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I'm currently looking for a job and making a mental plan of what to say, potential questions and answers to them etc. and I was wondering what would be the best and most fitting way to start a phone conversation with a potential employer, after the greeting of course.

I'm calling regarding a job opening as a waiter.

I'm calling about a job opening as a waiter.

Also, are these grammatically correct? I'm not a native speaker so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Those would be correct. If the call were in reference to an advertisement you saw, you should say something like "I'm calling about the waiter's job you advertised," or "I'm calling in reference to the ad in the Times for a waiter." In general you're expected to be the point (though not rude) and you're not expected to exchange pleasantries before getting to the topic at hand. Mainly, if you're not comfortable with English, try to speak distinctly so you're easy to understand. Most Americans don't mind speaking with someone who speaks broken English so long as they can be understood. – Hot Licks Oct 27 '14 at 20:06
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    This question is off-topic because it belongs to another forum. For example workplace.stackexchange.com . – Blessed Geek Oct 27 '14 at 20:20
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Both are equally grammatical, and both mean the same thing. Regarding is of a somewhat higher register, however. So, when applying in writing for a job as a rocket scientist, you might want to prefer it over about. But when applying by phone for a waiter job, it really does not matter, unless it happens to be an opening at Snooty Gentlemen's Club.

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Both answers are grammatically correct. The words have very similar meanings. However, there is a slight difference in meanings which relate to their different original meanings.

Regard comes from regarder, meaning to look at. Native English speakers will usually use this word with something specific, something that can be looked at. So, if you saw an advertisement for a job, it would be quite acceptable to say, I'm calling regarding your ad for a job opening as a waiter. However, if you don't know if there are any job openings, then there's nothing specific to look at, so many native English speakers would be more likely to use about in that case. However, other native English speakers may use them almost interchangeably - I don't but I'll allow that others may.

About comes from onbūtan meaning on the outside of. It is therefore more appropriate if things are less specific and if one wants to refer to a subject area. So if you have no idea if there is a job available, but want to find out whether one might be available, then the word about is more natural - you are interested in the subject area of possible jobs as a waiter and are not responding to specific job advertisement.

Based on your options, it appears you are trying to find out if there are any available jobs, and therefore a little more precise is I'm calling about a job opening as a waiter."

Regarding ЯegDwight's claim in another answer that regard is higher register than about, I think that's rubbish. To wit,

"Much Ado about Nothing" - play by William Shakespeare

"You regard me as a kind of ancient crone..." - Groucho Marx

Either word works fine in any register.

  • I agree that both 'regard' and 'about' can work perfectly well in any register, but it's worth remembering that there are people like ЯegDwight out there. 'Regard' may come across as higher register to the person you are speaking to. – Toby Y. Oct 27 '14 at 23:41
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I'm calling regarding a job opening as a waiter.

I'm calling about a job opening as a waiter.

Both are pretty much identical, but both have a problem of idiom surrounding "regarding a". You would usually say "regarding" -- in this kind of phrase -- to refer to something you and your listener know exists, such as an actual job vacancy, and probably one that has been advertised and for which they are expecting applications. But then you'd pair it with the definite article, "the", not the indefinite "a". It would be something like:

I'm calling regarding the job opening as a waiter.

I'm calling about the job opening as a waiter.

Or, along the lines of what @ЯegDwight said about formality, the latter could be:

I'm calling about the waiter job

If, on the other hand, you are calling to ask if they have any jobs (i.e. but you don't know if they do), then you'd want to say something like:

I'm calling to ask if you have any job openings as a waiter.

or

I'm calling to ask if by any chance you had a job opening as a waiter.

or, less formally

I'm calling to see if you are looking for any waiting staff

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