Polish your language skills for your dream hotel job
In the competitive hotel and resort employment market, candidates need an edge; a quality that makes their resume jump out from the rest of the pile. In this industry, perhaps more than any other, bi- or multilingualism can easily give you the upper hand over unilingual candidates with similar skills and work history.
Why employers need your language skills
The guests’ experience is enhanced when they have someone to turn to for restaurant recommendations, directions to popular landmarks and advice on using public transit, among other vacation concerns. Employers realize the value of providing these seemingly small, but very important, services to their guests.
In hospitality, the ability to communicate effectively with customers, as well as co-workers in their native language, is a valuable asset in hotels' recruiting strategies. Bilingual employees in the hospitality industry are in high demand and being able to speak more than one language can really help you to stand out on the job market.
Bilingual hospitality workers promoted more often
Working in the hospitality industry offers employees the chance to travel and see the world while building their career. As a result, hotels are often diverse workplaces and may employ staff from many different countries. Employees who speak other languages and understand the cultures of their coworkers are attractive candidates for management training and promotions, as they are able to communicate effectively with a diverse staff.
Hotel employers often pay multilingual employees a better wage and consider them first for promotions. Bilingual candidates also find it easier to enter the job market and change jobs more easily, says Ghislain Savoie, Chief of the Social Research Group for the Department of Canadian Heritage. In the United Kingdom, the international and culturally diverse workforce, especially in the hotel and resort industry, makes bilingualism in the workplace a huge asset, especially amongst supervisors and managers. 40% of all Chinese women and 33% of Bangladeshi women in the UK work in the hotel and restaurant industries. As a result, the potential for Bengali/English or Chinese/English speakers to receive promotions and move into management is much greater than that of a unilingual speaker who could not communicate effectively with their staff.
Get that job
True bilingualism means that you can speak, read and write fluently in your second language. If you took a few courses in high school but can’t converse as you do in your native language, don’t tell prospective employers that you are bilingual; they will be disappointed if you can’t perform the duties you were hired for.
Most community colleges offer part-time and continuing education language courses. Interacting with others in your language class is a great way to develop and polish your skills. Once you are confident in your new language, don’t stop there! Learning a third language is not as difficult as you might think, especially if the two languages have similarities such as French and Italian.
Highlight your multilingualism on your resume as one of your major skills. You may even have a chance to show off your talent in an interview!