Monday, November 27, 2023

How To Write Language Skills In Resume

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Know When To Include Them

Writing Your Resume Skills Section: Do’s and Don’ts

There are several instances whereby it’s key to include language skills on your resume, such as if they appear in the job description. Analyse the job description and note the language skill level recruiters want in a candidate to ensure you include the relevant skills on your resume. Other situations whereby it’s important to have language skills include:

  • Applying for a job abroad: If you’re applying for a job in another country, including proficiency in the native language on your resume shows that you can adapt to the work environment and converse with others easily.

  • Pursuing an interactive role: If you’re applying for a position that requires customer interaction, such as sales or customer service, mentioning your fluency in another language shows recruiters that you can speak to customers from different backgrounds, which is an added advantage.

  • Looking for your first job: If you’re searching for your first job opportunity and have few skills, adding language skills to your resume can demonstrate your ability to learn quickly and makes your resume looks more comprehensive.

  • Seeking a competitive position: If you’re applying for a competitive role, adding language skills to your resume shows that you can add value to the new job, which may be useful if the company has international relationships.

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Evaluate Your Level With Different Language Elements

There are four basic elements of language proficiency and not everyone possesses equal levels of proficiency in all areas. Some people, for example, may be able to understand a language with ease and be able to maintain a conversation but may not be comfortable writing or reading the language. Determine your strengths and weaknesses so you can accurately define your levels of proficiency on your resume for a potential employer.

  • Reading: This describes your ability to understand written language.

  • Writing: Writing proficiency evaluates your ability to write comfortably using a second language.

  • Speaking: Speaking proficiency evaluates your ability to speak without effort.

  • Listening: This refers to your ability to understand what’s being said when others speak the language.

How Do You Describe Basic Language Skills

One definition of language is a system of symbols that permit people to communicate or interact. Another way to describe language is in terms of the four basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In your teaching, you will need to address each of these skills.

How do you list a language level on a 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 resume 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.

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Should I Put Languages On My Resume

The number one consideration on whether to include a resume language skills section is relevancy. Is the language a job requirement? Is the ability to speak the language of value to the company?

If the language is relevant to the position youre applying for it should definitely be included, and highlighted. If not, it should be included though it shouldnt be given too much prominence.

When writing a resume, space is precious, every part should help to sell yourself to the company. If you doubt whether something is relevant, the chances are it isnt.

English is the most important international language to speak. Most recruiters and employers expect their employees to be able to hold a conversation in English.

However, the fact that your resume is in English will highlight this. In the US, it can also be highly valuable to speak Spanish. If youre writing a student resume, extra languages look good, and will help you to fill the space.

Where Should You Include Your Language Proficiencies On A Resume

How should I write about language skills on my resume?

The next question is Where on your resume should I list those language skills?. As it turns out, there are several places where you can choose to list those language skills, including the education or skills section, or in its own section. The choice will depend on how important the skill is for the job you are seeking, and the number of languages that you know.

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When Should You Include Language Skill Levels On Your Resume

You should include language skill levels on your resume when you see that your skills would be beneficial to the company.

Although many employers may not always explicitly state it in a job posting, they will prefer to hire a job candidate who can bring some language skills into the workplace. Most industries do not require each of their job candidates to possess language skills.

Similarly, its rare for an employer to include language skills as a mandatory prerequisite for all job applicants. At the same time, there are countless industries in which language skills can give you a distinct edge over the competition.

So as a job candidate, you may have to read between the lines a bit. Be sure to research the company youre applying to, so you can find out if they have any offices or business abroad. If they do, thats a good sign that they will value candidates with foreign language skills.

On the other hand, you wont always need to conduct that much detective work because many job postings will clearly state that theyre looking for candidates with particular language skills.

Here are a few more circumstances in which it can be beneficial to include foreign language skills on your resume:

Tips For Including Language Skills On Your Resume

Learn when and how to include language skills on your resume with this guide, with specific examples from real resumes.

a year ago 10 min read

In todays global business environment, language skills can be an important asset for virtually any industry. This guide will help you determine when and how to list language skills on your resume, how to determine your language proficiency, and notable do’s and don’ts.

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Dont Know How To Rate Your Language Skills

It’s not always easy to assess your language abilities. Perhaps, you can have a conversation with your flatmate in German, but you struggle to write e-mails in the language or you can chat with your colleagues in French, but find it difficult to converse with customers on the phone.

In any case, the best way to find out is to take a language test. While there are hundreds of language tests available online, its a good idea to choose an officially recognised or authorised provider. On Wikipedia, you can find accredited language providers per language.

What Language Framework To Use

How To Create A Functional Resume & Showcase Your Skills | Indeed Career Tips

Thats why the second aspect you should consider is to define, what language framework you plan to use. The easiest way to prove your language level in Europe is to include the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages framework. In line with the guidelines, youll get a certification from A1 to C2 examining listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities. If you are not sure about your level, you can complete an online test, which will evaluate your knowledge and will give you your respective language proficiency level. For example, here you can assess your level of English. Dont forget, that these frameworks are always territorial. If you apply to the US for example, you need to consider a different language framework, called ILR. By listing up your language skills in the following structure, you should be good to go!

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What Are Language Skills

Before we jump into adding sections to your resume, its important to understand what we mean by language skills. No, its not your ability to sweet talk your way out of any situation!

Language skills refer to your understanding of additional languages besides just the one in which your resume is written.

For example, if youre reading this blog, chances are your resume is in English. Because your resume is in English, employers know you understand that language.

But, depending on the job youre applying to, you might want to tell employers that you can comprehend Spanish and French, too.

These are the language skills you want to put on your resume.

Must know

Language skills refer to spoken languages. This isnt where you include your proficiency in programming languages like Python or JavaScript.

Additional Ways To Showcase Your Language Proficiency Levels

Depending on the languages you speak, there are other ways of explaining these skills to employers:


The Interagency Language Roundtable is the grading scale used by the U.S. government.

It rates ability from 0 to 6 .

If you want to work for the U.S. government, this is the system that you should use. Most federal agencies hold their own ILR tests, and a few private companies also offer exams that can give you an ILR rating. Theres also the option of taking the ILRs online self-assessment.


The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is an international scale for rating language ability, and is the rating system that youll most often see used in Europe.

It also has a 6-point scale, but this one runs from A1 to C2 . Depending on the language, you can get formal certification via in-person and online exams. You can also assess your own abilities online.


The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages is an American organization that aims to improve and increase language teaching at all levels.

Its proficiency scale, which is recognized worldwide, has 4 basic levels , which are divided into 3 sublevels . You can take an ACTFL test with Language Testing International, ACTFLs official testing partner.

Proficiency exams

Different languages may also have their own standardized proficiency tests for students, which you can list on your resume.

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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.

How To Include Language Skills On Your Resume In 8 Steps

Resume Language Skills [with Proficiency &  Fluency Levels]

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Language skills are essential for various people, such as interpreters, translators, journalists and educators. Skill levels range from beginner to native language speaker. Knowing how to outline these skills on your resume and customise them to the role you’re applying for can help you show recruiters that you’re a suitable candidate. In this article, we list steps on how to include language skills on your resume and provide a few examples to show you how to highlight them.

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If You’re Located In A Multilingual Area

If the company youre applying to does significant business in a region with a high concentration of foreign language speakers , you can include your language proficiency if it’s relevant to that area.

As you are working on your resume, you might be wondering what skills you need to include in your skills section. An easy way to figure this out is to use the tool below just search your job title and youll get a list of relevant skills.

If You’re Applying To Multi

If the business or corporation that youre applying to is multinational meaning they have business operations in more than one country then you may wish to include your language proficiency. This is particularly true if you’ll be expected to travel abroad regularly or will be a point of contact for clients or colleagues who primarily speak another language.

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How To Correctly Assess Your Level Of Language Fluency

If you don’t know your exact language skills levels, don’t guess.

Either you’ll overestimate your abilities or you’ll underestimate yourself .

What are your options then?

  • Obtain an official language certificate. This often takes a lot of work and preparation but it can be worth it. It gives you a way to back your claims about your language skills levels and can make a stronger impression on the employer. On the other hand, sometimes it’s simply an overkill. What’s more, it can get pretty expensive, especially if you speak multiple languages and want to obtain an official certificate for each.
  • Self-assess your language skill level. In most cases, self-assessment should suffice, as long as you don’t try overestimate your abilities and follow official guidelines to grade yourself.
  • For The Credibility Of Your Skills Include Language Certificates If You Have Any

    Write an Incredible Resume: 5 Golden Rules!

    If you have any certification in your language skills, such as a degree or diploma, you should also mention this in this section. If you have any language-related work experience, you can include this in your CV as well. This could be a work experience, volunteering, or internships successfully done in the required language. If you are writing a cover letter for your job application, you can also use the chance to mention your accomplishments in the language field. Mentioning these certifications will erase any doubts that may be raised during the application process and CV screening.

    Now its time to review and create a great resume for your next international job application by including your language skills next to your technical skills, professional experience and your soft skills. As a company hiring multilingual talents for language jobs, we are happy to help you land your dream job. Dont hesitate to contact us if you need any help with your international job search!

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    Learn about the MosaLingua Business Spanish app, available for your iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Android smartphone/tablet. This app contains numerous categories with useful phrases and vocabulary for working in Spanish , and its very useful for those who need to quickly memorize specialized Spanish vocabulary for their field of work.

    We hope you found this article on how to showcase your language skills on a CV useful! If you did, dont forget to share it with your friends and family!

    Where To Include Your Language Skills On Your Cv

    You could add your language skills to a general Skills section or include them in a new section entitled Languages.

    If your language skills are essential for the job and you are proficient enough to use them in a professional environment, its worth mentioning this in your personal statement or profile at the top of your CV, so that its one of the first things recruiters will read, e.g.

    Im a German-speaking project manager with 2 years of experience working with German clients at a software company.

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    Foreign Language Teaching Jobs

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were approximately 27,240 foreign language teachers in the American workforce in 2017. Colleges and universities, junior colleges, and local governments are the leading employers of foreign language teachers.

    Required proficiency framework: TheAmerican Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages has created a series of guidelines used to evaluate ones functional language ability. This scale, commonly used both by teachers and employers to assess foreign language competency, analyzes proficiency in speaking, writing, listening, and reading.

    Heres an example:

    When Should You Include Language Skills On Resume

    Communication Skills Resume List

    Consider how the additional language you speak applies to the business when preparing a resume for a new job. If they have listed proficiency in another language as a job requirement in the job description, include your language skills in your resume. However, you are always free to include the language skills in your resume even if it is not mentioned in the job description as a requirement.

    Furthermore, if you can add language skills to your resume in the following situations, you will be able to gain more advantages as a job candidate.

    • If youre applying for a job in a foreign country.
    • When you apply for a company with multilingual workers.
    • When you want to make your resume stand out.

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    Do Not Lie On Your Resume

    If you dont have any foreign language skills, dont include them in your resume. If the job requires a specific language, the interview, or at least a portion of it, will almost always be conducted in that language. Therefore, if you are not fluent in that language, it can be very embarrassing and awkward for you.

    For any reason, if they dont communicate in that language at the interview, your potential employers expect you to be able to communicate in that language once you start working. They may even fire you if they discover you dont have the required language skills later. It will then be a black mark on your career as well.

    Add Language In Skill Section

    The most common way to write about your language skills is to list them at the bottom of your key skills section.

    This is the most straightforward way of including this information as it doesn’t take up extra space.

    The downside of this method is that recruiters may miss this information if you have many different skills listed together.

    Here’s an example:

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    When Is It Good To Mention Your Language Skills On Your Cv

    Adding the language knowledge component is always recommended! Even if it is not specifically requested in a vacancy, there is a chance that you will encounter foreign languages in your daily work. Think, for example, of English-language systems or speaking to a customer who speaks a different language. It is nice for an employer to know that such a situation does not immediately cause problems.

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