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How to Promote your Bilingüismo

Being bilingual is a wonderful asset in the professional world. Your skills are desirable!

“A University of Phoenix Research Institute study found that demand for American workers who speak foreign languages—particularly Spanish and Chinese—will rise over the next decade, but few workers actually plan to study them.” (Wall Street Journal)

Many, however, do not know how to use their bilingüismo as a professional advantage.  Knowing how to show that you are bilingual can be particularly confusing when applying for jobs. You should indicate that you are bilingual like this:

Resume: Add a languages section indicating the proficiency level of every language you speak. In other words, you should state whether you are proficient, have native or learned fluency, or are a novice when it comes to reading, writing, and speaking each language. 

If the job descirption requires bilingualism, make sure that your languages section is near the top of your resume, or include that you are bilingual in a highlighted skills section at the top of your resume (in addition to the languages section). 

Application: Some job applications directly ask for any languages spoken. Make sure that you fill this section out adequately.

Cover Letter: When applying to a position that does not require bilingualism, you may consider mentioning how your language skills could be an additional asset to the company in your cover letter. It depends on how you approach your letter and what you use as your main “selling point” for why they should hire you, but mentioning your bilingualism should only help your possibilities.

Job Interview: Approach the job interview like your opportunity to show a company that you have the knowledge, skills, and a background they can’t live without. One way to approach this is to make a list (ahead of time) of ways your bilingualism could be an asset to the company. For example, you will be able to interact with a broader set of clients. Be creative and think outside the box. Potential employers will appreciate the initiative and see your confidence in using your skillset. 

 

 

Cherise Tolbert


1 comment

  • It’s the “getting there” that is the most problematic aspect of being a bilingual person, let alone a bilingual professional. And, it starts from early on. The vast majority of Hispanics, for example, forsake landing Spanish for a boatload of reasons, most of them flimsy.

    Yet, it’s possible to catch up, if you focus on the other language skills you need in relation to your career choices. A medical professional, for example, requires a range of particular technical skills that can help him/her serve patients and colleagues who speak and want to be addressed in the 2nd language–not all do. which introduces a host of social-cultural norms associated with the professional use of other languages. That being said, it’s essential to be proficient in your 1st language. Saludos