languages at work
The ability to speak a foreign language can be of huge benefit when looking for a job. So remember:
- Practice - if you have language skills and you're not using them on a day-to-day basis make sure that you keep practising them, because fluency soon slips - read national papers, magazines or books and keep in touch with others who can speak the same language to keep up your verbal fluency too. You may even need to consider a refresher course.
- Target companies and industries who are likely to appreciate your linguistic ability such as export companies, multinationals, European companies or the civil service. Companies can pay up to 20% more for language skills and proficiency in foreign languages can help you to stand out from other candidates.
- Ensure your language skills are prominent on your CV when applying for jobs - highlight where and how you gained the fluency. Be aware of questions that you are likely to be asked during an interview - you may even be asked some questions in your chosen language.
- Show your hidden talents - if you're already working for a company and are not currently using your language skills, make sure that senior managers are aware of your hidden talents. Look out for internal opportunities - either formal in terms of other positions that may become available, or by volunteering your services to take phone calls from foreign speakers or to translate documents and make sure that you remind your boss of your language skills during your annual appraisal.
- Use to your advantage - languages may also help you to secure work or placements abroad and allow you to take advantage of job mobility across Europe.
For more help finding a job where you can use your language skills, please contact your local consultant.