Guest Blog: How Having More Than One Language Can Improve Job Chances


As a lot of individuals know, looking for and getting a job can be very tough. With lots of competition for limited opportunities, we have to look at what we have that can help us stand out from the competition. After your professional achievements, it can be down to the skills you possess. One of these skills that can really help is knowing another language.

There are a lot of individuals who do know a second language and have never thought of how it could help them get a job. It won’t help you just get any job though; it will only help you in positions where your second language can be of help to that position.

As a lot of nations these days have growing diverse populations, more languages are being used in countries. For example, the UK has growing populations of Chinese, Indians, Pakistani, Africans and various Europeans. There can be as many as 5-7 different languages that are spoken in some cities.

In regions or cities, small businesses may look to employ individuals that can speak the language of the biggest diverse population to help them not only relate better with their customers but also engage with them, in the hope it can help boost their business. Bigger national companies can at times look for individuals who speak other languages to help them engage with their diverse customer base. It helps them provide a good service and resolve any issues that they may have.

It doesn’t stop there, helpful support organisations may want translators to help them communicate with individuals who only know there native tongue. Other businesses may want someone to translate English into another language or vice versa. Some companies may want to hire you to help teach an ethnic minority how to speak English and having someone who speaks their language can greatly help. There are also tourism jobs, which always enjoys having multilingual employees to engage with guests or drum up business.

If you are looking at bigger international companies, well… having another language can help there too. Not only do these companies have operations in other countries, but they are always looking to either connect with new markets (countries), businesses or trying to network with individuals & businesses. Your second language could be the thing they need to help develop or expand their business in a country or region. Again, that could be from a position as a translator to being a high level worker.

If you do speak another language, we must state that before you get too carried away, depending on the role or business, they will require you to speak the language to a certain level and fluently! If you do speak another language or more than one, look at the jobs you are applying for and think of these things:

  • Look at the area you are applying for jobs. Can your language be used there?
  • Look at the type of job you applying for. Will they need you to use your second language at any point?
  • Look at the companies you apply at. Will the company be networking or engaging others where your second language may prove helpful to them?

If you can use your language for the job role, even if it’s not asked for, then tell potential employers. It could make a difference with your chances. Also, employers can be impressed that you can speak another language even if it not required at all in the job role you applied for. It shows employers that you want to develop yourself. Plus, learning languages is not easy so it can also demonstrate that you are motivated, determined and hard working. When you do your next job application, think and look to see if your second language can help with your next job application!

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