6 Benefits of Being a Multilingual Job Candidate

The Benefits of Marketing Yourself as a Multilingual Candidate

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Being a multilingual candidate makes you a candidate for job opportunities that aren’t open to others! Your language skills mean you have much wider market opportunities than most other candidates, and you should use that to your advantage. But how? First, you must learn how to market yourself as more than just a traditional candidate- you are a multilingual candidate! But what exactly is a multilingual candidate?

A multilingual job candidate is…

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Someone who can speak a native language and at least one other language fluently. This is especially advantageous for industries based in international cities and international business markets. In international business markets- and especially across Europe- English can be seen as a universal business language. And because of this, many interviews for international companies and job offers are completed in English- regardless of the role’s required language.

So, what does this mean for you?

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It means that if you speak English fluently, you’re already one step ahead of the game! But it also means that if you’re applying for English speaking jobs, and your native or mother tongue is not English, you are missing a huge opportunity. Why? Because while having native or near native fluency in English is an advantage in international business, what is required for most multilingual jobs is having a native or near native fluency in a language OTHER than English.. While having fluent English may be a requirement for most international jobs*- applying for jobs requiring a second language other than English might open a new career path you never even considered. This is what makes your skills marketable, and this is what multinational companies are looking for

*Reminder: If you are looking for multilingual jobs abroad, it is a good idea to have a copy of your CV in English.

6 benefits of being a multilingual job candidate

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There are all kinds of benefits to working with a language other than English in an international setting. There are jobs at all levels that require multilingual candidates- from entry-level customer service roles, technical roles, and even mid and top tier management roles. Don’t let your CV get overlooked for an opportunity just because you’re not sure how to make yourself seen.

1. There are increased job opportunities

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Especially in the technology, medical, and customer service industries. There are many job opportunities that require multilingual candidates, especially if the job is focused on an international job market. For example, even if a role is based in Athens, it could be dealing with customer support and market knowledge that only a native or fluent Dutch speaker could have. In that case, being a native or fluent Dutch speaker would be what makes that opportunity available to you. There are also jobs where having a second language can often be an asset, even though it is not a requirement.

2. You can be compensated for using a second language

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Another benefit to working with more than one language is that you can be considered for a language bonus! In many language specific customer service and technical support roles, you might be offered a base pay with the addition of a language bonus as well. Something to note is that speaking an in-demand language can increase your pay rate! Some companies offer considerable language bonuses for speaking languages that are sought-after for the international market. Think of this as a company simply offering additional compensation for a skill you already possess.

3. You can break into niche markets

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By having fluency in a language other than English, you have opportunity for working in niche markets that require not only your language skills, but also your other career skills. For example, a candidate who has 15 years of accounting experience, but is also fluent in Danish and English now has more opportunities than the candidate with the same background who is only fluent in English.

4. You can relocate

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Speaking another language fluently is an invaluable asset if you’re interested in moving abroad. Many language jobs are located abroad- in technology or customer service hubs like Dublin, London, or Athens. Opportunities like teaching, customer service, or technological support, or even translating, are often more lucrative and bountiful abroad. For those looking to relocate, having a fluent language other than English can be an asset in the job hunt- especially for languages that are wanted in international job markets.

Especially if you are a recent graduate looking for experience right of out of University, there are many entry-level positions that require little or no experience, and may only require fluency in a language other than English. These companies that actively recruit multilingual expats are culturally enriching and diverse work environments that are inclusive and cater to expats. This opportunity to gain international work experience in a multicultural environment, and also experience living abroad can be a great way to start building a career, and can be an asset on a CV.

5. You can be more competitive

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Sometimes the smallest differences between candidates can mean getting a job offer.  And in fast growing industries like tourism, travel, security, and technology, sometimes what you need is that edge to set yourself apart from all the other applicants with similar CVs.

 6. Demand is Increasing

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Jobs seeking multilingual candidates is a market trend that is rapidly growing! Just like familiarity with Microsoft office products, administration skills, or programming skills, language skills can be another way to market yourself to hiring managers and recruiters. Don’t sell yourself short- make sure you highlight your abilities on your CV.

Author: Nicole Agger-Nielsen