Whether it’s Spanish, Mandarin, French, Russian or ASL, speaking more than one language gives you a decided advantage in your job hunt.
How much of an advantage? According to a 2011 CareerBuilder survey, 29 percent of companies said that if they had to decide between two equally qualified candidates, they would choose the client who is bilingual.
So put this valuable skill to work for you! Here are a few tips from A.R. Mazzotta for showcasing your multi-language skills and leveraging them in your Connecticut job search:
- Highlight your aptitudes in your resume. When crafting your resume, it is especially important to draw attention to your bilingual skills in your objective. For example: “Bilingual administrative assistant seeking front office position” is specific and direct, and it points out both your ability and job title immediately. Additionally, job titles and descriptions should include your experience as a bilingual professional and show how you’ve applied your skills in the workplace.
- Accurately represent your abilities. Don’t oversell your skills. If you claim your conversational skills are advanced (when they’re really intermediate), you may wind up setting yourself up for embarrassment or failure. Accurately quantify your bilingualism by providing evidence of your abilities and potential:
- Provide translated documents or content written in another language.
- Identify specific scenarios in which you’ve used your skills on the job to benefit your employer.
- Supply a list of ideas for how you can use your language skills to grow the potential employer’s business.
- Show employers the “What’s in it for me?” An employer wants to know what you can do for him. So, find out exactly why he needs a bilingual candidate – and then use it to your advantage. For example, if the employer needs to provide service to customers in South America, why not provide him with a short overview of how cultural differences could impact service delivery? Even if your suggestions aren’t used, your efforts won’t go unnoticed. They’ll be applauded since you showed the employer “WIIFM” when it comes to your bilingual abilities.
- Write a bilingual blog. If you are a proficient writer, a bilingual blog allows you to simultaneously accomplish two goals – demonstrating your talents beyond translation while validating your blogging skills (which are coveted in today’s job market).
- Showcase your skills on social media. LinkedIn allows you to create two sections in your profile – one in English and one in the language of your choice. Highlighting your skills this way could catch the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager looking for a bilingual candidate.
As our workforce continues to become more global, your bilingual job skills will continue to become more valuable. Do what you can to maintain, or even enhance, your abilities, and you’ll keep yourself in the hunt for Connecticut’s best jobs.