How To Include Language Fluency On A Resume
If you’re bilingual, you should definitely highlight this fact on your resume. Not only is being bilingual a highly desirable skill to have, but it may also set you apart from other job candidates. Often, it is not enough to say that you’re proficient in speaking a language. It’s important to structure your resume in a way that helps your language skills stand out and identifies them properly. Follow these steps when deciding how to include your bilingual skills on a resume:
Approximate Your Language Skill Level With An Adjective
In most cases, the following scale is an acceptable method for describing your general language skill level, and will be understood by any employer.
Scale for Resume Language Skills
Basic: suggests that you understand basic words and phrases, but are unable to hold a conversation.
Intermediate: suggests you can hold a basic conversation in the language, but have limited vocabulary, a low understanding of grammar rules, and may not be able to read.
Conversational: suggests that you can hold full conversations in this language but not at a fluent level. You may struggle to find the right words and keep up with native speakers. Additionally, you may not be fully literate.
Proficient: suggests you have a high level of comfort with the language, but not to the same level that fluent or native speakers would. Proficient speakers have a larger vocabulary and more developed skills than conversational speakers.
Fluent: suggests youre highly comfortable speaking, writing, or reading in this language and that you can hold conversations to the same level as a native speaker.
Native: indicates that this is your mother tongue, and that youre fully comfortable speaking, reading, and writing in this language.how to list language skills on resume
The only time you shouldnt use this scale is if youre applying for a role where a high level of detail about your language skills is required. In this situation, you should use a more specific, official scale.
Take Note: Enhancing Terms Vs Insignificant Terms
Tip Number One: Youre better off forgetting the evergreen formulas: fluent, average or reading, writing, speaking. While theyre often used, theyre vague, and they no longer mean anything to job recruiters. Compared to your competition, whove also used the Spanish: Fluent in reading, writing and speaking formula, your foreign language skills are nothing special.
One of the fundamental principles of a CV is summarization. We can agree on this point. However, this principle doesnt work that well with foreign languages. To characterize your foreign language skills on a CV, the goal is to describe your competencies to a T. Even more so when your language skills have a direct link with the target job. Instead of Spanish: Spoken, go for a pinpoint description such as Spanish: Mastery over everyday and technical conversations. Another good one to use is ability to lead meetings, mastery of subject vocabulary, communications by email, etc.
A little tip: Dont forget to include how often you use this foreign language along with your skills description. Include phrases like, daily usage, weekly usage, weekend usage, monthly usage.
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How Can I Learn To Speak Spanish Fluently
How Do You Describe Language Skills
Basi*, Conversational, Fluent, or Proficient may be suitable adjectives to describe your language skills. A basic level of vocabulary or mastery of some phrases will enable you to communicate efficiently. The language cannot be used for writing since every time you talk with someone, you bring minor grammar or vocabulary mistakes.
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Avoid Using Years When Referencing Fluency
It is best to avoid the term ‘years’ when explaining your language skills. That’s because “years” does not determine your level of proficiency in a language. You may have taken French for four years in high school, but that does not mean you possess the same skills as someone with the Level 4 distinction.
Where To Put Language Skills On A Resume
A well-written resume should be tailored for each job application. The skills should match the job description, and each skill should be given prominence according to how important it is for the position. Resume language skills are no different.
With this in mind, you need to choose a place for putting languages on a resume. The most common choice is to feature them in your skills section. If you only speak one or two languages, and it isnt directly important to the job, this is the most logical choice.
Unless you are applying for a job in IT, you can also put your computer skills in the same section under a general core competencies heading.
Another option, if you have a language qualification, is to list it under your education section.
If youre applying for a job for which language skills are highly important, such as a translator or hospitality worker, you should choose a resume format which highlights them.
You should have a specific languages section which gives more detailed information on your ability. It could be a subsection of your skills, or a separate section, whichever fits better.
You can also mention it in your personal details section if you have one, and if its a must-have skill for the vacancy, you can plug it in your resume objective.
You should also include a separate languages section if you speak enough languages to warrant doing so.
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Include Your Native Language
If you were born and raised in an English-speaking household, it’s smart to list English as your native language when you’re listing multiple languages on a resume. Leaving this detail off your resume invites the possibility of confusion. Don’t assume that employers know you speak English, though submitting your resume in English should give them the idea.
What Are Language Levels For Resumes
Language levels refer to your level of proficiency with a language. There are different aspects of languages, including reading, writing, listening and speaking, and it’s important to distinguish your level of proficiency for employers, so they know how effectively you will be able to meet the needs of a position.
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Jobs With European Companies
Most Europeans begin learning a second language early in their primary education. If you hope to work abroad for EU employers, a solid command of a second language may well be required.
A good way to learn which languages are required in order to work overseas is to scan the listings on one of these best international job search engine sites.
Required proficiency framework: Employers in the EU use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to determine their job candidates degree of language proficiency. A basic understanding of a language is ranked as A1 or A2 , an intermediate command is scored as B1 or B2 , and advanced competency is described as C1 or C2 .
Heres what a citation looks like:
- Foreign Languages: English German French
First Things First: What Is Your Actual Level
To highlight your language skills on a CV, you first need to quantify them.
Awesome, you can follow along with Pans Labyrinth when the subtitles are in English. But what if a native Spanish speaker asks you a question on the street? Suddenly, your comprehension level diminishes. So what should you say on your CV?
Unfortunately, I dont have the answer to that. But in the end, your best bet is honesty. Try to describe your particular competencies, while neither underestimating nor overselling yourself. To quantify your level, you need to evaluate yourself compared to the competition, or to your friends and family for example.
Maybe you should make the investment to earn a foreign language certificate. For non-native English speakers, you can do this for English by taking the TOEIC , a standardized certification for English. The great thing about the TOEIC, or any other foreign language certificate, is having it on your resume validates your professional skills with the language, proving youve surpassed the useful, necessary material. And if you need a hand getting ready for the exam, MosaLingua is here to help with our MosaLingua Learn TOEIC Vocabulary application, which allows you to memorize the vocabulary required to pass the exam in record time! Of course, there are certificates equivalent to the TOEIC for other languages, such as Italian.
Another little tip: Dont forget to indicate your score along with the date you achieved this result on your CV.
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How To Write Foreign Language Skills On Your Resume
Once youve worked out where youre going to put them, you need to know how to write language skills in a resume: Chinese, German, French or Spanish. What is your level? Are you fluent? Is your level intermediate?
How to write resume foreign language skills: There are lots of different scales and ways of measuring language ability. Unless the language ability is central to the job, you should just describe your level with one or two words.
Putting language proficiency on your resume: You can write something like basic, fluent or native or if you have a clearer idea of your level here is a scale of language ability:
Being fluent in a language is defined in a variety of ways, but essentially it means you can have a fluid and accurate conversation in that language.
Proficiency in a language means you understand it well, but may use it more formally or less easily than a fluent speaker.
If youre at an intermediate level, you can have basic conversations in a variety of situations but still make your fair share of mistakes. Dont bother including anything below this level on your resume.
Here is a basic level guide:
Alternatively you can use the scale which LinkedIn uses:
- Elementary proficiency
- Limited working proficiency
- Full professional proficiency
- Native or bilingual proficiency
Dont Mix And Match Different Language Frameworks
Consistency is important.
Dont go about saying youre B2 in Russian and AH in Spanish.
Know the company youre applying for. If its a US-based one, go with the ACTFL.
If youre not sure how different levels from different continents compare with each other, check out this Wikipedia article that compares CEFR and ACTFL frameworks.
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How To List Languages On Your Resume
So how do you list languages in your CV? There are several ways to include your language skills. Some of them depend on which of the three formatsof resumes you choose.
1. Language Sidebar. Information on a resume sidebar catches the eye, making the reader feel like its in a special spot for a reason. If the position specifically calls for language proficiencyand you meet the mentioned proficiency levelconsider listing your languages in the sidebar.
In many of our resume templates, you can listskills and languages above the level of proficiency through the use of icons or bars. Either choose to create a full list of languagesif you speak multiple onesor meld skills and language list into one sidebar display.
In this case, it may look something like this:
2. Within work experience. As you detail your skills and responsibilities underneath each job title, include a bullet point about your language use throughout the position. As always, stay honestif a past employer ends up as a reference, language use could come up.
If language is a large part of the job requirements, place it toward the top of your responsibility list. Hiring managers may be looking for keywords as they make their initial pass over your resume, and including these phrases prove you understand the level of language proficiency theyre looking for.
Product Manager, Super Solutions January 2014-January 2018
What Is A Proficient Level Of Spanish
Users with a proficient level of communication can participate in C1. You should aim for a level that let you speak and express yourself fluently if youre working towards fluency in Spanish. It doesnt mean that you will always be able to understand every word in the language, but to be able to deal with most situations and talk about specific topics well. All competencies are mastered at level C2.
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How To List Language Skill Levels On A Resume
Once you have a basic understanding of the specific language skills that will be valued within the role, department, and organization youre applying to, the next step is updating your resume.
When youre listing language skills on your resume, be sure to be as specific as possible. It wont do you or the hiring manager any good, for example, if you simply write proficient in a foreign language or skilled in understanding foreign languages. Instead, be clear and concise in your descriptions.
Here are some examples of how you might include foreign language skills on a resume:
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese: Speaking, writing, and reading.
Proficient in speaking Spanish and French.
Conversant in German.
Certificate in fluent French from Northwestern University.
Then again, theres one more thing you can do.
Make a new resume and get more interviews.
Plus, a great resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our resume builder here. Heres what it may look like:
Determine The Relevance Of Your Bilingual Skills To The Position
Review the job posting to learn if the position requires bilingual skills. If it mentions that the company prefers candidates proficient in a language you speak, you can list this skill near the top of your resume. If you don’t see any preference or job description mentioning the need for candidates with bilingual skills, you can list it near the bottom of your resume in your skills section or in a section of its own. You can also list your bilingual skills in multiple sections throughout your resume, if desired.
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Why Are Language Skills Important
Communication is a critical part of any job, and depending on the role, you may need to communicate with colleagues, managers or customers. Recruiters often look for language skills because they show your ability to communicate with a diverse range of people. They also show hard work and dedication to learning something new and challenging.
Knowing a second language shows cultural knowledge, which is an important tool to have since businesses are globalizing across all industries. Already knowing the language of a country that your prospective employer works in can help your resume stand out. Besides being able to communicate with their international partners, you may also know their cultural customs and be able to interact with them in a culturally appropriate manner.
Language skills can help advance your career in several ways. You can build relationships directly with the employers international contacts without going through a translator. As individuals and families mobilize to new countries, small domestic employers will benefit from being able to communicate directly with their clients. Regardless of the languages you speak or your professional industry, language skills can help grow your professional network, allow for more job opportunities and show your
How Do I Describe My Language Skill Level
Looking at language skill levels, more questions than answers appear:
- Does proficient and fluent mean one and the same thing?
- When should I write one or the other?
- Will they understand that I can read and write if Im at an intermediate level?
Well start by understanding what the different language levels mean.
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If The Open Position Is Competitive
Imagine the following scenario:
Both Tom and Emma are applying for the position of a Senior Marketing Manager at Etsy.
Theyve got the same amount of experience, and their skill set is fairly similar, too.
However, Emma mentioned that shes fluent in French & German on her resume, while Tom didnt.
Emmas value proposition for the company increases exponentially, as there will be a lot of practical uses for her language skills.
Even though Toms language proficiency might be on par with Emma, he never bothered to show that thus, his chances to get a callback get slimmer.
How Should I Present This On My Resume To Be Beneficial And Also Truthful
How to say fluent in spanish on resume. I am proficient in Spanish because I can read write and say almost everything with exception of most slang phrases or idiomatic expressions that rarely come up in conversations with classmates professors etc I want in Spanish. When should you include language skills on resume. Indicates that this is your mother tongue and that youre fully comfortable speaking reading and writing in this language.
Before listing languages on your resume review your speaking reading and listening comprehension of the language. So I can listen and read spanish and understand almost anything. Fluent Level You are fully verse in this language speaking reading and writing it as well as a native speaker.
I am now starting a beginner Spanish Class which by time my resume is submitted I will have completed 1 semester of Spanish 1010 at a local university. Starter beginner pre-intermediate intermediate upper-intermediate advanced proficient. While you can prove soft skills like communication and organization over time you cant exactly skirt around being fluent in French.
Language levels resume You took Spanish in high school or maybe even in college. But before you list language as a skill in your resume you should first determine what your level of proficiency is. But how can you make your resume stand out more.
Lets get to the bottom of it. How to list language skills on resume. I am in no ways fluent.
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