More than 50 percent of people worldwide speak two or more languages fluently. In the United States, however, this number is much lower – about 20 percent. As a result, bilingual and multilingual workers are in higher demand in the US than in other countries.
If you can hold a conversation in more than one language, you possess a skill that 80 percent of job candidates do not. Here’s why your resume should highlight that achievement – and how to include it.
1. Seeing you’re bilingual may encourage hiring managers to read your entire resume.
Being fluent in multiple languages carries a certain cachet, especially in the US. Those who are bilingual are often seen as more intelligent and more dedicated to learning than those who are not.
Whether or not this assessment is fair in every case, the fact is that noting your skills on your resume can grab a hiring manager’s attention. The hiring manager is more likely to read your resume more closely, which can improve the chances of landing an interview.
2. Being bilingual improves your work in many jobs.
Whether or not it’s mentioned in the job posting, being bilingual can help many professionals succeed in their jobs. To work this fact into your resume, think about how your ability to speak a second language can be useful in the job you’re applying for.
If your skill has already helped you solve a problem or meet a goal in a past job, write a 1-2 sentence summary of the achievement, highlighting the usefulness of your ability to speak multiple languages. Insert it in your resume under the job where it happened. By doing so, you demonstrate not only that you can speak the language, but that you can use it to solve real-world problems at work.
3. Include it in your skills or summary sections.
If you haven’t had the chance to put your language skills to work on a real-life job issue yet, list the skill in your summary section at the top of the resume, or create a separate “skills” section and include it there. If you speak several languages well, consider adding a section just for languages.
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