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Guest Post: How Speaking Multiple Languages Separates You from The Competition

February 16, 2012

Misc

This is a guest post by Susanna Cha, our U.K. contributor and writer for Pearson PTE. If you’d like to be a guest writer here on Jobtrakr, we would love to have you.  Just follow these guest writer guidelines.  

If you are a recent graduate and speak more than one language then first of all, you are a lucky person! What’s important here is that you know how to promote this as this will ultimately increase your chances of getting the interview for your desired job. This post will outline some of the things you could take into consideration, both offline and online, when you are preparing for success. 

Offline actions

There are many of us who might speak a bit of Spanish and a bit of French and claim to be fluent in these languages. Don’t be mistaken, you will get tested! I speak the Dutch, German and English language fluently and when I was interviewed for my current job, the lady tested me by asking me “So we can speak in German then?” after the interview. It caught me off guard; however I was able to respond quickly because I do control the language.

Recruiters may test you if you don’t have any evidence, such as a certificate from a language course. Having said this, you may want to consider obtaining a certificate in the language you speak which you can include on your cv, because this will establish more credibility from a recruiter’s perspective. Also, it shows that you have put an effort into enhancing your language abilities which is also positive.

Online actions

Whether you like it or not, most of us have a rather lengthy internet history which his easily traceable due to the rise of Web 2.0 and social media. Because of this, it is essential that you promote your language skills the right way, because recruiters will research you online.

Before I outline these tactics, I recommend that you first Google yourself so that you can see what recruiters will see when they research you. If there is anything that you feel should not be visible for recruiters, consider deleting it.

For example, if you have posted a comment in a forum a couple of years ago that is totally irrelevant and perhaps unprofessional, then I would strongly suggest to find your log in details and to remove the comment. If you don’t have your log in details anymore, then it is not a problem to contact the webmaster and to ask him if he can delete it on behalf of you.

Twitter

Twitter is perhaps the most effective type of social media that you can use to promote your language skills. For example, if you speak Dutch, German and English like me, consider tweeting in these three different languages as well.

More importantly, make sure that you include this in your profile description, e.g. “Susanna Cha, Recent MSc Marketing Management graduate, Tweets in Dutch, German and English”. Recruiters will see this which in turn establishes more credibility.

Facebook

Facebook tends to be the least professional or formal type of social media site in terms of usage, so therefore, most job seekers ensure that their profile and status updates are not visible to the public.

If you are, however, very conscious about how you behave online and allow the public to see your profile, consider amending your status updates in the languages you speak.

About the Author

Susanna Cha is a U.K.  based writer for Pearson PTE English test approved for tier 4 student visa’s and is a regular contributor to one of the largest job boards in the U.K.

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