What hard and soft skills are most employable for multilingual travellers?
As a polyglot traveller, you need to have a certain set of skills that can get you a job anywhere you may land.
These skills will have to be both hard and soft and will not only develop your personality and professional profile, but make you an essential part of any team.
Landing in a new country is daunting at first, especially when you have a long list of tasks to complete upon arrival.
One of the most immediate and obvious tasks for many is finding a job and if you’re not already prepared for this then check out our blog on finding a job abroad.
Whether or not you know how to look for a job or not, it is well worth knowing about the top skills that will practically guarantee you work in most European cities. They’re transferable and most companies need them.
What are hard and soft skills for multilinguals?
Skills are often split into two categories: hard and soft..
Hard skills are concrete abilities such as speaking a language and ability with certain software. These are the interview securing skills. They are easy to test and therefore are difficult to lie about.
Soft skills can often be things that you have naturally. That’s not to say that they can’t be learnt. These are easier to lie about because they can often be interpreted as relative to an individual and can often simply be an opinion. As much as employers value soft skills such as organisation and positivity, in an interview it is much harder to assess whether someone is what they claim to be. Soft skills only really become obvious after working with someone for a period of time.
Here at Europe Language Jobs we notice the patterns and trends in the demanded skill sets. So we used the content, offers and data of the ELJ site to put together this list of (what we see as) the most useful and employable skills for multilingual travellers...
Most employable hard skills for multilinguals:
No surprise that languages is the first skill on our list! Your native language could potentially be your ticket to live in your dream destination. But some languages are more in demand than others in different places. It is true that being a native English speaker is very advantageous, but with English proficiency becoming more and more widespread, without at least one other language you may struggle to find work.
The most employable language in Europe right now is German. The demand is high and the supply is very low. Dutch is also highly sought after on the current market.
Customer service doesn’t deserve the outdated reputation of being an awful job. The old stigma of the call centre should possibly be rethought, as companies have realised that this bad press has a serious effect on the recruitment possibilities. Nowadays they are nicely kitted out with pool tables, lounge areas and other modern comforts.
As the industry has grown the benefits of working in the sector have improve a lot. There aren’t many entry level jobs that allow you to work in exotic and exciting places and earn a decent wage at the same time.
Are you a wizard with Photoshop and InDesign? Well if design is your trade, then it is well worth having a portfolio of your work to show any potential employers what you can do. Even better would be your own website or blog, or examples of other published or professional designs you’ve worked on.
This could be even more impressive to employers than a degree! Every company needs a designer, so you shouldn’t struggle to find work if you have the skills.
As a developer, you are in high demand. You do not even need a university degree, as a huge number of developers are self-taught. Low competition and high wages are some common features of working in this profession.
If you’ve got the gift of the gab (although that is more of a soft skill) then sales can be an industry that you can thrive in, even without any previous experience. However, skill and knowledge will help you in a very competitive and potentially lucrative industry.
If you’ve got sales skills then you’ll never be out of a job and you can also expect some big bonuses.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Knowing the latest tips and tricks to boost a website’s position on search engines is a skill that every modern day company needs. This includes sourcing relevant backlinks, keyword research, producing quality content and many other, more specific skills.
SEO has a huge role in online marketing so if this is one of your desired sectors then it’s an essential skill to have.
Some people are naturally interested and gifted when it comes to numbers and statistics. If Data Analysis is on your list of skills, then you will not struggle to find work wherever you end up in Europe. People who can make sense of heaps of data and transform it into meaningful and profitable information are invaluable in the modern world.
Most entry level jobs require a Bachelors degree as a minimum, depending on the position, but there are various levels of certification.
Social media management
Social media is an essential part of every business in today’s market. Engaging content across social media channels as well as paid campaigns can bring a lot of extra traffic to a business’s website and provide low budget companies with a source of exposure. They will also use it to check you out on social media before offering you a job!
Account management is yet another profession which you will find wherever you go in Europe. This industry combines sales and customer service and being an account manager is all about reaching targets and retaining clients. You need to be organised with outstanding communication skills and it is important to be prepared for problem clients and not to let them ruin your day.
If you know your way around Google AdWords then your skills will be employable wherever you go. You should have some knowledge in areas such as keyword research and AB testing to back up what your skills and there are plenty of courses online, even for beginners.
Most employable soft skills:
If you’re something of a globetrotter then the chances are that you have already learnt how to adapt. This is one of the main reasons that employers value international experience, as it shows adaptability. The two things go hand in hand and should look very attractive on your CV.
You never know what new situations and fresh opportunities will come up in your new role so being ready to adjust will stand you in good stead.
Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean playing an instrument or producing artwork but when applied in a professional setting, creativity can be the difference between someone who excels and someone who treads water.
Good ideas are priceless and can come from anywhere. You can really make a difference with a creative mind and as creativity is a hard skill to teach, you will be valued highly.
Deadlines, events, completion of simple day-to-day tasks are all things that play a part in the professional lives of most workers. Being able to structure your day, week, month and even year is an invaluable skill and makes your life (and your manager’s life) so much easier.
Organisation is something that I’ve always struggled with personally but technology can really help you here. Things like Google Calendar and reminders in your phone can really help you organise your work life.
Willingness to learn
It is important to remember, especially in the early stages of your career, that you are in a position to learn and develop as a person, as well as contribute to the company. Employers respect someone who realises this, and shows an eagerness to learn and develop themselves.
Getting involved, rising to challenges and not being afraid to make (and learn from!) mistakes are all ways of showing the employer that you want to learn.
This is one of the top soft skills to have. Being an efficient communicator means having several smaller (and harder) skills in several different forms of communicating, including: written, telephone and, nowadays, video calls.
Out of all of the soft skills this is one of the most important and you will be assessed on how well you can communicate in an interview. The good news is that communication is one of the easier soft skills to learn and develop.
Working in a team
Independence would be another highly valued trait in a candidate, but many people are so effective and accustomed to working on their own that they do not slot into a new team easily. This will turn recruiters and employers off and they will be on the lookout for signs that indicate you as this kind of person.
Be prepared with examples of when you have work effectively as a team, as this is one of many typical and difficult interview questions.
Being able to focus your attention on any task or project you set your mind to, whether you’re interested in it or not, is an essential ability. Different people are motivated by different things and it doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it works for you. Maybe it’s money, maybe it’s an inability to be idle, maybe it’s a fear of failure or maybe it’s wanting to impress others.
If you know you struggle with finding drive to complete tasks then think back to a time when you were motivated and produced something you were proud of. Ask yourself where your drive came from at the time. It may not be an easy task, but if you can recreate those circumstances then it could prove useful in the future.
The exponential rate of technological development that we have seen over the last 10 to 15 years shows little sign of slowing down. People who can change with these erratic trends and times, and who can learn new skills quickly are the ones that companies (both big and small) want on their team.
You need to be up-to-date with technology and constantly learning to show that you are an innovative person.
I mentioned earlier that soft skills are easy to lie about but generally much more difficult to acquire, and positivity is a prime example of a soft skill which is more of a personality trait. Recruiters and employers are really good at spotting a natural optimist and someone who could be toxic in a work environment.
If you know you’re something of a pessimist then you should take steps towards thinking more positivity – or at least looking like you are!
Emotional intelligence means that you people skills are top notch. You’re aware of yourself and the impression you give of yourself. You know how to behave and how to handle difficult people and situations and you can read people.
Perfect in a sales role, an emotionally intelligent person brings results, and employers know that.
One thing that employers will truly be on the lookout for is someone driven by the prospect of growth; both personally and professionally.
This means that you should be constantly looking for opportunities to gain new skills and enhance your profile. In the age of the internet, many of the hard skills above can be self-taught using free online resources. Learning languages online is one way you can improve your employability, but coding, SEO and design are other internationally employable examples of skills that you can teach yourself.
Do you like the sound of adding one or more of these skills to your CV?
Jan 3, 2019 by Dan
Nicely written article overall.
However, it would be good to see sources and numbers to support the views / facts as well.
It would add more credibility to this post.
posted 2 years ago by Advait
I am convinced Soft and Hard skills are very important in what ever undertaking we in to. I strongly appreciate Team work and the willingness other members of a staff to teach or to learn from other colleages, even in those case where somebody has less work experience. T
posted 2 years ago by Herve Meli
Very accurate and helpful!
posted 2 years ago by Marre Franz
you can be hired in Germany even if you speak only Englisch, but the Chances are better if you speak german as well.
posted 2 years ago by Vedran
That's a very useful and helpful article!
posted 2 years ago by Luca
i think it was good
posted 2 years ago by shaheen
Soft skills are much talked nowadays, but still quite rarely they come up in interview or job application. It's much easier to describe and list hard, work-related skills than more subjective soft skills. Anyhow those can matter the most in the long run because hard skills you can learn and develop, soft skills are harder to develop.
posted 2 years ago by Sini
All these information about job insights and details are good and thank you sharing such a valuable info. But why we can not see work permit available jobs on the categories? Is it so hard?
posted 2 years ago by Hasan
I believe in this age of rapid advancing technology, soft skills will gain much more importance as humans will not be able to compete with AI in terms of knowledge and haste, but will need to emphasize and promote human skills that AI cannot compete at least in the short term.
posted 2 years ago by Peren
There is an increasing amount of pressure on individuals and countries to learn English as a second language. But who does it the best?