Foreign Language Skills: Why You Need Them On Your Resume And LinkedIn

28 Oct Foreign Language Skills: Why You Need Them On Your Resume and LinkedIn

Resumes are the first introduction your potential employers get about you before they meet you. The main job of a great resume is to get your employer’s attention, create a solid first impression and get them interested enough to call you for an interview. But as the corporate and professional landscape becomes increasingly competitive, standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult.

Imagine yourself in the shoes of your hiring manager. They probably get a ton of resumes and only have a limited number of employment positions to offer. This creates the added challenge for you to equip yourself with anything that gives you an advantage and have a solid resume that stands out from others.

One of the easiest ways to get that competitive advantage is the addition of a foreign language. Here is what it means for your potential employer when they see added foreign language skills on your resume.

1.  A Sharper Brain

Foreign language speakers require to understand complex rules and structures of a different language which inadvertently boosts their brain-power and enhances cognitive and critical thinking skills.  

2.  Better Memory

There is no question that the brain, just like any other muscle in our body is enhanced and nurtured with consistent exercise. It’s like a machine that will lose its touch if not used regularly. A new language requires learning and use of new vocabulary and being able to retain and recall that information giving your brain a great workout.

3.  A Good Multitasker

People who can think and use more than one language for communication are better at multi-tasking than those who are monolingual. Adding a foreign language skill will tell your hiring manager that you can multitask and work under pressure.

4.  A Better Decision Maker

Does your job require you to make decisions? Foreign language speakers are more confident decision-makers compared to their counterparts 

5.  Increased Networking & Client Servicing Skills

 Learning a foreign language gives you an ability to relate and communicate with a whole new demographic audience on a more intimate level, naturally making you better at networking and better at customer service

6.  A Better Listener

It goes without saying that listening is by far one of the most important skills for effective communication, teamwork, and following instructions. Learning a foreign language makes you a better listener and a better communicator which is vital in today’s corporate world.   

Here are a few tips on how to effectively add and highlight your foreign language skills on your resume.

  • Language skills should have its own dedicated section
  • They should be listed right after the core sections (after work experience, education)
  • You can mention if you are bilingual or trilingual in your summary statement
  • You can either grade each language as Native, Fluent, Conversational, and Beginner or Basic, Intermediate and Advanced skills
  • Start with the language you are most proficient in and list them using one language framework.

Listing your foreign language skills can be as simple as the following example:

  • English—Native
  • Portuguese— Fluent
  • Spanish—Conversational
  • French —Beginner

In order to get a proper evaluation, you can test your language level as well as language vocabulary on and get certified results to list on your resume. 

If you also have a LinkedIn profile, then it will be a great idea to update your language skills there too. It is quite easy to list them on your LinkedIn profile. You can locate the “languages” section under the “Accomplishments” header and select the level of proficiency for each language. They use a method similar to the ILRS to grade proficiency of each language.

In short, learning a foreign language comes with its advantages which should be fully highlighted on your resume, to give you the much-needed edge in today’s competitive job market. Here are some suggestions for the best languages to learn for business. 

Hopefully, this article has not only highlighted why it’s beneficial but also how to quickly and easily update your language skills on your resume. If you are unsure of your language level, take a free online test and get your results emailed to you instantly.  

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