Finding A Career When English Isn’t Your First Language

Finding a job is hard for anybody, but it’s a much bigger challenge if English is not your native language. Even if you can speak, read and write English to a good standard and communicate with people day today, you may still struggle. Writing job applications is more difficult, and interviews can be tough, especially when trying to talk about specific parts of the job, which you may not know the words for. These are some of the best tips for finding a job if English isn’t your first language. 

Image by Sue Styles from Pixabay

There is also the issue of discrimination. Although they may not do it consciously, some employers will favour other candidates because they speak English as a first language. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a job.

Get Some English Qualifications 

Even if you can already speak English, it helps your applications if you have qualifications to prove it. You can take IELTS English Lessons Online to help you prepare for exams, and once you have this qualification, it will ease any worries that employers have about your language skills. You can also improve your English skills during these lessons, so when you are writing applications, it will be much easier for you. 

Find Somebody To Proofread Applications 

When writing applications, any small mistakes can come across as unprofessional. The person reading it doesn’t realise that English is not your first language, so they will misinterpret these small errors, which will work against you. However, you can easily get around that if you find a friend who can proofread your applications. Ask somebody that is a native English speaker if they are willing to check it over for you and help you make some corrections. This will make so much difference to your applications and hopefully, get you more interviews. 

Write Notes For Interviews 

If you manage to get an interview, you should write lots of notes beforehand and practice answers to questions. In most interviews, you have a good idea of the basic questions they will ask. So, write out your answers in full, get a friend to check them, and then practice them. Your answers will be well thought out, which impresses the interview panel, and you can make sure that your English is perfect. 

Focus On Your Other Skills 

When writing job applications or attending interviews, it is always important to highlight your skills. If you are a non-native English speaker, don’t focus on the language barrier and the things you struggle with, focus on the things you are great at. It would help if you showed the employer that, although you may have difficulty with your English from time to time, your other skills more than makeup for that. Look through the job advert and highlight all of the skills that they have asked for, and then push these throughout your resume and in the interview. 

If all else fails, it is ok, to be honest during an interview. If you need people to repeat something, ask politely, and they will not hold it against you. As long as you follow these tips, you can still follow your career dreams, even if English isn’t your first language.

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1 Comment

  1. Really useful information here — I’m going to pass this on to my friends and family who have English as an additional language. Thank you so much for sharing!

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