How to Use Your Foreign Language Skills in your Job Search by Brooke Chaplan

How to Use Your Foreign Language Skills in your Job SearchAccording to past research, people in the United States are sadly behind most countries when it comes to learning foreign languages. Fortunately, the situation is changing as many students and adults are learning to speak Spanish and other prominent languages represented in our country. If you are fluent or have a working knowledge of a foreign language, it may serve you well in a job search. Here a few ways it can help and how to include it in your search and resume.

Focus on the Right Job

When you are doing a job search, look for those jobs in your category that encourage bilingual people to apply. In the customer service sector, speaking another language is invaluable for companies who have an international clientele. There are many opportunities in private and government jobs that require translators. Because of the foreign language requirements in schools, foreign language teachers are in high demand. You may also be eligible to be a college instructor with a Master’s degree in a foreign language.

What Your Bilingual Skills Say About You
Do not be discouraged if you don’t see job listings right away that want bilingual employees. Even if you majored in a foreign language in college, you still have interests and valuable skills that would benefit a company. No matter what type of job you are applying for, always mention your skills in foreign language. In a competitive job market, it may be the thing that gives you the edge over an equally qualified candidate.

Learning another language is not easy. It takes a lot of intelligence, discipline, and good memory skills to master them. Employers need qualities like these for any type service their company offers. Often times, foreign language students travel to other countries to be exposed to native speakers of their studied language. When employers see foreign language skills on your resume, they can conclude you have a broader understanding of multiculturalism and can bring diversity and flexibility to the workplace. A masters in international affairs could be a great addition to your education when looking at government and diplomacy jobs as well.

Foreign Language Skills Show Leadership Potential

Having the discipline to learn another language infers you are task-oriented and can focus on goals. Since you may have worked in another country, your people skills would have been enhanced. Companies are looking for potential managers with these kinds of skills. They assume you and your team will work together to complete a project successfully and on time. You would be excellent in working with diversity within the staff.

Today’s job market is slim and highly competitive. If you have just graduated from college, you will be spending a lot of time in your job search. Remember you have to be your biggest advocate. If you know a foreign language, be sure to list it in your skills. New opportunities are opening every day for bilingual people. Let your hard work and language skills open the doors to a career that you will love.