If you’re a multilingual individual looking for an exciting job in the industry, then highlighting the value of your language proficiencies on your CV is an essential step. Whether you’re in marketing or tech, the best resume will give strong examples of how your languages have - and can - apply to your work.
You may also like:
Start Now: Update Your CV / Resume
First, a quick note on how to list your languages on a resume, a task that can be more difficult than might be expected.
To begin, if you’ve language skills to flaunt, flaunt them! Candidates often bury their highly valuable language skills at the very bottom of their profile. Make sure your language skills are clearly presented, near the top of your CV.
Next, it’s important to communicate your level of proficiency. This is not always an easy task as there are different aspects of a language to master; you might for example be very capable of comprehending a language when it is written but less so when it is spoken, or you may understand most of what is said to you but struggle with speaking.
One way to specify your proficiency is by using the Interagency Language Roundtable (IRL) scale, which allows you to rate your capabilities in each language in relation to a social and work settings. The scale covers five levels of proficiency; Elementary Proficiency, Limited Working Proficiency, Professional Working Proficiency, Full Professional Proficiency, and Native or Bilingual Proficiency.
In Europe, you’ll also encounter the Common European Framework for Reference for Language (CEFRL) which divides stages of proficiency into three groups, each with two categories. You can list your language skills as being A1 or A2 (Basic user), B1 or B2 (Independent user) or C1 and C2 (Proficient user). Test your language skills and comprehension if you are unsure where on the scale you fall for a particular language, or as a means of providing proof of proficiency to prospective employers. Regardless of which type of rating you include on your CV, listing your languages alongside a scale will help recruiters get a better idea of your language skills.
Lastly, if you have any academic certificates or awards that demonstrate your language skills, then these should also be included on your CV. Having travelled or lived abroad as an expatriate might also be worth mentioning if these experiences are related to your proficiency in any language.
Great! Now your CV is fit for employers, let’s look at WHY language skills are in such high demand…
3 Ways Multilingual Skills Boost Your Value
Multilingual candidates stand out from the crowd. Many jobs – such as those in sales or customer service - explicitly require multi-lingual skills, but even employers without an express need for second languages tend to be impressed by multilingual candidates.
So, what is it that makes multilingualism such a desirable asset?
01 - Multilingualism is a form of creative expression
When you’re looking to use your language in a content or translation role within the industry, you’ll need to demonstrate more than mere linguistic proficiency on your resume.
Whether the brand with which you’re working is launching in a new country or already has a well-established market presence, any copy management or translation role will require you to use your language creatively and ensure that there is a consistent, engaging and brand-driven tone across the content over which you’re responsible.
“What is becoming apparent is that these ambitious companies aiming for a wider global reach are often looking for more than literal translations for their website, games, software and marketing. They require strategic localization which takes into account iGaming’s unique terminologies, the cultural context of the market in which the brand is launching, and the importance of translated content maintaining the brand tone and core message of the source text,” explains Roy Pedersen, founder of translation and content company, All In Translations.
Creating or adapting high quality content for each specific market strengthens a product’s appeal and helps create a stronger relationship between user and brand. This is why recruiters are looking for translators and copywriters who are native-level speakers in their respective market, have a talent for the written word, and who appreciate the importance of brand ethos. Creativity and language skills go hand in hand for any content-driven career, so show prospective employers that you are able to translate or create content in your native or bilingual tongue with the overall picture in mind and not just by working with the text in front of you.
02 - Multilingualism shows great communication skills
Companies are always looking for multilingual customer support agents which tailor their service approach for the needs of each market.
When applying for a customer support role, simply stating that you speak the relevant language will rarely suffice. Rather, a Spanish customer support agent might wish to demonstrate an understanding of the fact that customers from Spain may present problems and react to advice differently from those calling from Mexico. In Spain, for example, it is custom to adopt a more formal tone in communication with customers. Sense of humour also differs between Mexican and Spanish culture.
“There’s an immense value in being able to offer players support in their native tongue. But it’s not just about language - it’s just as important to have support which is sensitive to cultural nuances and communicative in a way which is appropriate for the target market,” says Samuel Smit, Head of CRM at PlayFrank.
A talented support agent goes beyond a shared language in offering the best possible support. If you’re looking for a role within customer service, you need to convince prospective employers of your talent for communication as well as your linguistic skills.
03 - Multilingualism directly benefits businesses
No matter how fluent you sound in casual conversation, each culture has their own linguistic and cultural peculiarities when it comes to workplace communication. Employers will look favourably upon candidates who can prove they’ve mastered a second or third language within a business context. Everything from email etiquette to coffee break small talk can differ drastically between cultures, and employees who are both multilingual and multicultural can help ease communication.
“Many professionals err in assuming it is enough to speak a common tongue when speaking with people from other cultures, [but] how people say things, how they listen, body language and how they perceive authority all influence interactions. Not recognising those vital factors can result in crossed wires and serious miscommunication,” says Denis LeClerc, professor of cross-cultural communication, in a BBC interview.
Demonstrating that you have a grasp of not only several languages but several styles of business communication will go a long way in making your resume stand out. Draw from examples in which you have used your language skills in a business setting, such as occasions when you’ve delivered presentations, negotiated partnerships, managed teams, faced customers, or met clients.
For example, a search engine optimizer with experience in a specific market might want to highlight the ways in which their linguistic insights allowed for more perceptive keyword localization, stronger analysis of searcher trends and a richer content strategy that incorporated natural latent semantic indexing in the given language.
If you have previous experience within the Fintech industry, then you can take this a step further and highlight how your language skills are specialized for this specific field. Just like any other industry, the world of Fintech is filled with with jargon, slang and terminology unique to its businesses - but which differ between languages. Whether you’re compiling a financial report or writing a press release, a sound knowledge of Fintech terminology in different languages will be valued by prospective employers - so don’t shy from exemplifying a thorough grasp of industry lingo.
Next Steps: Make The Most of YOUR Language Skills
Countless studies have proven the benefits of being multilingual in everyday life, and show a correlation between fluency in more than one language and general intelligence, which suggests multilingual individuals overall have stronger empathy and critical thinking skills.
In an international and diverse industry like Fintech, knowing several languages is a hugely valuable asset which you should detail on your CV and to which you should draw attention in interviews. Don’t let your linguistic proficiencies go overlooked in your job search.
Looking for new opportunities or just want to see what's out there? Feel free to check out our latest jobs for Fintech & Payments professionals.