Parlez-vous Franglais?

If you asked British person what they thought of Franglais, they would probably smile and chuckle (if they knew what it was, that is), but if you asked a more traditional and patriotic French person, they might call it an abomination, or a taint on the French language. This is because Franglais means different things in England and in France. In England it refers to the jumbled combination of the two languages which usually sounds ridiculous, whereas in France, it is considered as the use of English words in French, such as “week-end” or “tramway”, which is seen as a sort of invasion of the language. However there is a third meaning to Franglais, one that is unique to the bilingual community. It is literally the act of speaking both languages at the same time, within the same sentence. One will start saying something in English, but switch to French if they can’t find the English word. This is either seen as a pretentious way of showing off one’s bilingualism, or a very lazy way of speaking; if you can’t find the word in one language, you just say it in the other.

The French are very proud of their cultural heritage, so much so that any affront to it is seen as almost an attack. In 1966, Charles de Gaulle and Georges Pompidou set up the “Haute Comité pour la Défense et l’Expansion de la Langue Française”, which is a government branch that was originally set up to defend the French language against Americanisms which they felt were too present in the culture. This reflects the views of most of the French people of that generation, which has been passed down to the next one too. The Académie Française, a body created in the 1600s to “labour with all the care and diligence possible, to give exact rules to our language, to render it capable of treating the arts and sciences”, is currently campaigning for the removal of many words that come directly from English, such as “email” (to be replaced with “courriel”), “Walkman” (to be replaced with “baladeur”), and the poor use of certain French words, including some popular French expressions like “pas de souci”, meaning “no problem”. It’s not just the Académie who has a vendetta against the so called Franglais; many “ordinary” French people dislike the use of these words as well, but nowadays, they seem to be around much more, thanks to the omnipresence of English and American culture in France.

While the French view Franglais as something very negative, the English have a very different perception of it, probably because the word means two separate things in both languages. Franglais has always been used for comedy in English culture, tracing its roots back to Shakespeare and, even further back, Chaucer. His character the Prioress doesn’t speak “Parisian French”, but a form of cockney originating from Stratford-atte-Bow, which sometimes doesn’t sound like French at all. Another example in English literature is Henry V by William Shakespeare. A French princess is trying to learn English, but the word “foot” as pronounced by her maid sounds too much like “foutre” (vulgar French, “semen” or “to have sexual intercourse” if used as a verb). She then decides that English is too obscene a language to learn. More recently in the 80’s BBC sitcom “Allo’ Allo”, set during the Second World War in a café in occupied France, the characters who are meant to be speaking French speak with heavy French accents but speak English, and when they are meant to be speaking English, they switch to banter in an upper-class English accent. These uses of Franglais in British literature and popular culture show the difference in perception of what it is in England and France.
However there is yet another definition given to Franglais by another group of people: the bilingual community, especially the younger ones. This is especially present in the western banlieues of Paris where there is an ever-growing English-speaking community, mostly due to the high concentration of international schools in that area. People who speak both languages are extremely lucky to be able to do so, but it also results in not being able to remember every word that you need at any given time. So when a group of bilingual people are talking, you will often hear them switching from one language to the next, sometimes even within the same sentence! Being part of this community myself, when speaking to some friends, I automatically revert to Franglais, without even realising that I am doing so. It becomes a sort of second nature, and, it is true, a fairly lazy way of talking, as we do not force ourselves to stick to one language.

It is interesting to see how Franglais is perceived by different groups of people and different nationalities, and just how contrasting the British and French views are. With the very high number of French people now living and working in London, chances are that you might hear someone speaking Franglais (as seen by bilingual people) if you live there, so listen out next time you are on the tube!
What are your views on Franglais? Do you think that English words should be cut out of the French language?

Advertisements

Social media – the dos and don’ts

Social media can be a difficult thing to manage when looking for a job. There are 1.4 billion Facebook users worldwide, and 98% of 18-24-year-olds who use any form of social media have a Facebook account[1]. This means that a significant number of people are putting themselves at risk of being rejected by future employers if they are not using these sites correctly. Here is some advice for those who use social media and to help you avoid negatively impacting your chance of being recruited.

 

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most widely used forms of social media. 250 million people have access to Facebook via their phone every day, which can lead to not only excessive posting, but also a lack of consideration as to what we post. It is important to realise the ease with which an employer can access your profile; try to keep anything remotely damaging to you, such as pictures of you excessively drinking or doing anything considered stupid to a minimum. They will see these pictures and videos and will immediately form an impression of you, even if you would consider it as the wrong one. Be honest about your behaviour – nobody minds if you enjoy a glass of wine (or two!) at the weekend, but don’t plaster being plastered all over your profile. It won’t do you any favours!

 

Twitter

Twitter is becoming increasingly popular and is a form of social media for anyone wanting to share their opinions to those who follow them, as well as sharing articles. Again, you must tread carefully with Twitter when it comes to job searching; employers may well research your interests and posts on your Twitter account. It is vital that you do not post anything that may be misinterpreted. Exercise caution when using Twitter as an outlet for political opinions or debates; you may end up getting yourself in hot water! Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t be happy to discuss with a future employer.

 

Instagram

Instagram is a form of social media for sharing photos with your followers. Like Facebook and Twitter, it is important not to share anything which could be seen as inappropriate behaviour. Try not to post too many “selfies” as this will make you come across as self-obsessed and shallow; on the other hand, posting pictures of things you enjoy such as travelling, fashion or food can support the things you put on your CV listed as “hobbies and interests”. It can prove to an employer that you aren’t exaggerating or indeed lying about what is on your CV.

 

LinkedIn

This site is targeted towards business professionals and aims to create links with business contacts. It could be regarded as the “Facebook” of the business world. It is important to create a full, detailed profile on LinkedIn so that employers and other professionals with whom you have had contact can research you and your skills. Many people get offered jobs through LinkedIn, so it is important that your profile is as professional as it can be. Look here for more tips: http://www.businessinsider.com/make-your-linkedin-profile-irresistible-2013-10?op=1

 

Don’t take your social media usage lightly. It could mean the difference between you getting a job or not. It is important to consider each and every thing that you put on your profiles and how it could look in the eyes of an employer. You don’t want that video of you drunk and singing at the office Christmas party last year (think Bridget Jones) ruining your chances of a big career!

 

[1] http://www.statisticbrain.com/social-networking-statistics/

Learning languages – setting yourself apart from the rest!

During your time as a language student at university, you will consistently be reminded that your course provides you with “transferable skills” that will impress any employer and that having these skills may set you apart from the other candidates applying for the same position. With high unemployment in the under 25’s in the UK, it is important to have a special “something” to increase your chances of getting employed. So, is learning another language the way forward?

 

  1. Communication skills

 

It may seem obvious, but learning another language is all about communication. It isn’t enough to master the grammatical rules on paper, you have to be able to speak, listen and understand the language in order to fully master it. Learning another language not only forces you to become a better communicator in the given language, it also helps you understand your own language more clearly, which in turn can make you a better and clearer communicator in your mother tongue. To employers, this is an appealing trait, especially if the work involves meeting and communicating with clients.

 

  1. Presentation skills

 

During a languages degree, you will be asked to give numerous presentations, not only in your native language, but also in the “target language”, i.e. the language you are learning. This improves confidence, encourages you to be spontaneous in speaking the language (preparing you for real-life situations), and also enhances a skill which you may need in your future career. This will not go unnoticed by employers.

 

  1. Study/work abroad

 

A compulsory part of any languages degree is to spend time abroad in a country where the language is spoken. The experiences and skills you will acquire during this time become invaluable and, as many will agree, really shape you as a person. Employers will value this as it proves you are someone who can adapt easily, who is outgoing, responsible, independent and aware of other cultures. It will also mean that your language level hugely improves and, in today’s increasingly globalised society, employers with contacts abroad will really value this.

 

  1. Personality

 

Having learnt a language says a lot about your personality; it proves you to be a committed, confident, driven individual who likes a challenge and who rises up to it – you can, after all, speak the language. This shows employers that they can give you responsibility and that you will work hard to complete tasks to a high standard. Furthermore, the experiences you will have gathered by working or studying abroad contribute to making you a more interesting person; use tales of your experiences during this time to make yourself stand out at the interview!

 

If you haven’t begun with language learning yet, start now and take those important steps to set yourself apart from the rest!

 

How to stay healthy in an office environment

It’s a well-known fact that working in an office environment can affect your everyday health and well-being. Here you will find some of the health problems associated with a “nine-to-five” and advice as to how to combat these risks.

 

  1. Gaining Weight

 

Too many croissants and sitting at your desk all day can only equal one thing – weight gain. This seems like an inevitable part of being an office-worker with a sedentary job, where walking 20 metres to the printer to pick up your documents is your only exercise. However, this needn’t be the case. After a long day at work, the last thing a lot of people want to do is go on a run or to the gym. However, there are simple things you can work into your day to keep off those extra pounds.

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift – get that heart rate up!
  • Try not to eat at your computer – if you’re not focusing on what you’re eating and instead on what’s on the screen, you are more likely to over-fill yourself or rush what you’re eating.
  • Take your time away from your desk and enjoy your lunch hour!
  • Try standing up and moving around at regular intervals during the day. Recent studies show that a sedentary life-style has a direct impact on your health.[1]
  • Pack your own lunch – eating out or at the company canteen can not only be expensive, but also detrimental to your diet. If you bring your own lunch, you know exactly what has gone into it, and you can make it as healthy as you like!

 

 

  1. Stress

 

Most office jobs involve some degree of stress, whether it is due to the pressure of completing a task on-time, or having a “to-do” list as long as your arm. To help reduce the stress in your day:

  • Organise your work space – having a “busy” desk can make you feel more stressed. Organise your desk and you will feel much better.
  • Make a “to-do” list (even if it is long!) – This will help you put into perspective which tasks need completing and when by.
  • Take regular breaks – sitting at a computer all day is not good for you and can only make you feel more stressed if you don’t seem to be able to make as much progress as you would like. Take some time away from your desk. When you come back, you will see things with fresh eyes.

 

 

  1. Health and well-being

 

There are other health issues associated with working in an office which don’t just relate to weight-gain or mentality.

  • Dehydration – make sure you keep yourself hydrated over the course of a day. It’s easy to forget to drink the recommended 8 glasses of water each day. [2]
  • Poor hygiene – the things we come into contact with on a daily basis can harbour germs which in turn can make us ill. Make sure to wash your hands regularly or keep a bottle of hand sanitizer by your desk.
  • Poor posture – most employers will supply you with a decent office chair, but it is down to you to make sure it is adjusted correctly.

 

If you follow these tips on a daily basis it could help you to stay healthier and happy J

 

 

 

[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26937454

[2] http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/water-drinks.aspx

-La révolution MOOC –

Elle est venue d’outre atlantique, de Stanford plus précisément, mais elle est désormais bien présente en France. C’est par un cours d’informatique donné à Stanford par Sebastian Thrun et Peter Norvig que tout a débuté, en octobre 2011. Lorsqu’ils décident de rendre leur cours d’intelligence économique public, 160000 internautes s’y inscrivent en seulement quelques jours. 

Le MOOC -acronyme anglais signifiant “Massive Open Online Course”- qui est un cours en ligne, ouvert à tous devient rapidement un vrai phénomène. Les MOOC sont plébiscités car s’il s’agit toujours d’un cours au sens classique celui ci comporte l’ambition de mettre en lien des pairs, de partager des connaissances et peut être d’aboutir à des analyses encore plus poussées.

Ils mettent en avant une nouvelle manière d’apprendre en ligne qui reprend l’idée selon laquelle nous vivons à l’ère de la Knowledge Economy, elle même constituée d’interconnections, de liens, d’interfaces et de création entre les individus.

Désormais de nombreux MOOC cherchent à émerger en proposant d’autres spécificités et en innovant sur ce qui a déjà été fait. D’autant que chacun pourra alors apporter sa pierre à l’édifice : les rôles seront échangés, le professeur deviendra élève et l’élève, professeur.

 

L’enjeu est bien ici de renouveler l’enseignement, chacun apportant sa pierre à l’édifice d’une connaissance ouverte sur le monde. Un système participatif donc qui va permettre à chacun d’animer des cours, de partager ses connaissances, d’échanger, de se corriger, de confronter ses idées, etc

“L’homme est un animal social. L’appétence pour les échanges entre pairs montrent bien que l’on apprend en enseignant. Et pour rester pertinent en tant qu’enseignant, on n’arrête jamais d’apprendre, donc de contribuer.” nous dit Jean-Marie Guilliot de Telecom Bretagne, dans un article paru pour Le Monde, le 28 avril 2014.

Sommes-nous en passe d’atteindre l’idéal prôné par les humanistes au XVIe, à savoir une diffusion des connaissances dans le monde entier dont chacun pourrait bénéficier alimentée par un système participatif où il n’y aurait plus ni élève, ni professeur ? 

C’est ce que l’avenir nous dira, en attendant, l’université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne s’apprête à lancer son premier MOOC relatif au droit des entreprises qui visera un très large public. On attend avec impatience la suite !

 

C.E

Your First Day of Work

Your first day of work will be your most important. In order to settle in well you need to make sure you are prepared in every respect for the special day.

 

Get an early night

Aim to get a good night’s sleep in order to avoid dark eyes and yawning on your first day. Moreover, you will be taking in a lot of information on your first day therefore it is essential that you are alert. Wake up early and have a big breakfast to give you the energy for the day, especially if you are not sure how the lunchtime routine works.

 

Over-prepare

Before starting, make sure you read about the company. Any background reading that can be done before you start will help you get a grasp of the job.Make sure you know exactly where your new office is and try to do a practice route beforehand taking into account rush-hour traffic. Aim to turn up between five and ten minutes early.

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready. Overdress rather than under dress if you are not sure of the office dress code. Try to remember the names of anyone you have met so far in the interview process. Bring all necessary documents with you; this includes your passport, bank details and social security number.

 

Be Alert

Every office has a different working environment. French work culture tends to separate personal and work life whereas the Anglo-Saxon culture tries to mix the two. Make assessments of what is socially acceptable at work. This includes dress code, eating habits and general office culture. If you are invited to any social opportunities, whether it is lunch or drinks after work, the answer should always be yes!

It is essential to take in as much information as possible on your first day; not only people’s names but passwords and door numbers etc. Listen carefully to what you are told and respect the comments and opinions of others. Be inquisitive and ask questions, especially if you are unsure of something. Other employees will understand that you are new and will be patient whilst you are learning.

 

Things to avoid

  • Technology should be turned off and put away. Only bring your mobile phone out if someone wants to give you their number.
  • Avoid lying and sweeping exaggerations.  If you intend on spending any considerable time at your new job, any secrets or lies will come to the surface eventually.
  • Although it is important to have fresh breath, chewing gum is strictly forbidden on first days. Wait until you are settled in before you make a decision whether it is acceptable or not to chew gum.
  • Avoid swear words and slang and being too amicable. Calling your boss “mate” on your first day would not be appreciated.

 

Conclusion

The first day is essential to get settled in at your new job and to make a good first impression. However, it is important not to put too much pressure on yourself and avoid getting flustered. Your future colleagues will get to know the real you eventually. Remember to relax, smile and enjoy your first day.

Pourquoi Utiliser Un Cabinet De Recrutement?

 

Image

 

Avez-vous déjà passé des heures à chercher des postes en ligne et aux entretiens mal-adaptés à vous-même. Si votre réponse est oui, alors pourquoi ne pas profiter d’un cabinet de recrutement pour économiser votre temps et démultiplier vos chances pour trouver un poste bien adapté à vos souhaits et compétences

 

Optimisez votre temps

S’il est vrai que vous passez du temps auprès des cabinets au début de votre recherche (l’envoi du CV, l’entretien et les tests) ensuite le cabinet vous fait économiser votre temps. Une bonne agence de recrutement vous tiendra au courant dès qu’elle aura un poste bien-adapté à vos compétences. Vous ne perdrez plus votre temps avec les offres et entretiens qui ne conviennent pas à votre profil. Les cabinets de recrutement facilitent vraiment le processus et réduisent sensiblement le stress.

 

Pas de risque financier

Le service est totalement gratuit pour les candidats tout au long du processus. La rémunération d’un cabinet de recrutement est généralement basée sur un pourcentage de la rémunération brute donc les cabinets comptent sur vous, les candidats, pour leur envoyer votre CV.

 

Profitez des compétences des cabinets

Les meilleurs cabinets de recrutement sont plutôt contents de vous donner des conseils et du feedback sur votre candidature et CV. Ils assurent que vous êtes bien préparé pour chaque entretien en vous donnant une description du poste, des entreprises et ce que les entreprises attendent de vous.  Souvenez-vous qu’ils ont tous intérêt à vous trouver un poste et il y a un réel investissement et un engagement significatifs de leur part dès le début du processus.

 

Professionnalisme

Souvenez-vous que les cabinets de recrutement ont des années d’expérience  et une vision plus large du marché du travail.  Ils ont déjà des contacts et relations fortes avec les entreprises qui embauchent et comprennent bien quels candidats sont bien adaptés aux postes et aux entreprises spécifiques.

 

Flexibilité

Grâce à la bonne relation entre les cabinets de recrutement et les entreprises, c’est parfois possible de négocier les salaires.

 

Pour faire le bilan, un bon cabinet de recrutement sera toujours à vos côtés. Bien sur, il faut utiliser les agences ainsi que votre propre recherche, néanmoins cela peut être une façon efficace, simple et gratuite pour vous aider à améliorer votre candidature et trouver un emploi idéal.

 

The Interview… Where First Impressions Are Everything

Image

 

33% of bosses know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether a candidate will get the job[1].  With this limited time frame to make a lasting impression it is essential that you get it right! Most of the key ingredients are obvious however there are some essential “Dos” and “Don’ts” that are often forgotten by candidates:-

 

Physical Appearance

Albeit obvious, candidates should present themselves as neat, tidy, and well-groomed to give a positive image to the employer. It is always better to overdress than under dress as candidates risk showing they are not taking the interview seriously. Cleavage, short skirts and untucked shirts do not give the professional impression that should be conveyed. Moreover, well-fitted clothes are a must because if a candidate is constantly readjusting their outfit they may seem fidgety.

Small ear piercings are acceptable as long as each ear is not too overcrowded and nose piercings can occasionally look smart on the right person. Any large piercings or other facial piercings should be avoided. All visible tattoos should be covered by clothing, hair or jewellery.

Personal hygiene is fundamental and a trait that a good candidate never lacks. Avoid having greasy hair or any dandruff before the interview. Hair should be tidy and away from the face to appear more open.  Smells such as ‘BO’ or cigarettes will immediately put off any employer as a malodorous employee will be unpleasant to work with. It is crucial to wear clean clothes and avoid smoking before an interview. Perfume and aftershave are always a good idea; just be careful it is not too overpowering.

This also applies to breath. The interviewer does not want to know what you had for lunch. Avoid garlic, onions and strong spices. Brush your teeth beforehand and have a strong breath mint of necessary. That said; do not chew gum in the interview as it looks completely unprofessional.

 

Body Language

Wearing a nice smile is crucial for a good first impression. It tells people that you’re an outgoing and intelligent person worth getting to know and conveys confidence and professionalism. Moreover, maintain eye contact with the interviewer when in conversation. A blank stare is a look people naturally adapt when they are trying to distance themselves, which is what a candidate should avoid.

The all-important handshake is a skill that not everyone has mastered. Make sure the handshake is firm and lasts no more than two shakes and should be accompanied by an introduction or expression of gratitude. If seated, always stand up to shake hands and if prone to sweaty hands, keep a handkerchief in a pocket or bag in order to discreetly wipe them beforehand.

 

Communication

Verbally greeting anyone at an interview is important to show respect and politeness. “Bonjour, Madame” or “Good morning” is sufficient and avoid less formal greetings like “ça va?” or “hi”. The most common way to address someone in France is by saying ‘Madame’ or ‘Monsieur’ and never use ‘Mademoiselle’ in the business world.

Most importantly, in France, it is essential to vousvoyer everyone you speak to at an interview. For English speakers this does not come naturally however it is ingrained into French language and culture and is considered extremely rude if the two are confused. Therefore, avoid at all costs referring to anyone as “tu” to maintain the boundaries between personal and professional and avoid offending anyone. 

A candidate’s tone of voice determines 38% of first impressions[2]. Some try to appear confident but overstep the mark with a loud tone of arrogance. On the other hand, a candidate trying to seem respectful and quiet may appear monotone and boring. Talking with a smile changes the tone of voice from monotone to cheery and will always be perceived well.

 

Conclusion

By paying attention to these small details to ensure good presentation, body language and communication skills, you can be sure to put yourself in the best possible light. The key is to play it safe and prepare beforehand, be polite and respectful with a smile to show confidence and gratitude for the opportunity. Remember, you have to make a good first impression to deserve a second.

 

Is Honesty The Best Policy?

Image

Have you ever lied in an interview or at work? The answer is probably. Basic human instinct is survival… therefore, exaggerating, omitting and embellishing the truth are often used to cut ahead of the rest in order to get hired or promoted. In an ideal world in which career progression were easy, honesty would of course be the best policy. But with youth unemployment at 22.8%[i] in France and promotions harder to come by, how much do you need to lie to survive in the recruitment process or is honesty really the best policy?

 

The CV

 

The first impression an employer gets from a candidate is their CV… it’s sink or swim!  It is not surprising that 53% of CVs contain falsehoods to survive this stage[ii].  These falsehoods may consist of made-up experiences or skills and even stretching dates of employment, resulting in a more employable and impressive candidate. But beware… whitewashing the truth on your CV rather than merely embroidering it is becoming more dangerous. There has been a recent rise in pre-employment screenings caused by the high demand for jobs; now candidates that have lied are being found out in the first round.

 

The Interview

 

The second impression that an employer gets in the recruitment stage comes from the interview. Candidates will primarily be asked about their CV and if they have not been honest they risk getting caught in their own web of lies and botching their interview.  Some questions, however, may require the candidate to exclude information and facts. Common interview advice is to avoid any negativity towards previous jobs. If asked “Why did you leave your previous job?” an honest reply such as “because I hated my boss…” is not an appropriate answer. Omission of the truth can often be essential in order to keep within the professional boundaries of an interview and to ensure a good impression is made.

 

The Workplace

 

Once in the workplace, careful attention must be paid. Lies are regularly used as a safety net to avoid punishment having made an error. Excuses such as “My alarm clock didn’t go off this morning” should be left in the playground as an apology is more effective in these menial cases. In more serious cases lying to cover up fatal errors or to put yourself ahead of anyone else is more treacherous. This can result in chronic lies causing paranoia and insecurities within the workplace until the truth eventually comes out. In fact, 15% of employees in today’s businesses have been caught lying while at work[iii]. Once found out as a liar the employee’s relationships and reputation will be permanently damaged and they risk losing their job.

Most bosses will be appreciative when told the truth rather than a cover up. Honesty is viewed as courageous whereas dishonesty is cowardice. Statistically, employees who told fewer lies had better relationships and smoother interactions within the workplace[iv]. An honest employee’s credibility and integrity speaks for itself, giving that person increased opportunities since the honest employee has proven themselves.  Furthermore, the peace of mind associated with a moral outlook in the office will result in higher productivity and happiness.

The Answer

In conclusion, there is far more to lose than gain from lying. When applying for a job it is understandable to want to present yourself in the most flattering light, especially in the current market. However, honesty is also highly valued and appreciated in the workplace and can be counted on as the best policy. The advice to give would be: Do not have a reason to be dishonest in the first place. Prove yourself to be a great candidate and employee on your own merit rather than lie and risk your reputation and job.

 

 Alternatively, lie your way to the top… just don’t get caught!

The Value of The French Language

Image

English is the most widespread language in the world and is more widely spoken and written than any other language. As English is now considered the “universal language”, does bilingualism in French have any value in the recruitment process?  The answer is yes.

Being bilingual in French leads to more benefits than just raw human dialogue. It opens a new world of communication skills that are essential in the work place. As the world becomes a seemingly smaller place, the influence of the French language is becoming wider in tandem with the internet and new markets. For candidates in the job market, a grasp of the French language might be what it takes to shine out from the rest as its value is ever increasing.

As the world becomes more socially, economically and technologically connected, competence in languages such as French is increasingly important.  There are a total of around 355 million French speakers worldwide including new markets that are considered economically important in the near future. The French speaking market is eminent and drives up the demand for French speakers in the job market.

Image

The French language is also opening new doors for international companies that were not considered valuable in the past. Half of the top-10 fastest growing countries in Africa have French as an official language and we can thus expect Africa to be an increasing focus of global trade and international relations.

Moreover, French is the third most used language on the internet ahead of Spanish. The internet has enabled entirely new forms of communication, research and business in recent years and is now considered a ‘basic need’. Bilingual candidates have goldmines of information at their fingertips that would otherwise be inaccessible to those relying on English.

Good communication skills are valued by many employers as “the most important of all life skills” and the candidate who can deal with a customer in their own language will without doubt have an edge. With the graduate job market crowded and a poor economic climate, bilingual communication skills are bordering on essential.  The recipe for successful communication skills is to understand the culture of the country you are doing business with which comes from being bilingual.

A grasp of the culture gives an understanding of acceptable behaviour and ethical differences that should be recognised for any real communication to take place. Miscommunications may have a serious impact on the success of the negotiation process. Whether it is following instructions or perceiving the motives of a client, it is essential in a working environment.

No one can deny the importance of the English language on an international scale however this does not reduce the value of French.  With the expanding Francophone sphere of influence combined with the necessary communication skills that accompany fluency, bilingual candidates shine out ahead of the rest.  The French language is therefore invaluable during the recruitment process and is becoming even more important with global development. Set yourself apart from the rest and learn French.