How to Use Your Language Skills to Get Your Next Big Job

February 27th 2018  By: Nikki Vivian

We all know language skills are important and can be a great addition to your CV, even if you’re not going for a job that requires you to speak several languages. But have you considered how you can really use this ability to highlight other skills and qualities that you get directly from learning a language?

You may or may not be surprised by all the skills you’ve been building whilst learning to speak another language. These can all be used on your CV as transferable skills to help you access your next big job. Oh, and yes, baby sign (aka Makaton) is a language so don’t disregard it as a fantastic skill that you picked up whilst on maternity leave.

So, here are a list of the skills you will have enhanced by learning a language.

Problem solving

Communicating in a language that isn’t native to you can be an example of problem solving at it’s best. Whatever your level, there will be times when you can’t recall a word, or there just isn’t a translation for the word you’re looking for. This is where your problem-solving skills really come into play. Problem solving ability in language learners has been seen to be higher than in non-language learners, so the more often you practice problem solving through language, the greater your ability is to do this in other aspects of your life.

Listening and non-verbal skills

Learning and speaking a new language requires you to listen, which only sharpens your listening skills overall. Similarly, if the language you have learnt is baby sign, or sign language, your listening skills become observation skills and the ability to ‘read’ a speaker.

Having enhanced listening skills gives you practice at non-verbal communication too, as you are learning new sequences and new relationships between sounds, words and actions. These are very useful skills to have in any form of communication and communication is a skill prioritised in any profession.

Greater study skills

Learning a language has been seen to boost your ability to study any new skill. This increase in cognitive ability will be directly transferable to any job you are applying for, or any course you’re planning to take.

Creativity and lateral thinking

Learning a language is often a creative process of trial and error. Trying to explain something in a second language can involve coming up with clever ways to express what you mean when your language skills alone don’t cut it. This kind of out of the box thinking can cultivate creativity in other areas of your life.

It also requires you to think in a less logical way, as when it comes to language, the answers are not always going to follow a logical pattern. This type of lateral thinking requires you to think of creative, in-direct ways of solving problems.

So, there you have it. If you really drill down into your skills, they are more than they appear on the surface and can be used to highlight your ability in so many other areas. If you’d like some help identifying your transferable skills, get in touch.