Knowledge of English and other foreign languages will be a definite plus even in cases where professional duties do not imply communication with foreign partners and clients. It is a useful skill that adds value to the specialist and characterizes the overall development of the applicant. It remains to figure out how to correctly indicate the level of language proficiency for a resume. Let’s try to figure it out.
The ability to translate, speak and comprehend English or French is needed not only for translators and employees who communicate directly with clients and partners from other countries. This is especially true of English – the language of international communication. Language skills may be required:
- Translators, interpreters who translate audio and video products.
- Copywriters who write advertising texts for both foreign companies and foreign target audience.
- Marketers. Everything new in the art of organizing production and marketing of products first appears in English, and then is translated into national languages.
- For seafarers, air crews, railroad workers and other specialists involved in international cargo and passenger transportation.
- Employees employed by multinational corporations or companies with subsidiaries, partners and overseas clientele.
- Tourism professionals, whether resort hotel personnel or tourism managers.
- Programmers. As with marketers, most of the up-to-date professional information comes first in English and then in other languages.
- SEOs, internet marketers, and so on.
- For employees dealing with foreign language documentation: lawyers, accountants of foreign economic activity, personnel working with technologies and equipment of foreign production.
- No knowledge – you don’t need to write anything in the questionnaire.
- Basic reading skills – “I read with a dictionary”.
- Reading without using a dictionary – “I read without a dictionary”. You can separately indicate the understanding of foreign terminology, especially in terms of your profile. For example, “I read technical documentation.”
Today there are many systems for determining the quality of language competencies, but not all of them are universally recognized throughout the world. It’s easier if you have international courses like TOEFL under your belt. In this case, it is enough to indicate the result of the relevant tests.
Many employers use their own scale for assessing the knowledge of an applicant for foreign languages. The selection may look something like this (variations are possible):
- Base level. Corresponds to English Elementary and Basic.
- Medium. This may include items like “I read technical literature without a dictionary” or “I can do an interview.” In English – Intermediate.
- Advanced level. The closest analogue is Upper-Intermediate.
- Fluency. Fluent or Advanced and Proficiency.
According to the international classification, fluency is divided into two subcategories. Advanced denotes professional proficiency, and Proficiency corresponds to the level of the carrier.
In Europe, international classification is increasingly being replaced by European standards. The CEFR system is used to assess nearly four dozen European languages. In the European system, A1 and A2 meet the Elementary and Pre-Intermediate criteria, Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate – B1 and B2, respectively, Advanced and Proficiency – C1 and C2.
Recently, CEFR has increasingly used additional gradation. The alphanumeric designations are the same, only “+” is added to them: A1 +, A2 +, B1 +, B2 +, C1 +. So, for example, if you are fluent in writing specialized documentation, feel free to indicate the level of proficiency B1 +. If you can do the interview – B2 +. C1 + corresponds to fluency, and C2 – to a native speaker.
It is allowed to indicate both according to the international classification and according to the European one, unless otherwise initially determined by the potential employer.
|Beginner level||A1||Elementary / Beginner|
For German, language proficiency in a resume is often indicated as is customary in Germany. The initial and basic level (A) corresponds to Grundstufe. Middle (B) – Mittelstufe. Fluency and carrier level ownership (C1 and C2) – Oberstufe. However, it would not be a mistake to use the common European classification CEFR.
|Beginner level||A1||Grundstufe A1|
|Average threshold||B1||Mittelstufe B1|
|Medium Advanced||B2||Mittelstufe B2|
|Native speaker||C2||Oberstufe C2|
Indicating knowledge of foreign languages in a resume is better use international classification or CEFR (for European). It is advisable to apply non-widespread national standards only when it is directly required by the potential employer. International grading systems are universally recognized throughout the world, so it would not be a mistake to use them to indicate the level of proficiency in any language.
Classification according to national standards is not always appropriate. It is one thing if the employer initially requires you to indicate the level of a certain language, it is another thing – you mark as an additional plus the knowledge of Albanian according to the internal standards of Albania. Don’t force the recruiter to ask the search engine what exactly they just read on your resume.