Does it Really Pay to Speak More than One Language?

The simple answer to that question is yes, it sure does, and in more ways than one. As a specialist language recruiter, we’re often asked just how beneficial it is to speak another language, not just in terms of an individual’s job prospects, but also in their everyday lives.

We currently have a wide range of language jobs available all across the South Coast, from an Italian business information manager position in Guildford, Surrey; to German, Swedish and Norwegian market research roles in Aldershot, Hampshire; and a number of Polish speaking customer service jobs in Southampton. Every time we seek a top level candidate to fill these roles we are reminded just how much it pays to speak another language.

Of course, we’re quite likely to be biased in this area given our line of work, but there’s plenty of research out there which corroborates our views.

You can earn more money…

While earning as much money as you possibly can is not the priority for every language job seeker, it’s a bonus to be paid well for doing a job you love. A survey of 2,700 UK employers has found that polyglots – people who speak more than one language – earn more money, have a wider choice of work, and perhaps more importantly, are more likely to be more successful with the opposite sex!

The survey shows that linguists can expect to earn an additional £3,000 a year for their additional language, which equates to a total of £145,000 over their working lives. Employers revealed they are prepared to pay workers earning the national average of £25,818 as much as 12 percent if they have a second language.

For higher earners, the findings are even more startling. Those earning £45,000 a year could see a potential boost of 20 percent, the equivalent of £9,000 a year or £423,000 over a lifetime if they are fluent in sought after languages like French, German, Spanish and Italian.

… And enjoy a better quality of life

Of course, it’s always nice when you’re on holiday to order that café au lait in the native language and the ability to do so is always very much appreciated by the locals. However, a number of research projects conducted over the years have also shed light on a range of other benefits that being bilingual can bring.

  • Adults who are bilingual from a young age tend to be more cognitively flexible, and more able to adapt to changing circumstances. They are also usually able to complete set tasks more quickly than those with only one language.
  • Bilingual children generally find problem-solving and switching from one task to another easier than their monolingual counterparts.
  • Learning another language later on in life gives the brain a boost as you enter into old age. The research showed improved general intelligence and reading skills of language learners who were well into their seventies.

It’s never too late to become a language learner

Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” The truth is it’s never too late to learn another language, whether you’re a polygot looking to take the next step on your linguistic career, or simply someone who wants to learn another language purely for pleasure.

For more information about any of the jobs listed above, please take a look at our latest language vacancies, or learn a little more about the process we go through when selecting our candidates.

Ten Top CV Writing Tips for Language Job Searchers

In most cases, your CV is a recruiter’s first introduction to you and your skill set, so it’s ESSENTIAL you get it right. At Linguistica Recruitment, a CV is always our first point of reference for screening potential candidates. Of course, top notch language skills are vital for any professional linguist, but unless the CV is on point, potential recruits will not progress as far as our written and spoken language tests and will miss out on an opportunity to show us what they can really do!

So, to help you grab the attention of a potential employer and give yourself the very best chance of landing that language job, here are a few top CV writing tips.

1. Layout and design

Recruiters can receive hundreds of CVs for linguistic positions, so it’s important the layout of your CV makes it easy to scan as they’re sifting through. A simple, professional design is the way to go for corporate jobs while positions in the creative industries tend to allow a little more poetic licence. An absolute must, however, is to make sure every section of your CV has a clear heading, in a readable font, so a recruiter can easily navigate your skills, education and experience.

2. Employment history

Past employment is a crucial section of your CV as it allows the recruiter to see how suitable you are for the role you are applying for. For competitive roles, past experience in a similar role can determine whether your CV ends up on the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’ pile. If you’re at the start of your linguistic career, consider internships of volunteering in linguistic roles that allow you to develop your skills in a professional environment.

3. Education

Whilst your education is important, for many employers, it is the attitude of the individual that carries the most weight. Of course, having the necessary language skills is a must, but 9 out of 10 employers will hire a hard working, positive individual without the first class honours degree over a pessimistic, unenthusiastic individual with a glittering academic record.

4. Skills

Writing your CV isn’t the most fun you’re going to have on a Friday night – that’s a fact,  but when it comes to landing that language job, it’s imperative you take the time to tailor your skills section to meet the description of each and every job. Making sure your skills match the requirements of the job you’re applying for is the easiest way to make your CV stand out.

5. Spelling and grammar

As a professional linguist, you’re meant to be proficient in two or more languages. The spelling and grammar on your CV is your chance to show your mastery of the English language. Even if your first language is French, German or Spanish, the ability to communicate clearly and concisely in English is key.

6. Photographs

In many European countries, it is the norm to enclose a photograph of yourself when applying for a job. In the UK, that’s not the case, so you can save that £4 you would have spent in the photo booth for a spot of lunch instead!

7. Length

Generally speaking, you should try to keep your CV to no more than two pages in length. That should give you more than enough room to show how your skills, education and experience relate to the role in question.

8. Include references

Enhance your credibility and reassure the recruiter by including references at the bottom of your CV, or by simply stating that ‘references are available on request’.

9. Proofread it carefully

Even the most careful writer can make mistakes when typing their CV. A spell check will identify some of your mistakes, but not all. Often the most telling mistakes are those errors a spell check does not pick up.

10. Send it to us!

Once you’ve followed this ten point guide and created a CV you can be proud of, send it to us here at Linguistica Recruitment. Check out our latest language job vacancies, click ‘apply now’ and we will help you take the next step in your linguistic career.