How To Market Your Bilingual Skills

In 1996, the U.S. Census Bureau predicted that the Hispanic population would constitute 44 percent of population growth from 1995 to 2025. Spanish is rapidly becoming an asset in the U.S. marketplace, which means that if you have Spanish language skills, your job prospects could improve in many career fields.

The U.S. Workplace
Many sectors have opened up new job opportunities in response to the increasing Spanish-speaking population.

  • Customer service operations often look to hire bilingual employees who can communicate with Spanish clients.
  • Many companies offer higher salaries for workers who can speak multiple languages.
  • Marketing and advertising companies will be looking to expand their range by targeting areas with multicultural populations.
  • The healthcare industry needs bilingual workers to help doctors communicate with their patients.

International Sphere
Plenty of jobs exist outside of the U.S., and many American companies with satellite locations overseas look for employees with foreign language skills to promote their brands.

  • A second language is crucial to the hiring process for many businesses looking to expand internationally, as speaking the host country's language can earn trust among partnering organizations.
  • Executives who send employees to other countries want them to assimilate easily, and prior experience with the language can facilitate a smooth transition.
  • Speaking in-demand languages like Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, German or Spanish can make you more productive and comfortable when dealing with representatives from other countries.

Enhancing Your Resume
Market your language skills beyond just mentioning your facility with other languages on your resume.

  • Offer to conduct your interview in Spanish if applicable to show that you're confident in your abilities.
  • Include any international experience that would prove you've used your language skills in real-life settings, not just in a classroom.
  • If you're bicultural, include it in your resume. Many employers seek to hire individuals who can bring fresh perspectives and diversify the industry.
  • Brush up on your writing skills in both languages to ensure that speaking isn't your only strength. Many companies need to provide written material in addition to oral communication.

Speaking a second language not only gives you a competitive advantage, but it makes you a valuable asset. Even if you're not bilingual yet, it's never too late to learn. Consider taking a Spanish class or teaching yourself using educational software to gain skills that can benefit you personally and professionally for the rest of your life.

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