The following five languages are among the most extensively used worldwide. They’re also common in the business sphere, making them worth learning. Become proficient in at least one language, in addition to your native language, to enhance your resume.
English is considered the most widely spoken language in the world and is the most commonly spoken language in the United States. It’s spoken in 57 countries worldwide, making it a valuable language to have on your resume.
It’s especially helpful if you live outside the United States and want to make a life and career in America: “Difficulty speaking English can adversely affect the ability to get a job, get a full-time job, and earn competitive salaries in the U.S. labor market. Employers may avoid hiring otherwise qualified individuals who have difficulty communicating effectively,” according to U.S. Census Bureau.
To increase your chances of landing a job in the information technology sector, focus your attention on learning Chinese. It’s the most widely spoken native language in the world, according to Languages of the World, with 1.2 billion native speakers across three countries. It’s also a driving force behind the Easy Programming Language (EPL), the world’s largest non-English based computer coding system.
In addition, China is a global game-changer in the digital industry, so speaking the language will make you an asset to employers who communicate frequently with Chinese companies.
To increase your chances of landing a job in the healthcare sector, focus your attention on learning Spanish. This language is second only to English in the United States, with more than 40 million speakers nationwide.
Given the surge in growth within the Latin American and Hispanic populations, the demand for nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners who speak their native language has risen too—particularly within the border states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California.
To increase your chances of landing a job in the telecommunications sector, focus your attention on learning Arabic. This language is becoming increasingly prevalent among media outlets around the world, as most of today’s sociopolitical trends originate in the Middle East.
To cover these breaking current events, journalists often report on-location in Syria, Lebanon and other Arab nations, so knowing the language will enhance your impact as a foreign correspondent.
To boost your chances of landing a job in the commercial marketing sector, focus your attention on learning German. This language is prominent on the global investment and trade circuits, and Kiplinger statistics have found that a median salary potential among German speakers outweighs all other foreign languages in Corporate America. In fact, the average marketing manager with a competent grasp on German is projected to gross an annual six-figure income.
To land a job in the hospitality sector, focus your attention on learning Portuguese. This language is spoken by more than 200 million Brazilians who represent one of the top-five nations that boosts America’s economy through tourism.
For example, Walt Disney World—often considered the “gold standard” in the hospitality industry—generates a large portion of its revenue just from Brazil, so knowing Portuguese offers you the advantage in a guest services position.
If you’re looking for a strategy for polishing up that resume and urging those hiring managers to take a second glance, adding “bilingual” to your credentials section just might be the job-clincher. The professional development skills you’re bound to acquire from studying a foreign language can impact the whole duration of your career, from recruitment to retention and every promotion in between.
Jessica Thiefels is the editor of Whooo’s Reading and an education blogger, who’s been featured on such as PBS, TeachHub and CollegeRaptor and more. She’s been out of college longer than she’d like to admit, but still uses tricks like these to stay sharp in her career. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 for more tips, tricks and ideas.