Are you having difficulty wording your resume to powerfully document your foreign language skill? Still confused about how to write resume foreign language skills, experiences and accomplishments? As more and more US businesses enter the global marketplace, they are looking for employment candidates who are fluent in foreign languages. The same is true of foreign enterprises that are doing business with US companies and consumers. This demand provides opportunities for job seekers with foreign language abilities to position themselves in a unique way. How you state your foreign language ability on your resume and job application, is very important. Are you frustrated with how to write resume foreign language skills in a powerful yet truthful way? We give suggestions for how to keep your foreign language skill relevant, truthful and how to write WIIFM bullet points that will validate your skill and experience in a more powerful way.
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When deciding if you should include your foreign language ability on your résumé, the number one question you must consider is does this language skill directly apply to the company, its clients and customers or to the job announcement? Relevancy is very important when writing your résumé. It makes sense to include it if the language skill is relevant to your job search or future career. In situations where it is not relevant you might better serve your job search by featuring other skills that will add value to you as a potential employee. For example, suppose that you are fluent in Cantonese and the companies you want to work for – have Asian clients or facilities in Cantonese speaking regions.
Then it is important to document this skill on your resume. If it does not directly relate to company business, locations or your career goals then it may be best to leave this information off your resume. Determining language proficiency for job applications or resumes, in the United States, can be difficult because there are no universal standards of measurement. States that “Language proficiency is a measurement of how well an individual has mastered a language. Proficiency is measured in terms of receptive and expressive language skills, syntax, vocabulary, semantics, and other areas that demonstrate language abilities.
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There are four domains to language proficiency: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Language proficiency is measured for an individual by each language, such that the individual may be proficient in English and not proficient in another language. ” [i]The following information should help you to assess your language proficiency level so that you can more accurately represent it on your resume and job application. This overview of common language terms and possible definitions was compiled from numerous sources.
The American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages has developed language proficiency guidelines, and you can. The Virginia Commonwealth University, in association with Patricia Cummins and Lulú (María) De Panbehchi, produced the Global Language Portfolio. This program includes free self assessment tools for foreign language ability. The Interagency Language Roundtable has developed assessment scales as well, you can reach them through this link: The European community has developed proficiency evaluations for foreign languages.
It may be to your career advantage to complete a program, like this, that will qualitatively state your language proficiency level and provide documents to validate it. It is essential to know how to write resume foreign language skills, how to define them and then to phrase them in powerful ways that add value to prospective employers. Once you decide to list your language proficiency on your resume, keep in mind that just making a blanket statement that you are proficient in a specific language is NOT noteworthy especially if it does not benefit the prospective employer. It will better serve you to include accomplishments that relate how you use your foreign language ability in a work environment. Here are a few examples:
Use caution and DO NOT overstate your abilities on your resume or job application. During the hiring or interview process, you will be evaluated on your language proficiency.