Learning multiple languages is extremely rewarding inside and out of business.
Around the world, roughly 60-75% of people speak at least two languages. And, while multilingualism has shown to have many psychological and lifestyle advantages, employees and job candidates are witnessing more and more the advantages of speaking more than one language in the workplace.
Simply put, today’s economy demands multilingual employees, and seeing as learning a new language can be done easily through technology and gamification these days, there are certain ways to leverage your language skills in your application before you even apply for a new job.
Focus on your skills in relation to the needs of your industry
In the past five years, demand for bilingual workers in the United States has more than doubled. As many operations move more towards participating a global market and economy, employers are increasingly looking for employees who bring with them skills that will help expand their businesses to audiences around the world. It’s important, when marketing your language skills on an application, to focus on the specific needs of your industry.
For example, if you are in the healthcare industry and would like to be employed at a hospital in a neighborhood with a large immigrant population, be sure to mention your language skills and how they can benefit the hospital. If you are a graphic designer and would like to work for an international design agency, put your language skills at the top of the list and highlight how you’ll be able to design flyers and other material in a different language to help widen their audience reach on a global scale.
It’s always important to emphasize the professional qualities that you bring to the table simply for being multilingual as well as the ability to communicate with potential clients and providers all over the world. As many know, speaking a second language allows you to view the world from a different perspective, and with that comes a set of diverse skills that other job applicants might not possess.
Design the right resume
Now that you know how to market your skills, you’ll want to design a killer resume to highlight your bilingual skills. Focus on making sure the objective is featured somewhere at the top and is in line with the position that you are applying for. Ensure that it is very clear that you are a dynamic and multilingual applicant just from the objective. In your summary of skills, you should be brief but descriptive and can use the space to highlight your multilingual abilities in a bulleted list.
When designing your resume, it’s important to be specific and sell your skills in relation to your language abilities. Don’t just let the company know you speak a different language, explain just how it has served to enhance your workplace performance, how many days a week you have worked in that language, or how you brought in new clients or providers simply because of your multilingual skills.
Continue to improve your skills
When looking to leverage your language skills for a job application, it’s important to highlight the fact that multilingual employees are often viewed as having greater abilities in a variety of hard and soft skills. Make sure the potential employer can see from the design and content of your application that you are resourceful, ambitious and worldly due to your language skills and that you can bring a unique perspective to various aspects of your daily job duties. And, as always, ensure that you are continuing to improve your skills, both language and others, to ensure you stay ahead of the game.
— written by Jane Sandwood, contributor at Mondly
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