Why Languages Can Elevate Your Resume Above The Norm

Speaking another language is a joy, but it is increasingly becoming a valuable tool sought by employers. Here are some very important reasons why possessing a second (or third) language can help your resume stand out from the pile.

You are a great communicator

What else is a language if not the means by which we communicate? Many people find it difficult to communicate effectively in their own language, so by revealing that you have an ability to understand another shows that you have dedicated time to improving your level of communication. Simply the time spent on the learning process of learning another language shows a commitment to the art of communication

You strive to improve

What were the motivations behind wanting to speak another language in the first place? Chances are it was a desire to improve yourself, which any business worth its salt will look upon favorably. Learning another language is not a quick process for most people, so the application that you put into the learning process is a real sign of commitment and dedication that you are likely to bring to your job – a great sign for an employer.

You desire to understand

Likewise, your motivation to learn another language would have been centered upon your desire to understand something that you previously could not. In any new role, there are elements that will need to be understood, and this will rely heavily upon the new employee’s ability to dedicate time and effort to doing so, not to mention the ability to actually get it in the end.

You have an aptitude for learning

The saying goes that once you have learned a second language, a third and fourth may follow more easily. But this is not limited to learning more languages. In learning another language, you have revealed an aptitude that many people do not possess.

You want to understand other cultures

Our language is simply an oral extension of our culture. The things that we say, and how we say them, are a deep reflection upon our attitudes and core beliefs. In a diverse workplace, understanding the cultural values of your colleagues is an essential tool in developing effective teams. And then what about understanding potential clients? If you get them more than your competitors do, then that is the golden ticket. The fact that you have invested the time and effort to understand another culture in the first place is a sign that you seek to empathize with others, and that you have the capability of seeing something from another viewpoint.

You can interact where others can’t

Of course, if a company works within a market where your language skills are desirable, you are already winning.

“In a global marketplace, speaking another language is another string to your bow in a competitive environment. What could possibly be the drawback of that?” asks Matthew Cornelius, a career writer at PaperFellows.

You can prosper in unfamiliar environments

Think about what having another language actually allows you to achieve. The point is, that with that language, you can survive and thrive in a totally different environment from that which you were originally intended. Having this skill within a business context is truly invaluable, especially within a role which may require travel, or interactions with new customers and clients.

You are adaptable

Tied to the last point, your second language makes you adaptable. With all of the elements previously discussed, such as your ability to communicate, empathize, and understand other cultures, you are the perfect person to be sent into meetings with new clients, or the perfect person to bridge the gap between existing teams.

“You will adapt to situations quicker than most because of what you have learned and the journeys you have already made, both literal and figurative,” advises Brie Champion, a resume editor at BoomEssays.

What has your language skill allowed you to achieve?

What successes have you already had due to your language abilities? Tying these experiences to your resume is a powerful way of emphasizing to perspective employers that your skill is valuable in the workplace. And make sure they are given pride of place on your resume too, not hidden away in ‘other skills’.

By Jenny Han
Jenny Han