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When do you put languages on your CV?

 Language Learning Forum : Languages & Work Post Reply
86 messages over 11 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 1 ... 10 11 Next >>
Solfrid Cristin
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Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 Message 1 of 86
09 April 2012 at 6:36pm | IP Logged 
Or to ask the longer version: at which level do you think it is relevant to put your languages on your CV?
So far I have said that I am fluent in French, Spanish and English ( since I am somewhere in the C- range )
and that I speak some German and Italian ( since I am somewhere in the B-range). I have so far never
written a language where I am just at A1 - A2 level, but I am actually considering to put Russian on my CV
even if I am just at an A2 if it were relevant for the position I was applying for. Extremely few Norwegians
speak any Russian at all, so even if I would obviously be very careful to describe my level in a modest way,
I think I might do it. Do you do that, and have you had any feed back from employers?
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Senior Member
Russian Federation
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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 Message 2 of 86
09 April 2012 at 7:17pm | IP Logged 
I'm not sure it's a good idea to be modest. Employers are used to believing only half of what they hear, so to them a modest A2 will equal "almost nothing".
At least make sure to state how long you've been studying it.
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Senior Member
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Speaks: English*, German
Studies: French, Mandarin

 Message 3 of 86
09 April 2012 at 8:15pm | IP Logged 
I think listing those skills might be better than just A2 or B1. "Practical knowledge of Russian" or "working knowledge of Russian" might be appropriate, but you could be more creative than that by highlighting either spoken or written skills, depending on what you think is important.
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Bilingual Pentaglot
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Speaks: English*, Finnish*, French, SwedishC1, Esperanto
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian

 Message 4 of 86
09 April 2012 at 10:02pm | IP Logged 
I don't put languages I don't know well either.

Is anyone who knows a lot of languages inhibited from putting many languages because they feel it might seem odd in the employer's eyes, or because they are afraid the employer might think they are lying?
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Senior Member
United States
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, Finnish

 Message 5 of 86
09 April 2012 at 10:20pm | IP Logged 
If I pass the N2 (the Japanese Language test) I might put down Japanese. As of right now, my resume is English only.
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United States
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Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 6 of 86
09 April 2012 at 10:21pm | IP Logged 
I've interviewed programmers in the US, which is probably very different from, say,
interviewing managers or sales people in Norway.

But in general, there's a handy rule of thumb: If you can explain how a language skill
(or anything else) would help your employer make more money, feel free to tell them. :-)
In some retail jobs, even a 200-word vocabulary and some basic grammar might be useful.
Just be clear about what you can and cannot do.

Of course, a prospective employer may hire an external consultant to interview in your
foreign language(s). I suspect that many people around here would smile and think, "Hey,
free practice!"
8 persons have voted this message useful

Super Polyglot
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Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
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 Message 7 of 86
10 April 2012 at 12:22am | IP Logged 
Luckily I haven't had to write a CV lately (actually I haven't written one since the mid 80s), but if I lost my job and had to try to find a new one I'm not even sure that I would try to find a language related one.

If I did I would of course mention those of my languages which were relevant for the job, but only make a short remark about having studied a few other languages. I am fairly sure that prospective employers would see a long list as bragging and probably faked whereas 4-5 languages might be seen as a qualification.
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Senior Member
United States
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Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: Sign Language, German, Spanish, French

 Message 8 of 86
10 April 2012 at 12:53am | IP Logged 
On a side note, I'm not sure putting a CEFR level is wise, unless you are sure that your
employers and the HR staff are familiar with the fact that C is good and A bad -- a notion
that might be counterintuitive in many respects.

Edited by s0fist on 10 April 2012 at 12:54am

10 persons have voted this message useful

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