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Bilingual individuals have a distinct advantage in today's diverse job market. The ability to speak two or more languages means the candidate has two to three times the potential in terms of communication skills, be they verbal or written. However, if you don't specifically state these strengths on your resume, the hiring committee may never have the chance to ask you about them in an interview.
Create a resume that has four distinct sections. Each section will bring its own opportunities to expand on your bilingual capabilities. The resume should have objective, summary of skills, work history and education sections.
The resume objective is a single sentence that introduces the candidate by her professional title and states what type of job she is looking and why. When writing your objective, insert something specific about your bilingual skills. For example, "Professional bilingual saleswoman with experience in cold calling and outside sales seeking a regional sales position in a growing firm." Do not state exactly what your language capabilities are in this section. Make the reader continue reading to the summary.
The summary of skills is a bulleted list of skills and abilities. Here you can state directly what languages you can communicate in. Be sure to detail whether you are fluent or simply comfortable in a language. For example, you might say, "Fluent in English and Spanish" or "Able to read Portuguese."
Work History and Education
In the bottom two sections of your resume, be creative in terms of how to include your bilingual strengths. At this point, the reader is aware of your strengths in this area, so it's not imperative to include more proof here. However, it could increase your chances of landing a new job if you include information on how you've used your bilingual skills in past positions. if it naturally fits into your history with a previous job, describe how. If your college major or minor reflects your second language, include that information as well.
- "Resume Magic: Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer "; Susan Britton Whitcomb: 2010
- "How to Say It on Your Resume: A Top Recruiting Director's Guide to Writing the Perfect Resume for Every Job"; Brad Karsh: 2009
Steve Bradley is an educator and writer with more than 12 years of experience in both fields. He maintains a career as an English teacher, also owning and operating a resume-writing business. Bradley has experience in retail, fashion, marketing, management and fitness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and classics.