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How to use your language skills to boost your career opportunities

Posted on 20 March 2019

Studies have repeatedly shown the many benefits of bilingualism on brain function and memory but your commitment to learning a second or even third language could just be your ticket to more career opportunities.

The rise of multinational employers in Ireland

Never has there been a better time to be a professional in Ireland with bilingual and multilingual skills. As of January 2019, more than two-hundred-thousand people were employed by the multinational sector in Ireland. With the rise of multinational businesses settling and expanding into Dublin, Cork and wider Ireland comes the rise of jobs requiring bilingual and multilingual candidates.

European languages are especially in demand, with German, French, Swedish and Dutch speakers highly sort after in a range of professional areas. Other Nordic languages and also Croatian are also widely sought after. According to the last Census, more than 600,000 Irish residents speak a language other than English in the home. 2019 is the year to make sure that you include that second language on your CV!

Jobs requiring language skills

At Wallace Myers International, we have received requests from organisations looking for nearly every kind of profession type with added language skills. In March alone we have hired or are hiring, treasury accountants that speak French, HR managers with Hebrew, customer service representatives with fluent German, and Travel consultants with French and Dutch.

Other jobs that regularly come into our recruitment teams with language requirements include content writers and moderators, customer experience professionals, and finance.

How to use your language skills to your advantage

A foot in the door

If you have struggled to gain experience in a particular type of company that you really want to work for you might consider using your language ability to get your foot in the door. This might mean that you take what Sheryl Sandberg might call a ‘sideways’ move - a move into a job that builds your skills and network but isn’t necessarily straight up in the traditional career ladder model.

Specialise

Put in a little research to find out exactly what opportunities are out there and how your skills and experience match them. You might find that your particular combination of languages and professional background can open an unexpected career path for you. Use the job descriptions you find to help you to market yourself as a language specialist in your are and to tailor your CV to make sure it stands out with the relevant information required.

Relocate

Ever wanted to experience life in another country? When an employer requires a specific arrangement of languages and skills they often look abroad to find them. Some employers that we work with offer relocation support such as travel and accommodation to help you move to the country where they are based.

Things to consider when pursuing language based jobs

Your fluency level

Most jobs that we come across in the multilingual area require fluent business English plus fluency in at least one other language. You will be competing with other applicants so make sure you can prove your language ability. If you have them, include any language exams or certificates on your CV. If there is an accredited test you can take, consider the investment.

Brush up

Keep your language skills fresh with regular use, apps such as Duolingo, groups such as the Dublin MeetUp for German speakers and events like those held by the Goethe Institute in Dublin will help you stay sharp.

If you studied or learnt a second language but never quite reached fluency then consider investing in a language course.

Relevant experience

This may seem obvious but if you have used your language levels in a job before then be sure to include that clearly on your CV.

Update your LinkedIn Headline

Go to your LinkedIn profile and change your headline to include your language ability and profession or area of experience. This will help you show up above competing job seekers when recruiters and hiring managers are searching for your skill set. Whilst you are updating your LinkedIn profile, be sure to request access to the Wallace Myers Multilingual Career Group and to link with our agency page too.

 



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