Language Students: What Did You Do Last Week that You Can Use as Career Prep?

Language students:  before you start a new week, take a moment to think of one thing that you did in your language courses last week that you could put on your resume, in a cover letter, or use in an interview answer.

photo-41Here are some examples from some students I have worked with:

  • Followed international current events through Spanish-language media

In an interview, you can give a few examples of the international current events with which you are familiar, then tie those to specific soft skills employers want.  For example, it might illustrate your resourcefulness, your engagement with things outside your own experience, that you have a broad understanding of different cultures, or that you are adaptable to a variety of situations. 

  • Manipulating high numbers aurally and in writing.

That is vital professional development for many careers. If you can manipulate numbers in a foreign languages, you will be a great employee if you need to:

  • take down phone messages that include phone numbers,  
  • negotiate prices,
  • talk about product quantities,
  • negotiate sales or employment contracts.

Employers need people who know the difference between “mil” and “millones;” who know that where commas are commonly used in numbers in English, periods are used in Spanish, and vice versa.  

You have to actively market yourself!  And these key skills make you a standout candidate, but only if you are explicitly telling employers that you can negotiate contracts, prices, and quantities with clients, employers, employees, and supervisors from other parts of the world in their languages.


Darcy Lear is a 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: darcylear@gmail.com
 
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