Are you in the process of updating your resume? When making a resume skills list, including language proficiency is a must. In many different professional roles and sectors, job candidates with linguistic knowledge have a significant advantage over monolingual candidates. Although having fluency levels is great, you also have to know how to present your strengths in a truthful and powerful way.
In this article, you will find what does it mean to be proficient in a language from the perspective of a job recruiter and how to make sure that your language skills resume is impeccable. Read on to discover some strong tips about how to write about your language fluency.
How to List Languages on Resume
Writing a compelling resume that can emphasize and highlight all your skills, abilities, experience, and achievements is not easy. Many people prefer to use professional resume writing services like CraftResumes.com because it takes an expert writer to know exactly how to put the right word in the right place with great attention to details. Although adding resume language skills might seem simple, it takes a bit of consideration in advance if you want to do it right.
Why is Important to Add Language on Resume
As a job seeker, you want to inform potential employers about your level of fluency for several important reasons:
- Your language skills are needed in the job
- You want to make yourself a more desirable candidate
- You want to show that you’re a quick learner
- Your knowledge can be an asset to the company’s future growth
When you add language skill levels on the resume, their relevancy must be evident to the recruiter. Your goal is to show that you can add value to the company as a future bilingual or multilingual employee. These are good skills to have on a resume because they show you hold the ability to communicate more effectively in contexts when other people would find obstacles. In business terms, this means better contacts and relations and thus better opportunities in a globalized world.
Determine Your Levels of Language Fluency
Being able to carry on a conversation with a French waiter in Paris is wildly different from having professional working proficiency in French. To be able to add your language skills to your resume, you must judge your abilities with full honesty regarding speaking, writing, and reading. First, make a list of languages you know.
Depending on the type of job you seek, your future employer might be more interested in your writing skills so you can maintain communication with foreign business partners. Another employer might be interested in your speaking skills because they want you to participate in a meeting with foreign partners.
Before adding your language knowledge to your resume, ensure that you understand:
- What proficiency means
- Fluent vs proficient differences
- Native vs fluent differences
Where to Add Languages to Your Resume
On a list of resume skills, language is one of the most important. With this in mind, you must decide in which section you should add your linguistic knowledge. Depending on the type of job you seek, you can include them to a general section of skills or create a new section entitled Languages. The section can be added:
- On the top of your resume. If the language level is important for the position, you apply, or it can majorly benefit your employer, add the section right after the summary.
- After the Work Experience section. If your language level is not essential for the job, but more like a bonus skill, add it to the lower section on your resume.
- In the Education section. If language levels are not relevant for the position, mention your proficiency levels in the Education section.
Understanding Levels of Language Proficiency Resume
Now we’ve reached the most important aspect of language skills resume writing, which refers to how to describe your level of proficiency so a future employer can understand how well you write, read, or speak. Would you be able to use it effectively in a professional context? How to indicate your exact knowledge of a language? All CVwriting services use official assessment frameworks.
If you’re uncertain about your abilities, you can take a certification test in which you’ll assess your current knowledge and give you proof of your competencies. Importantly, the first three basic indicators on the language proficiency scale, Beginner (A1), Elementary (A2), and Pre-intermediate (A2/B1) refer to elementary proficiency and should not be included in the resume. They are too limited for a professional context. An employer would consider them irrelevant.
The language proficiency levels resume standard are:
- Intermediate (B1) and Upper-intermediate (B2). You can carry basic conversations in a wide variety of situations, but you still make grammar mistakes. You have limited working proficiency.
- Advanced (C1). You are skilled enough to carry complex conversations but still put in the conscious effort when speaking and writing.
- Proficient/Fluent (C2). This means full of professional working proficiency. You have fluid speech and master reading and writing, but with a less advanced vocabulary than a native. The proficient vs fluent are a matter of grammar and colloquialisms.
- Native or bilingual. Full mastery of the language through either upbringing and advanced education.
Add Evidence for Your Levels of Proficiency
Let’s say that you’ve looked at the proficiency scale and decided that you’re proficient in Spanish. To convince a future employer of your knowledge of Spanish, you can mention in your resume the professional contexts where you used it. To show proof of your abilities in the language levels resume, add activities where speaking, writing, or reading the language were essential in ensuring success. Some examples are:
- Volunteering projects abroad
- Internships abroad
- Student exchange programs
- School immersion programs
- Translation and interpreting projects
- Summer jobs in tourism, hospitality, or retail where you interacted with foreign customers.
Don’t forget to add for long you studied each resume language and whether you studied it in an academic context. Indicate if you’re self-taught and what certifications you hold. While self-assessment is not necessarily a problem, many employers prefer to see an external confirmation of your language fluency levels. This means official certifications.
Key Tips to Remember About Language Skills Resume
When you add levels of language proficiency on your resume, you need to take into account the type of job you’re applying to, the profile of the company, and the types of interactions you might have at work. Language skill levels can have a great positive impact on your career if you can emphasize how they can be useful to your future employer.
- To describe your language proficiency levels, use official assessment tools for adding languages on a resume like the ILR scale. Using your own wording might confuse recruiters.
- Don’t overestimate your levels of fluency. If your employer discovers this, your reputation as a professional will get sabotaged.
- Remain consistent with levels of proficiency resume wording in the section.
- If your employer is a Spanish company, you can write your resume in Spanish to fully demonstrate your proficiency level.
- If you have an intermediate proficiency but the job requires native or bilingual proficiency, invest in a fast language training course.
I don’t have time. Can someone write my essay for me cheap in the UK if I go back to class? Absolutely. But describe in your resume your desire to improve your levels of language.
Jennifer Broflowski is a freelance writer with more than a decade of experience. With a fervent interest in career growth and self-improvement, she writes about topics she loves for reputable worldwide publications. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
Mar 22, 2020 by Guest Blogger
Thank you for the article! Understanding the differences between levels of language is very useful when updating your CV.
posted by Ksenia
Very good tips! Highly recommend for bi/multi-lingual job seekers
posted by Leon
This article is quite helpful . Thank you .
posted by Ishita
It is very helpful blog. I am very satisfied on this job searching site.
posted by Muhammad Ali
Very good article and really helpful, thank you very much.
posted by Denise
This article is really helpful in understanding how language levels should be shown on your profile. Thank you!
posted by Roxana
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