Do you speak more than one language? Are you planning to learn a new language? In either case, being bilingual (or multilingual if you speak more than two languages) can be an extremely valuable skill to have on your resume if you’re searching for a job. Why? Speaking multiple languages allows you to communicate with more people, including prospective and current customers, vendors, and contacts at international companies. Also, if the language you know isn’t widely spoken in your area, it might prove to be especially useful to an employer who needs someone who can speak it.
So if you enjoy learning other languages or are already bilingual or multilingual, rest assured that this is a prized skill in the workplace. In fact, it could potentially give you an edge over another candidate. Continue reading to learn which languages are most highly valued by employers and why.
Perhaps not surprisingly, English is the most sought after language in the professional world. It is currently the most widely spoken language on the planet with around 1.5 billion speakers and is commonly used in tourism, business, and academia. It’s the official language of 67 countries and 27 non-sovereign entities; it’s even spoken in countries where English isn’t the official language. Because of its international popularity, many companies naturally want their employees to speak English fluently.
Spanish is reportedly the second most widely spoken language in the United States following English. American employers, in particular, value candidates who can speak both English and Spanish because this enables them to serve the predominantly Hispanic communities that make up nearly 19% of the U.S. population, according to 2020 Census data. Being able to converse fluently in Spanish is helpful in many professions from medicine to customer service.
This language is prevalent in the international business world. As an extremely popular Chinese dialect and the official language of Taiwan and China (which has a huge economy), Mandarin is commonly used to conduct business transactions worldwide. In fact, outside of English, it is considered by many to be the most important language in business. It’s not a particularly easy language to learn due to its complex grammar, so if you conquer it, have no doubt that employers – especially those in the business field – will be highly impressed by this unique skill. Being able to speak Mandarin will most definitely give you a leg up on your competition.
Like China, India has a large population and a rapidly growing economy. As the official language of India (alongside English), Hindi is another language that business employers like to see on resumes. Like Mandarin, those who speak Hindi are capable of conducting business transactions throughout the world, particularly in India. In addition, if you learn how to speak Hindi, you’ll also likely be able to understand the overall gist of Urdu, a similar language that is spoken by many people in both India and Pakistan.
Another language that is beneficial to know when you’re trying to land a job is German. The official language of multiple countries in the European Union, German is spoken in many fields, including international trade, science, and technology. A relatively challenging language to learn, it may be worth the effort because it can help qualify you to work for a top-tier German or European company.
As you can see, being able to speak more than one language can significantly increase your odds of being offered a job. Compared to another candidate who only knows one language, your knowledge in this area makes you more valuable because you can converse with more people. In the global business world, knowing Mandarin is particularly beneficial, and English is highly valued by most companies across the world. If you’re looking to differentiate yourself from others, consider learning a new language and adding it to your resume.