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How to Impress Employers with a Business English Certificate

How to Impress Employers with a Business English Certificate  main image

This article is sponsored by Cambridge English.

When getting a job after university, you may think that academic grades are everything.

However, surveys show that graduate employers value communication skills more highly than technical knowledge. For example, a survey of 198 UK employers found that effective communication skills are the most valued employment competency. Communication skills were also top of the list in a survey of 600 US employers.

For non-native English speakers, many employers require proof of English language ability. A business English exam, such as Cambridge English: Business Certificates will show that you can use English confidently in international business environments.

The exam will also help you to develop key skills for job applications and interviews. The tips below show how the skills you use in the exam will help you with your covering letter and CV writing, and prepare you to impress a potential employer in your job interview.

1. Create the right impression in your cover letter Cover letter

By taking a business English language exam, you will develop the skills you need to write compelling cover letters. For example, you will learn how to:

  • Address the reader effectively
  • Represent your ideas clearly and briefly
  • Use a good organizational structure, so that your message can be followed throughout
  • Write with good expression and accuracy.

Cover letter tips:

Show that you have the right communication skills with your cover letter, by checking that it is:

  • Relevant: Read the job description carefully and think about what the employer wants to know.
  • Well-evidenced: Include evidence of your achievements to support the points you make.
  • Error-free: Make sure there are no mistakes in spelling, punctuation, grammar or sentence construction.
  • Compelling: Use a positive, confident tone, and don’t be afraid to let your personality and enthusiasm come through. The best cover letters are the ones that stand out for the employer.

2. Show that you have the right skills in your CV Make your CV stand out

You will learn and develop the skills you need to write a concise and accurate CV by preparing for a business English qualification. For example, you will learn how to:

  • Write with clarity and precision
  • Summarize effectively
  • Use a formal, professional style of writing.

CV writing tips:

Show that you have the right communication skills with your CV, by checking that it is:

  • Concise: Avoid long sentences and paragraphs.
  • Well-structured: Make sure that information is arranged in a logical order and that the most important information appears first.
  • Well-evidenced: Focus on providing factual evidence of your achievements.
  • Error-free: Some employers will discard CVs with spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. Don’t rely on your computer spellchecker – it won’t identify all errors.

3. Impress in the job interview Impress at the interview

Taking a business English language exam will also help you to develop the skills needed to communicate in an interview. For example, you will learn how to:

  • Present detailed information
  • Follow discussions and arguments
  • Argue your point effectively
  • Deal with unpredictable questions.

Interview tips:

You can show that you have the right communication skills in your interview, by:

  • Listening carefully: Think about why a question is being asked and what the interviewer wants to know.
  • Being confident: Be positive and enthusiastic! If you do not understand something, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to explain the question.
  • Showing your understanding and point of view: Give your opinions and argue your point logically.
  • Expressing yourself clearly: Avoid slang and use professional language.

Want to achieve your career ambitions? Achieve your career ambitions

If you’ve read this far, chances are you’re interested in taking a business English test.

We recommend Cambridge English: Business Certificates. Choose from three levels – Preliminary, Vantage and Higher – to prove that you can use English confidently in international business environments, and gain a certificate that is accepted globally by top multinational corporations like Procter & Gamble, HSBC and AstraZeneca.

Which Cambridge English exam is right for me? 

If you're not sure of your English language level, try our free online level test. You'll get instant results that tell you your current level and which business English test to aim for.

About us

Cambridge English Language Assessment is part of the University of Cambridge. We develop and produce the most valuable range of qualifications for learners and teachers of English in the world. Over 5 million people in 130 countries take our exams every year. Around the world over 20,000 universities, employers, government ministries and other organizations accept our certificates. 

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