show how much you value the job. Showing motivation is important; every boss wants a worker who will do good work because they want to, not just because they are expected to.

Saving time by wasting it…

Often, people may choose to ignore instructions that seem complex or counter-intuitive. A few days ago, I gave my students an exercise in which they have to find spelling and punctuation errors in a group of sentences. Some students “found” grammar errors – but there were no grammar errors in the exercise.

Top Tip – if you don’t understand an exercise, assignment, or task, ask your teacher or boss about what you need to do. It will save you time and energy, and allow you to concentrate on the most important part of it!

Formal Letters for Business and University, Part 2

Continuing on from last week, where we learned about the addresses and dates on our letter, we’ll take a look at the start and end of our letter.

The salutation is the “hello” of the letter. There are several common choices, depending on how well you know the recipient.

If you don’t know their name, use “Dear Sir or Madam,” or “To whom it may concern,” to start your letter. If you have spoken to them on the phone, sent emails, or have met them once or twice, use “Dear Mr. Familyname,” or “Dear Ms. Familyname.” If you know them well, or see them often, “Dear Firstname” is acceptable.

The closure comes at the end of the letter. There is some personal choice here, but “Yours truly,” and “Sincerely” are always correct. In casual situations, you could use “Thanks,” or “Cheers,” if you know the recipient really well. Leave two blank lines, so you have room to sign your name, and then print your name with a period at the end, like this:


Dave Henderson.

Formal Letters for Business and University, Part 1

Today’s tips are about letter-writing. Details count!

Your address is placed at the top of the letter, on the right side. You do not put your name, email, or phone number as part of this section.

The first line contains your apartment/office/suite number, the building number, and the street name. In the second line, write your city and province. The last line is for your postal code, which is written in capital letters and is separated by a hyphen. Here’s an example of the top of a business letter.

 115, 221B Baker St.,

Vancouver, B.C.,


May 12, 2011

Recipient’s Name

Recipient’s Job

Company Name

Suite, Building, Street

City, Province

Postal code

Country (if it’s not the same as yours)

Dear Jane,

Marketing Networking

Recently, I’ve had some questions about networking and volunteering in Vancouver. A friend of mine told me about a marketing event that looks really interesting. It’s called ProductCamp, and will be held next Saturday, March 8th, at the Beedie School of Business at SFU. The address is 500 Granville Street, and admission is free. You can read about the plans, register, or volunteer at their website: productcampvancouver.org.

Go Volunteer is a job-search website for volunteers. There’s a great variety of positions available, each with different time commitments, areas of specialty, and locations. I just saw ads for a bartender at a salsa dance, a hospital communications specialist, a cook, social service providers, and seniors’ care helpers. Many of the advertisements offered discounts or benefits for their volunteers, and most offer letters of recommendation or references too.

There’s one for just Burnaby-based jobs at volunteerburnaby.ca

No volunteering post would be complete without my favourite causes:
Bike racing at the Burnaby Velodrome – they need volunteers for the night of March 21st
Technology and environmental work at Free Geek Vancouver

Remember to put your Canadian volunteer experience on your resumé, too. Use it to show that you are familiar with local people, customers, and business culture. Good luck and happy volunteering!

Talking about your business

Have you run into problems with business vocabulary? Perhaps you can’t think of the right word, or maybe you’re not sure if an expression is formal or not. I discovered these three word lists that can make your writing or interviewing easier.

 The first one is is a list of 94 business verbs. Use them in your resume or cover letter to tell an employer exactly what you did at your last job.

Second is a list of 97 business nouns. You could use them to describe job duties, transactions, or responsibilities at your last company.

The last is a list of over 200 action verbs, and it includes both business vocab and general English. These will also help you add detail to your cover letter or resume.