Being bilingual is one of the most surefire ways to stand out during an interview. It's an extremely valuable skill that surprisingly few Americans possess. Whether you're a recent graduate or an experienced professional, most managers agree that fluency in a second language can not only help your resume stand out, it can also open doors to special opportunities.
In today's global economy, communication is essential, and since many businesses have an international presence, employees who speak another language gives businesses a significant advantage over the competition. This means bilingual candidates are much more valuable. In fact, Rosetta Stone found that bilingual workers make an average of $10,000 more in annual household income a year.
Are you making that kind of cash? If not, how can bilingual candidates showcase their skills?Being Bilingual AND Good at Your Job
Knowing multiple languages isn't enough; you have to be able to use them in context. For each entry on your resume, be sure to mention how you used your bilingual skills on the job. Don't just say you can speak English and German; show how this ability helped your previous employer boost business.Not Just Language — Culture, Too
Be sure to make it clear that you can do more than converse or translate documents in a second language. You also understand the culture of those native speakers. This is key to showing how you can connect with clients, customers and co-workers. For example, if you're a Spanish- and English-speaking account manager, you have higher market value because you can communicate with Latino clients. There may be issues because of cultural differences, not language barriers. Bilingual candidates can close those gaps.Put It Out There Early
Even if being bilingual isn't on the list of preferred qualifications for this job opening, still mention it as early as your cover letter. The hiring team may not have an immediate need for an employee with multiple languages, but they are likely to consider this an added benefit. There may even be opportunities that haven't yet been clarified that you could be the right solution for.Demonstrate During the Interview
If asked, be willing to demonstrate your bilingual abilities during the interview. Explain how these skills helped you move up the professional ladder or helped your previous employer secure more business. Give details about how you used your multilanguage skills to facilitate teamwork, open communication with all employees or get to the bottom of customer satisfaction issues.
If you're looking for an opportunity to really put your bilingual skills to work, contact Burnett and Choice Specialists. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Texas, we have helped many bilingual workers move up the chain of command into careers that change lives. Visit us online today!