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Finding a Housekeeping Job

Finding a job in a foreign country can be very difficult. First, you need to read and understand the English job listings. Next, you need to contact a potential employer. Finally, you need to have an interview and prove that you are the best person for the job. Your work experience and skills are very important, but so is your English. You can prepare yourself for the real job search by studying the vocabulary and exercises on this page.

Key words found in ads:

The following terms are commonly used in ads for housekeepers. Become familiar with them, and use them on your own resumes and cover letters. They are also useful terms to use in interviews.

Word or phraseMeaning
competitive wagespay or salary is the same or better than most in the area
detail oriented, meticulousnotices everything that needs cleaning or doing, even if it's small
diligent workera person who works very hard
domestic helphelp around the home (often the subject of housekeeping ads)
duties includethings the worker will have to do
flexiblenot strict or set, usually related to work schedule or duties
hard-workingnot lazy, works quickly and doesn't take a lot of rest time
honest, trustworthytells the truth, will not steal or damage property on purpose
ideal candidatethe best person for the job
is seekingis looking for, requires
live-inlives in the home he or she works at
live-outlives in a different home from the home he or she works at
matureacts like an adult, not childish
must be legalhas permission from the government to work in this country
pay in exchange for room and boardfood and a home are given to the person who looks after the house, no pay
perfectionistdescribes a person who wants everything to look perfect (for example one fingerprint would bother this person)
positive attitudeis usually in a happy mood
professionalhas a lot of experience and treats clients with respect
reliablealways comes to work on time and always does a good job
responsible forwork will include the following tasks
verifiable referencespast employers someone can contact to prove that the applicant is a good worker

Here are some expressions to use in an interview or cover letter:

  • I will clean your home "from top to bottom".
  • Feel free to contact my references.
  • I have been cleaning houses/offices for _______ years now.
  • I promise to leave your house looking neat and tidy.
  • I work quickly and efficiently.
  • You won't be disappointed.
  • Your satisfaction is important to me.
  • My hourly rate is _______.
  • I am very good with children.
  • My English is improving every day.

Matching Exercise

  1. Read all of the classified ads (advertisements) below.
  2. Read the descriptions of 5 housekeepers looking for work.
  3. Match the person to the ad that he or she should apply for.
  4. Check your answers.
Housekeepers Looking for Work

Match the job seeker to the appropriate ad:

A - Cindy is visiting England for the summer. She has a working visa and needs a place to live. She has experience with children.

B - Fred is a perfectionist. He is retired but loves to clean. Fred wants to make a little bit of extra money to pay for tennis lessons and swimming classes.

C - Sabrina has been cleaning houses for 20 years. She is hardworking and detail oriented. She has her own apartment, and requires a part-time position to pay her rent.

D - Nelson has five years housekeeping experience in the hotel industry. He is going to school part time in the day and requires a full-time position in the evenings.

E - Yoon is studying English online and needs a place to live. She is seeking a position as a nanny or housekeeper to help pay for her private English lessons. Her visa allows her to work part-time.

 
Classified Ads

Domestic/Homecare Wanted

1. A London family of 5 is seeking a live-in housekeeper in exchange for room and board. 20 hours per week. Some childcare duties required. Must be detail oriented, mature, and legal to work in England. Send resume with references to bensonfamily@home.com.

2. Business couple is seeking a part-time live-out housekeeper. Must be reliable and meticulous. We offer competitive wages. Duties include laundry, general cleaning, and some shopping. Hours are flexible. Approximately 10 hours per week. Call 339-9990. Leave message with contact information.

3. Mandymaids has a full-time position available. We are looking for an experienced housekeeper to join our team. Hours are Mon-Fri, 5:00 pm-12 am. Responsible for cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, and tidying a large office. Must be in good physical condition and have valid driver's license. Verifiable references required. Contact Janie at 445-9788.

Instructions for Housekeepers >

Answers: A-1, B2, C2, D3, E1

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