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Should You Drop the Accent?

When I talk with someone about rebuilding their resume, one of the first things I ask is, do you speak any foreign languages?

It never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t include this info on their resume. It seems that multilingual folks don’t realize how impressive this skill is to us monolingual plebs. (I’m guessing because they grew up speaking two or more languages, and just don’t think anything of it.)

So, if this is you, definitely add your language fluency in the Skills section of your resume.

But recently, I ran into an extra wrinkle I hadn’t considered before.

How Thick is Your Accent?

A resume client told me he feared he wasn’t getting jobs because of his accent. I asked him if it was really thick? He told me people could understand him in person, but they had difficulty over the phone.

In that case…

I want to be in A-Mare-Eeee-Kah!

A big part of your job, as a PA or an assistant, is going to be over the phone. If people can’t understand you, you’re useless. You really need to figure out how to speak in an effective way.

It may be as simple as slowing it down, or enunciating certain vowel sounds more. You might want to take a class (or at least watch some YouTube videos) to help make yourself more intelligible. Maybe ask your close American friends if they ever have difficulty with understanding you.

However…

Don’t Lose Your Accent Entirely!

I’m not telling you to do an American impression. (Unless you’re a skilled actor, you probably won’t do it well, anyway.)

Just like speaking a foreign language is impressive, speaking English in a foreign accent is charming (even if it’s English English). You sound well-traveled, exotic, cool. It adds character.

Most importantly, for our purposes, it helps you stand out from the pool of a hundred other applicants. Even if you’re well-qualified for the position, there are a dozen others who are just as qualified. But you’re the only one with the cool accent? That’ll get you remembered.

We’re men, men in tights! Tight tights!

Fix Your Resume!

I’m not a vocal coach, but I can help you with your resume, just like our sexily accented friend above. We offer a ninety-minute, online session where we’ll discuss your career goals, both long and short term, and the best way to present your experience (or lack thereof) to reach those goals.

If you don’t have that much time (or let’s face it, money, since you are looking for a job), you can also check out our resume building webinar. That’s just a half an hour, and while it’s not bespoke like our resume consultation, we do explain in detail how an entertainment resume should be constructed. Plus, you get a resume template at the end of it, to use as the basis for your own.

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