I saw something really interesting this morning. I am a member of www.TED.com and it is an international ideas forum. When you get a moment watch this:
Its about learning English, as english is the language of opportunity and problem solving. I can certainly atest to the fact that the opportunities available [few right now] go to those with the best english communciation skills. there are a few roles where great comm skills are not quite as important however, the majority are highly based upon this. I think that job seekers efforts, particularly those who do not have English as their mother tongue should emphasize this area of study as much as possible.
Now for the controversial bit... i have seen more talented people passed over for a job due to the fact that their accent is unintelligible or too strong and not as articulate as the competition. It is very frustrating as accent toleration is a subjective thing and it very much depends on the hiring manager. there is a solution to this for those that are willing to push passed this hurdle. In the field of Speech Pathology there is a specialty called Accent Reduction where this kind of speech challenge can be dealt with or overcome. There are many reasons of course for the way people speak and hear and pronounce and this field of spcialists are well equipped to determine, diagnose and handle and treat this issue. if you want to discuss this further privately please feel free to email me ansd we can chat. It could make a huge difference to your career advancement!