Mistakes when applying for a job & H&S Certificate – IELTS General Reading Passage

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 15-27 which are based on the text below.

GT Reading: Mistakes when applying for a job & HEALTH & SAFETY CERTIFICATE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY (H&S Certificate)

Read the text below and answer Questions 15-20.

Mistakes when applying for a job

There are many mistakes that people make when writing their resume (CV) or completing a job application. Here are some of the most common and most serious.

The biggest problem is perhaps listing the duties for which you were responsible in a past position: all this tells your potential employers is what you were supposed to do. They do not necessarily know the specific skills you used in executing them, nor do they know what results you achieved – both of which are essential. In short, they won’t know if you were the best, the worst, or just average in your position.

The more concrete information you can include, the better. As far as possible, provide measurements of what you accomplished. If any innovations you introduced saved the organization money, how much did they save? If you found a way of increasing productivity, by what percentage did you increase it?

Writing what you are trying to achieve in life – your objective – is a waste of space. It tells the employer what you are interested in. Do you really think that employers care what you want? No, they are interested in what they want! Instead, use that space for a career summary. A good one is brief – three to four sentences long. A good one will make the person reviewing your application want to read further.

Many resumes list ‘hard’ job-specific skills, almost to the exclusion of transferable, or ‘soft’, skills. However, your ability to negotiate effectively, for example, can be just as important as your technical skills.

All information you give should be relevant, so carefully consider the job for which you are applying. If you are applying for a job that is somewhat different than your current job, it is up to you to draw a connection for the resume reviewer, so that they will understand how your skills will fit in their organization. The person who reviews your paperwork will not be a mind reader.

If you are modest about the skills you can offer, or the results you have achieved, a resume reader may take what you write literally, and be left with a low opinion of your ability: you need to say exactly how good you are. On the other hand, of course, never stretch the truth or lie.

Questions 15-20

Complete the sentences below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 15-20 on your answer sheet.

15.  It is a mistake to specify your ……………………… in past positions.
16.  Do not include a description of your ……………………… in life.
17.  Include soft skills such as an ability to ……………………… successfully.
18.  Think hard about the position so you can ensure that the information in your application is ……………………… .
19.  Make the ……………………… between your abilities and the job you are applying for clear.
20.  Do not be too ……………………… about what you can do.

Read the text below and answer Questions 21-27.


(H&S Certificate)

Who should register for this course?
The H&S Certificate is aimed at people who work as supervisors within the construction industry (whether or not that is part of their job title), who are required to ensure that activities under their control are undertaken safely.

Course duration
Option 1 – Conversion Course (for those who have a PHS Certificate – see below): 10 days, either one day a week or two weeks full-time.

Option 2 – Full Course (for all others): 15 days, either one day a week or three weeks full-time.

For both options, the written exam and practical assessment take half a day.

About the course
The course provides thorough preparation for the H&S Certificate, which is an award in health and safety specifically designed for the construction industry. It combines theory with practice, ensuring that those who gain the certificate are capable of managing health and safety throughout each stage of the construction process, from planning and design to use and finally demolition.

You may already be one step towards gaining an H&S Certificate
The PHS (Principles of Health and Safety) Certificate can be taken separately or as part of the H&S Certificate. If you gained this qualification no more than five years before entering for the H&S Certificate, it will be recognised as contributing to your Certificate without the need to repeat that unit of the course.

Course content
The H&S Certificate is divided into three units. Unit 1 covers the principles of health and safety (and is identical to the PHS Certificate), Unit 2 covers the identification and control of hazards, and Unit 3 deals with practical applications of health and safety.

How is the course assessed?
Candidates take written examinations for Units 1 and 2. Unit 3 is assessed by a practical examination testing the ability to identify health and safety issues in a construction workplace. Unit 3 needs to be taken within 14 days of a written examination.

A full certificate is issued on successful completion of all three units.

Candidates from non-EU countries may be eligible for a small number of grants. These cover the cost of tuition, but not examination fees. For details, please contact the Registrar.

For further information please contact our administration office.

Questions 21-27

Answer the questions below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY AND/OR A NUMBER from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 21-27 on your answer sheet.

21.  Which position is the Certificate intended for?
22.  How many days must a student without a PHS Certificate study?
23.  What is the last stage of the construction process that is covered by the course?
24.  For how long does a PHS Certificate count towards the H&S Certificate?
25.  What do students learn to identify and deal with in Unit 2?
26.  What type of examination is used for Unit 3?
27.  What will a grant pay for?

15. duties
16. objective
17. negotiate
18. relevant
19. connection
20. modest
21. supervisor(s)
22. 15 (days) // fifteen (days)
23. demolition
24. 5 years// five years
25. hazards
26. practical
27. tuition