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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 ... 7 ... 10 11 Next >>
Lapislazuli
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Austria
Joined 5229 days ago

146 posts - 170 votes 
Speaks: German*, EnglishC2, Swedish, ItalianB1
Studies: French, Hungarian, Esperanto, Czech

 
 Message 49 of 86
30 November 2012 at 12:01pm | IP Logged 
So far I put in all of my languages (along with explaining at what level speak them), as I was mainly applying for jobs in tourism, where also the most basic knowledge can be useful, as long as you can make yourself understood.

From now on I am going to work a tour-guide and for those job applications I am only going to use my strongest languages, the ones in which I can see myself doing guided tours in.
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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4790 days ago

9753 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 50 of 86
30 November 2012 at 6:33pm | IP Logged 
Leurre wrote:
I would never put in a CV that I speak a language unless I have taken a recognized exam in it.
Can be replaced by some other valuable L2 experience, like a non-language class you attended in the country of this language.

I guess I sort of have a mental scale, giving points to languages depending on 3 main criteria:
-My level: My Finnish skills are practically a part of my identity, I can't imagine not mentioning them even where they aren't needed.
-Is it considered useful? (by people who recognize that English is not the only language worth learning): if it's seen as a natural/obvious/normal choice, the required level doesn't need to be high. That's how Spanish and German ended up on my CV (and to some extent Polish)
-Is it geeky/obscure? No Esperanto, no Indonesian, no languages they've not heard of. Can obviously be overriden by #1 Teh Level.


It's also important to keep in mind WHY exactly a language is needed for the job. Is it because of contacts with people from said country or not? If there's no objective reason like this, the language(s) listed as required is/are simply considered useful/important. Your skills in them or lack thereof can be complemented/balanced out by your level in the languages that are as important. Employers just see way too few cases where the choice is not between "speaks language X" / "doesn't speak any foreign language".
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Julie
Heptaglot
Senior Member
PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5096 days ago

1251 posts - 1733 votes 
5 sounds
Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, GermanC2, SpanishB2, Dutch, Swedish, French

 
 Message 51 of 86
30 November 2012 at 8:43pm | IP Logged 
I usually have four languages in my CV: English, German, French, and Spanish. All of
them are mainstream, and you never know what the employer may need. No English on a CV
would be almost suspicious, and my German skills are a part of my identity like Finnish
is in the case of Serpent.

I don't care about whether I have a recognized certificate or not, but I do usually add
a short explanation/justification after the language and level, like "B2 certificate
DELE Intermedio", "M.A. in German language and literature", "studies in French abroad"
etc.

I change the level description depending on where I'm going to send my CV, and
sometimes I change the level too (I generally underestimate my language skills a bit if
applying for a linguistic job where I know that expectations are very high).

This list of four languages is usually followed by general additional information:
"Basic skills in" and a list of 2-3 languages that may be relevant (or not).

Edited by Julie on 01 December 2012 at 12:30am

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Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3527 days ago

4143 posts - 8862 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 52 of 86
30 November 2012 at 10:01pm | IP Logged 
Like I mentioned in my opening statement, here it depends on the language. German is a language where I
would be very precise when putting it on a CV, and I would not put anything lower than B1, for the simple
reason that you have so many people with some knowledge in it. Russian is another matter entirely, since
almost no one speak any of it, so if they stated that a knowledge of Russian was desired, I would most
certainly put my A2 Russian.
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jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5102 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 53 of 86
01 December 2012 at 12:15am | IP Logged 
The "suspicousness" about English not being on the CV (as Julie hinted) definitely depends on where you live and which job you're applying for. In some countries it might be more important to state even basic knowledge of English, but I wonder how important it is in the Scandinavian countries. Apart from workplaces like travel agencies and schools (and maybe law firms etc.), I don't think I've ever even seen English in an ad in a Swedish paper. Everybody speak it (more or less), so it's expected that you know it. No reason to put in the ad, nor on the CV. Even teen cashiers speak English whenever there's a foreign customer, without having been asked about by the employer about their level in English, or having put it in capital boldface on the CV (other than perhaps including a copy of their recent grades).

But if there's a certain reason (no matter how small) in mentioning your language skills, even an non-certified A2 Russian could give you better odds.
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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4790 days ago

9753 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 54 of 86
01 December 2012 at 12:22am | IP Logged 
It does. My English wasn't even tested at my job interview for Kaspersky Lab, but I've been asked about it way too many times since starting the job XD
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Julie
Heptaglot
Senior Member
PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5096 days ago

1251 posts - 1733 votes 
5 sounds
Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, GermanC2, SpanishB2, Dutch, Swedish, French

 
 Message 55 of 86
01 December 2012 at 12:29am | IP Logged 
For me, it would be strange to leave English out (provided that the CV includes a
language section). No need to put it in bold, though.
But I obviously have a different perspective: in Poland, English is still not a standard,
and it's usually included in ads as a requirement.
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jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5102 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 56 of 86
01 December 2012 at 9:37am | IP Logged 
Of course, if the CV indeed has a language section, there's no point in leaving it out. I've seen online forms where you can compose your CV on the spot. The level in each language (or other kind of skill) that you select from the list is typically graded with "radio buttons" from 1 to 5.


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