Are you really Bilingual? Here’s what you should put on your CV

If you are based in the UK and speak English as well as the language of your native country, you are in a fantastic position to land one of the many bilingual jobs here in the UK. Bilingual speakers are in exceptionally high demand from a broad range of sectors at the moment and that doesn’t look set to change anytime soon.

Multiple studies have been conducted over the years that show speaking more than one language translates into a big earnings boost. That’s fantastic news for job seekers looking for their first or next bilingual role. But wait, before we start extolling the virtues of bilingual jobs, there’s one question that remains surprisingly difficult to answer…

Are you really bilingual?

The term bilingual means different things to different people. Even the dictionaries can’t agree on a single definition.

From we have:

‘The ability to speak two languages with the facility of a native speaker’.

While the Cambridge English Dictionary defines it as:

‘A person who is able to use two languages equally well’.

That begs the question: can anyone speak two languages equally well? Language proficiency is measured in terms of an individual’s speaking, reading, writing and listening abilities in each language. If pushed, very few people would say they can do all of these things equally well in a second language as they can in their native tongue.

We all know it’s not uncommon to exaggerate skills on our CVs and language proficiency is no different, but when promoting our language skills – it’s particularly important to be honest.

So what should you put on your CV?

Regardless of your level of proficiency, your language skills are certainly worth shouting about, but they will be tested, whether by a specialist recruiter like Linguistica Recruitment or by the employer themselves. For that reason, it’s essential you describe your proficiency in the right way. You should handle terms like ‘fluency’ or ‘bilingual’ with care and use the following terms as a framework to describe your skills:

Limited working proficiency – If you are able to handle routine social interactions and use your second language skills in limited work scenarios, this is an accurate way to describe your skills.

Professional working proficiency – If you can discuss a variety of topics easily and have an almost complete understanding of what others are saying then this is the term you should use.

Full professional proficiency – If you can participate in all types of conversation easily and only make a few mistakes when speaking and writing the language then you have full professional proficiency.

Native proficiency – This term describes a native or mother-tongue speaker.

Proving your language skills to prospective employers

Any employer asking for a level of language proficiency as an essential skill will be sure to test you in the interview or as part of their pre-interview screening process. At Linguistica Recruitment, we conduct comprehensive written and spoken language tests to make sure all our candidates meet the required skills.

Looking for your next bilingual role?

If you have second-language proficiency then we could have the role for you. Not all our employers require a native speaker, so take a look at our current vacancies or send us your CV.

Top Talent Trends for UK Employers

You don’t need to be told that the world is changing at a rapid pace. With today’s General Election and the upcoming Brexit negotiations, there’s no doubt further change is on the way. One area where this is particularly evident is in the fast-paced recruitment sector. There are always skill gaps that need to be filled and new talents that are in high demand. As a bilingual candidate, you’re a hot commodity at the moment and there’s no sign of that coming to an end anytime soon.

But what other top talents will employers be looking for over the next year?

1. Bilingual candidates

Many companies in the UK are actively looking for bilingual candidates capable of communicating at a high level with customers, clients, shareholders and other stakeholders. Currently, there is a ‘talent mismatch’, with not enough well-qualified bilingual candidates to meet the demand, putting you in a particularly strong position.

2. The ability to build lasting relationships

Candidates with a strong track record in building successful relationships with stakeholders and winning trust from customers are currently being targeted by companies that are looking to enhance their performance in the manufacturing, technology and consumer industries.

3. Digital experience

The role new media and technology have to play in the modern world has created massive demand for candidates with digital experience, and this demand is continuing to grow. Companies understand that sales and marketing managers who can harness the power of media platforms to promote their products and services are extremely valuable.

4. More flexible job seekers

Mid-career candidates that were once dedicated to working in certain sectors are becoming less picky about the industries they work in. Instead, they are prioritising roles that allow them to develop their skills, gain digital experience and progress their careers more quickly.

5. New sales channels

One thing that will probably never change is the need for successful sales professionals. However, over the next year, many companies will undertake a more rigorous recruitment process in the search for candidates with existing networks that can be used to create new sales channels.

6. Emerging technologies

IT specialists will continue to be in demand to keep up with the rapid pace of technological advances. The growth of technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automatic driving will increase the pressure in this already candidate-short market as companies struggle to recruit the highly-skilled professionals they need. The result will be substantial pay increases in the sector for those with the right skills.

7. Skills development for junior candidates

Junior candidates fresh out of university will continue to show interest in joining technology firms at an entry level in a bid to acquire the in-demand skills they’ll need to develop their future career prospects. However, companies will have to develop new strategies to retain the best professionals once they have acquired the skills and experience they need.

How can we help?

As a specialist bilingual recruitment agency, we can help employers find talented linguists and empower candidates to take their next step on the career ladder. Call 02392 987 765 to discuss your requirements or browse our current vacancies online.