Consider two resumes. Both have the same level of education and work experience. In fact, they are identical except for one key difference: the first resume mentions that the applicant is bilingual. This first resume is significantly more likely to get picked than the second. Bilingual individuals enjoy higher employment rates and better job prospects than those who speak a single language, not only because of how the additional tongue itself helps a business, but also because of what it says about the employee.
A Valuable Business Asset
Companies that have business abroad or in Quebec or have any ethnic group as a significant part of their customer base naturally prefer employees who can speak an additional language. Being able to work with customers or business partners in their own tongue contributes to better relationships and helps expand markets. Even if a company doesn’t, for example, have a large presence in Quebec, that doesn’t mean they’d overlook someone who can speak French. Just because they don’t have a presence there today doesn’t mean they won’t want to expand operations in the future.
The value of bilingualism is the most noticeable in customer service or public sector work. Anyone who deals regularly with the public will be more valuable if they can speak and understand different dialogues. For government jobs, some promotions—as a mater of public policy—go primarily to those with multiple languages.
Selling Soft Skills
Soft skills, such as work ethic or interpersonal ability, are hard to teach, so employers naturally look for signs that job applicants already possess them. Unfortunately, soft skills are not the easiest thing to describe on a resume. Five different people can mean five different things when they describe themselves as a “hard worker” or “problem solver” or “able to form good working relationships”. This is why employers take notice when something appears on a resume that definitively indicates the presence of certain soft skills and traits–bilingualism is one of them.
Bilingual people are commonly seen as more sociable and flexible as a result of their ability to converse and switch between languages. The amount of time and effort it takes to learn an additional language is also no small task, so bilingual candidates are seen as not only willing and able to learn, but also capable of strong perseverance.
Fluency Is Valuable, But Not Required
While a person will naturally stand out more if they are completely fluent in two languages, this level of mastery is not strictly required to enjoy some of the employment benefits of being bilingual. Being able to carry out a basic conversation, look up foreign information, or even correct grammatical errors in a translation can be accomplished without full fluency and still adds value to the employee’s human capital.
Resolve Recruit, Inc. is one of the leading employment agencies in Mississauga. We match skilled workers with a variety of businesses for both temporary and direct hire positions. Bilingual professions across all industries have found successful and fulfilling careers through our services. Learn more by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (905) 568-8500.