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How can you point out your bilingual skills to get further in a career?

How can you point out your bilingual skills to get further in a career?

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • How to highlight bilingual skills on your resume
  • 1. Languages section
  • 2. Professional summary and skills sections
  • 3. Work experience section
  • Pointing out bilingual skills in job interviews
  • How to use bilingual skills to get further in your career
  • Key takeaways

Bilingual skills in the workplace are a huge asset and in demand. If you’re bilingual, highlight these skills if you’re looking for a new job or keen to progress. Follow our expert guide for help.

In the modern global economy, many employers are looking for employees who can speak, read, and write multiple languages. These talented professionals are powerful assets, enabling businesses to build connections, move into new markets, and ensure they stay ahead of the competition. 

So, how do you make sure the hiring manager is aware of your bilingual skills? Highlighting your language skills the right way will ensure your resume stands out to recruiters, impress hiring managers during an interview, and help you get further in your career.  

In this article we explore:

  • How to highlight bilingual skills on your resume

  • Pointing out bilingual skills in job interviews

  • How to use bilingual skills to get further in your career

Statistical Insight

Speaking more than one language can make you more money, with bilingual employees earning five to 20 percent more on average. 

How to highlight bilingual skills on your resume

The way you highlight your bilingual skills on your resume will depend on the type of role you’re seeking. Clearly, if you’re a translator, interpreter or foreign languages teacher, then your whole resume needs to focus on your bilingual super strengths!

However, pretty much any job may require you to use your bilingual skills at some point, so it’s still worth including this information on your resume, even if it's not mentioned in the job description. Here are the different options:

1. Languages section

Including a languages section on your resume will make sure this information is easy for the hiring manager to find. Here you can list every additional language you know and describe your proficiency level, using words such as “native,” “fluent,” advanced,” “intermediate,” or “basic.” 

This section would usually be placed at the end of the resume, following the education section. If the job description highlights bilingual skills as an essential part of the role, it’s better to place this section on the first page of your resume for maximum impact.



  • Spanish: Fluent

  • French: Intermediate

  • German: Basic

2. Professional summary and skills sections

Your professional summary section at the beginning of your resume is your initial pitch to encourage the hiring manager to read the rest of your resume. Including a nod to your bilingual skills in the summary section will make sure they don’t go unnoticed. Here’s an example:


Focused and customer-centric bilingual hospitality specialist, who applies fluency in Spanish and English to build positive relationships and deliver outstanding guest experiences.

You can also mention your linguistic proficiencies in your resume’s expertise list, using keyword-scanning phrases like “Spanish-to-English Translation” or “French Interpreting,” to capture the attention of a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS).

3. Work experience section

When your bilingual skills are an essential part of your role, they should be highlighted in the experience section and backed up by some specific achievements if possible. Here’s an example: 


ABC Law Firm Legal Translator / Interpreter, 2019 - Date

Applied bilingual skills in Arabic and English to deliver accurate translations of contracts, investigations, and court decisions. Provided interpreter services and utilized culture-specific knowledge at meetings with clients and legal officials.

  • Translated over 50 legal documents per month to tight deadlines and exacting standards, with success averaging 96 percent in client satisfaction rates. 

  • Awarded responsibility for training and mentoring junior legal translators, including editing and proofreading of their assigned work.

Pointing out bilingual skills in job interviews

Job interviewers who notice the language proficiencies on your resume will typically ask you about them. This gives you the perfect opening to talk about where and when you learned your second language(s), your specific strengths as a translator/interpreter, and how you’ve made use of your multilingual skills in past jobs. 

Don’t forget to highlight that your bilingual skills also give you a great insight into different cultures. Maybe you’ve grown up in a bilingual household, worked abroad, or relocated from another country. This provides you with unique knowledge and understanding of specific cultures, which can be a major asset to employers in terms of building connections with global clients, vendors, teams, and partner organizations. 

If your job interviewer doesn’t ask about your language skills during the interview, don’t mention the topic without context. Instead, bring up your language proficiencies while answering questions about your education, work history, and special accomplishments. 

You could also prepare some interview questions of your own, inquiring about the company’s international business operations and whether they need bilingual employees to facilitate communications.

Expert Tip

If you don’t have a foreign language college degree, you can still demonstrate your multilingual skills on your resume by acquiring a language proficiency certificate. Check out universities, training institutes, and online language courses. Before signing up, do some research and make sure they offer accredited certificates that businesses will recognize.

How to use bilingual skills to get further in your career

Even if your current position doesn’t require bilingual skills, keep an eye out for job openings in your company where you can make use of your language proficiencies. Don’t be afraid to ask your manager about opportunities to work remotely or with colleagues who are abroad to show your passion and commitment to progressing with the company.

When you learn about upcoming meetings with clients or business partners who speak your secondary language, ask your supervisor if they could use someone with your multilingual skills. Most of the time, managers will be happy to hear you can understand the primary language of clients or partners.

  • Talk to client’s in their native language to break the ice and put them at ease.
  • Express your interest in using your language skills to promote the company and build connections with prospective, new, and existing clients.
  • Inflate your language skills because you will be easily found out if put to the test.
  • Insist on speaking to clients in their primary language if they want to speak in the language of their current location.

Even if your workplace doesn’t need your bilingual skills, you can still leverage your language proficiencies to create new networking opportunities and make yourself a more appealing candidate for promotion. 

If you’re looking to create an impressive resume that showcases your bilingual skills, check out Career.io’s Resume Builder to help you get started and land your dream job! 

Key takeaways

  1. Bilingual skills are a major asset in the workplace and employers are increasingly on the lookout for talented people who can help them stay ahead of the competition.

  2. Highlight your bilingual skills throughout your resume if they're an essential part of your role.

  3. During interviews, explain how your bilingual skills and cultural knowledge can offer value to the job and company.

  4. Keep an eye out for opportunities at work where you can make use of your language skills, whether helping out in a meeting with an overseas client or pursuing a remote job opportunity.

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