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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 24 5 6 7 ... 3 ... 10 11 Next >>
vermillon
Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
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602 posts - 1042 votes 
Speaks: French*, EnglishC2, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, German

 
 Message 17 of 86
10 April 2012 at 4:30pm | IP Logged 
The answer is quite simple: you should put on your CV things that are relevant to the job you're applying to.
-When I've applied to work in Machine Translation as part of a EU-funded project, I've indicated all of the languages I knew even to a very low degree of proficiency (but then I clearly stated I knew "basics").
-When applying for some research internship where I had found that the supervisor knew Esperanto (among quite a few other languages, including several African ones though he was white), I've included Esperanto on my CV. For no other job I would dare mentioning it, as most people (and particularly those who are so "money"- or "useful"-oriented as in HR) would consider it's stupid to learn it. But for that job, the supervisor brought the topic in the interview and I know it played its part in him considering I had passion for language and I got the offer.
-When I apply for a job in China, I don't fail to mention I like Chinese history and I'm studying Classical Chinese as it makes my chance to be recruited higher as I show genuine interest in the culture of the country, and people tend to be happy and proud in these occasions.

However, mentioning I speak Spanish (not fluently anymore) for a job in China is irrelevant and therefore not worth wasting one line of my CV for it. A CV is supposed to hold in one page maximum (more means you can't evaluate what is important and valuable in your profile) and you usually have to leave out things that you may consider important personally, but have no relevance to the job.
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Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
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Norway
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Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
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 Message 18 of 86
10 April 2012 at 4:46pm | IP Logged 
vermillon wrote:
-When I apply for a job in China,


How often do you apply for a job in China? :-)
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Raincrowlee
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United States
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 Message 19 of 86
10 April 2012 at 5:47pm | IP Logged 
Heather McNamar wrote:
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
It probably has a different name in American. It is a document which specifies your formal education, work experience and other skills. Here, when you apply for a job you present two documents. Your CV - which is the same for all your jobs, and a letter of application, where you higlight why you want this particular job, and why you are perfect for it.


Ah, I see what you mean. I think we would call that a resume here in America, but I like the term "curriculum vitae" better. Thank you very much.


Though, from what I understand, CVs and resumes have different formats. CVs tend to be longer, 2-3 pages long typically. If a resume goes over a page, you better have some impressive credentials.
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Heather McNamar
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United States
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Speaks: English*
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 Message 20 of 86
10 April 2012 at 5:48pm | IP Logged 
iguanamon wrote:
Don't worry, @Heather McNamar, when I first moved to England, I'd never heard of the term "CV". In the UK and Commonwealth English the common usage is "CV" refering to "Curriculum Vitae", a Latin term. In US English, a French term is used "Resumé". Ironic that in the English-speaking world we use two distinct foreign borrowings. I wonder why we don't have a commonly accepted, genuinely English, term for this?


Yes, very ironic indeed! And to further add to the confusion, my British-born stepfather uses the term resume but pronounces it "rez OO me" with emphasis on the second syllable. Of course, he does have roots in Canada, so maybe that's part of the reason why?
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squonk
Groupie
United States
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Irish

 
 Message 21 of 86
10 April 2012 at 6:12pm | IP Logged 
Also, Heather, only the term "CV" is ever used in American academia. Professors only have
CVs, and never resumes. I was going to link to a few, but really, a good Google search
would produce bazillions of examples.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Ogrim
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France
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Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, French, Romansh, German, Italian
Studies: Russian, Catalan, Latin, Greek, Romanian

 
 Message 22 of 86
10 April 2012 at 7:25pm | IP Logged 
A big part of my job is actually screening CVs and interviewing candidates (yes, I work in HR). My advice is: be honest. Now I work in an international setting and the members of the interview panel together may speak 10 languages or more. We once had a candidate who claimed to speak very good Russian. One of the interviewers was Russian so he put a couple of questions to the candidate, who turned red and started stuttering - after trying to put together one sentence he gave up and turned back to English. As a recruiter, inevitably you start wondering if there are other parts of the CV where the candidate exaggerates.

Personally, I put in my CV that I am "currently studying Russian", rather than claiming it to be a language I know (but then I am probably still between A1 and A2).
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Solfrid Cristin
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Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
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 Message 23 of 86
10 April 2012 at 10:01pm | IP Logged 
I have also interviewed people who have claimed to be fluent In French but who did not speak it at all. I
just deleted them from the list. My personal favorite was however the guy who said he had special skills in
organizing and conflict solving because he had grown up on a farm and had parents who had divorced. The
only one I liked even better was one of my sister's colleagues who was desperate to become a manager,
even though she had no formal education or relevant experience. Under "Management experience" she
wrote: " Have managed 20 cows".
13 persons have voted this message useful



Heather McNamar
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2967 days ago

77 posts - 109 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, Latin

 
 Message 24 of 86
10 April 2012 at 10:19pm | IP Logged 
squonk wrote:
Also, Heather, only the term "CV" is ever used in American academia. Professors only have
CVs, and never resumes.


That's a good point, since I should think one would associate the term "curriculum" with learning.


1 person has voted this message useful



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