Stephen Colbert Weighs In…Is Speaking French the Same as Knowing How to Use PowerPoint?

Last week, Steven Colbert reported on the Edward Snowden whistleblower case. In the story, he talked about highlighting your language skills on your résumé and in interviews…sort of.

Follow this link to watch the Colbert story and pay attention to 1:24-2:02.

Colbert pokes fun at Snowden’s presentation of his résumé during an interview, saying: “you gotta’ get your résumé out there…And after adding that he speaks French and can use PowerPoint, Snowden went into detail about the NSA’s eavesdropping program.”

This is why I do what I do.

Too often, language studies wind up as the peer of PowerPoint on résumés.  

Everyone can use PowerPoint.  

Not everyone speaks a language fluently or has a nuanced understanding of cultures, or the professional skills that develop as you travel the world, study abroad, engage in community service-learning & volunteerism.

Don’t clump your language major or minor with “Skills” such as PowerPoint on your résumé. On too many résumés, the skills section is superfluous anyway–it’s full of obvious stuff that absolutely everyone is proficient in (like PowerPoint).  

Your language degree is not a superfluous skill that every other job candidate has. It’s a whole set of standout skills that could be the difference between you and the other top candidate.  

But you do have to know how to package your experience for each potential employer. You must know how to:

  • describe clear, concise, specific details about your language experiences
  • connect your language experiences to the hard & soft skills employers want in new employees
  • specifically state what you will bring to the organization where you aspire to work.

Darcy Lear is a Chicago-based career coach specializing in training students to highlight their language studies so they standout in the job search and workplace. For one-on-one coaching or to set up a workshop, contact Darcy:
This entry was posted in Career Advice, document preparation, interview prep. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Stephen Colbert Weighs In…Is Speaking French the Same as Knowing How to Use PowerPoint?

  1. Pingback: What’s Your Cultural Perspective on Taking Compliments? | darcylear

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