Learn a second language to increase your job prospects and boost your resume
Today’s job market is highly competitive (especially in the UK), and it is important to differentiate your professional profile from the rest.
Knowing at least one foreign language can boost your chances of landing a job and overall skills. The market is now more globalized than ever, and being able to communicate with as many customers and associates as possible can open many doors for you. Learning a language gives you a standout skill and also the opportunity to explain why you chose to learn a particular language. If you are working in international business, for example, and you would be working with clients in China, then learning Mandarin would give you the ability to interview for a company and show that you took the initiative to be a ‘good fit’. For many jobs, some knowledge of a second language is even a requirement.
Here are 4 ways you can learn a new foreign language on your own.
- Language apps. In today’s digital age there are language apps available at your fingertips. With Babbel, for example, you can learn French or another of 12 languages. You can follow structured lessons and put in as much time as you can to boost your language skills quickly.
- Listen to native speakers. Whether you watch your favorite television show or movie in the language you are learning or meet up for a language exchange with someone, listening to native speakers is crucial in order to pick up on accents and other cultural habits that feed into the language.
- Make it a habit. It is important to stay consistent when learning a language so that you retain ‘new’ and ‘old’ information. Even if it is 5-20 minutes every day, you will improve with each lesson.
- Make it fun. Learning a language doesn’t have to be stressful. Before you get started, remember that you will make mistakes and that you have to make mistakes in order to learn! So figure out what makes learning a language fun for you and laugh off and move forward as you inevitably have constant ’learning moments’.
Which language to learn?
If you are trying to select which language you’d like to learn, consider what industry you would like to work in and where you would be living.
A few of the most commonly requested languages are:
- Mandarin (Chinese): China has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and the Chinese market has a strong hold in the global market.
- German: If you are doing business in central Europe (especially in engineering or finance), German is a helpful language to learn. It is highly recommended to ensure you are learning and practicing with native German speakers if you choose to learn this language.
- French: French is an official UN language and one of the most popular languages spoken across Europe, North America, and Africa.
- Russian: In the finance, business and law industries, the Russian language is highly requested and more and more students are choosing to learn this language nowadays. The language is known for being challenging to learn, but the employment opportunities are well worth it!
There are many advantages of learning a language. Not only will you increase your job prospects and boost your resume, you will also enhance your critical thinking and problem solving skills, you could earn a higher salary, as well as set yourself up to better understand and relate to different cultural groups. To be able to break language barriers gives you the chance to build greater relationships, conduct more business with better service, and meet even more people. In its unique effort, to learn a new language is to take a step to learn something outside of ‘your own world’.
Graphic by Mohamed Hassan