When you write a CV/resume or have a job interview, it is very important that you sound professional. One of the ways that you can do this, is the type of words and phrases you use.

By using some specific words or phrases (for example, using 'exceed' instead of 'do better than expected'), you will sound more professional and intelligent and improve your chances of getting a job.

To help you quickly learn and (more importantly) remember some professional sounding English vocabulary to improve your CV/resume and job interview performances, I have created this and two more online exercises.

Click here to go to the second part of this exercise on vocabulary for CVs, resumes and job interviews

Click here to see more of our free online exercises on CVs/resumes and job interviews


Exercise:

Below are a number of verbs and phrases that are commonly used in business English to make sentences sound more professional.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

1.  Although I wasn't directly involved. In order to make sure that nothing went wrong, I oversaw the changes in the process.


2.  For 3 years I ran the French sales team. I enjoyed the responsibility I had.


3.  Although I wasn't the Project Manager, I was very important and I played a key role in the project's success.


4.  Because of the size of the project, the English and Spanish offices had to collaborate in order to finish on schedule.


5.  For about 5 years both myself and Jeff Green co-managed the development department. But it was frustrating having two people make the final decisions.


6.  When you're designing or creating something new, I believe it's fundamental to have different opinions. So, it was good on this project that both myself and Sally Jenkins co-developed it. She had different skills and a different work background to myself.


7.  It's important to coordinate everything in a supermarket. You need to make sure that there is always bread and milk etc... available.


8.  I came up with the idea of selling mobile phones on the internet when I was in the bath. I always have my best ideas there.


9.  Because it was a very complex business process, it took a long time to set up. If I remember, nearly 3 years from start to finish.


10.  The easiest part was the last part of the project. We implemented the business process in less than 6 weeks.




Quiz:

Using the words in bold from the above 10 statements, match the 'verb/phrase' with its more common verb or phrase below. Remember, only use one verb/phrase once and write it as it is in the text above. Here, all the verbs are in the Past Simple. Click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question which you can press/click on. In the first icon, , you can find extra information about the word/phrase (e.g. when, where and how to use etc...) and a Spanish translation. In the second, , is where you can listen to the word/phrase and do a pronunciation test (to make sure you can say it correctly).


1.

To start and establish something new, is

         

Set up:
(phrasal verb) The infinitive is 'to set up'. This is used in business to say you 'created' and 'established' (so it was actually working/being used) a new process, system or business. It is a transitive phrasal verb (it has an object) and is separable, e.g. 'I set it up' or 'he set up the business'. In Spanish: "establecer/fundar".

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Set up:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2.

To manage/be responsible for a business/department, is

         

Ran:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to run'. It has the same meaning as 'to manage', and is very commonly used. It is a transitive verb (it has an object), e.g. 'I run the Barcelona office'. Spanish: "dirigir".

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Ran:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3.

To manage something with someone else, is

         

Co-managed:
(verb) The infinitive is "to co-manage". It means that you 'ran' or 'managed' something with another person (you both had equal responsibility). This is used for business, departments, projects etc... It is a transitive verb (it has an object), e.g. 'I co-manage the department with Peter'. In Spanish: "co-gestionar".

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Co-managed:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4.

To have the original idea about a new business or process etc..., is

         

Came up with:
(phrasal verb) The infinitive is 'to come up with'. It is used when you want to tell people that you were the person who first thought of doing something new. It can be used for both new ideas or solutions to problems. It is a transitive (it has an object) and unseparable phrase verb, e.g. 'He always comes up with something new'. In Spanish: "proponer/sugerir".

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Came up with:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5.

To actually introduce a new process or system to the working environment, is

         

Implemented:
(verb) The infinitive is "to implement". It is used in a business context to mean to introduce changes, new processes etc... It is a transitive verb (it has an object), e.g. 'They implemented changes to the new process'. In Spanish: "poner en pràctica".

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Implemented:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6.

To be important in a situation, but not necessarily be in charge (the manager), is

         

Played a key role:
(verbal phrase) It is used in both businesses and organisations. Basically, the phrase is used to say somebody was fundamental to the success or failure of something. For example, 'Xavi played a key role in Spain winning the World Cup'. In Spanish: "jugar un papel clave".

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Played a key role:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7.

To supervise a situation, is

         

Oversaw:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to oversee'. It means that you are there to make sure that something is done correctly by staff in a company. It has a very similar to 'supervise', but 'to oversee' often means that you had less direct involvement in the every day running of the team, project or department than 'supervise'. In Spanish: "supervisar".

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Oversaw:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8.

To work together with somebody from a different department/company/organisation on a project, is

         

Collaborate:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to collaborate'. This means 'to cooperate'/'to work together' with somebody on doing something(e.g. a project). In this context, it is normally used when staff from two different departments, companies or organisations work together to achieve or do something. It is an intransitive verb (it doesn't have an object). You can collaborate 'on' something, or you can collaborate 'with' somebody, e.g. 'the council collaborated on the airport project with our company'. In Spanish: "colaborar".

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Collaborate:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9.

To create something new with someone else, is

         

Co-developed:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to co-develop'. The verb 'to develop' means in this context 'to create'. It is used when you want to say that you created a new product or service (e.g. 'I developed a new customer service process'). With 'co-develop', it means that you 'developed' or 'created' something with somebody else. It is a transitive verb (it has an object), e.g. 'they are going to co-develop the new website'. In Spanish: "desarrollar junto"".

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Co-developed:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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10.

To organise an activity or business, is

         

Coordinate:
(verb) The infinitive is "to coordinate". This verb means 'to organise' different tasks or events so that everything works together and there are no problems. It is a transitive verb (it has an object), e.g. 'he coordinated the move to the new office'. In Spanish: "coordinar".

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Coordinate:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the meaning of these verbs/phrases, practice them by creating your own sentences in English with the verbs/phrases.

Blair English online classes