If you’re learning English to further your professional career and you’ve been working hard on your language skills, you’ll want to add them to your CV (curriculum vitae). A CV is a detailed summary of your experience and skills that you need when applying for a job. You may also hear it referred to as a ‘résumé’.
So what is the best way to present your English language skills on your CV? Read on for some hints and tips…
1. Your CV: the basics
You’ve invested in learning language skills – so tell your prospective employer just how good you are. The skills section of a CV is the perfect place for you to do this – and you’ll need to stand out. Thanks to digital technology, it’s easier than ever to apply for a job now, and communicating your language skills is a great way to ensure your application doesn’t end up on the “no” pile.
Your CV should also be simple. Include enough information so the person reading it knows all about your experience and skills, but don’t overload it with too much detail that either isn’t relevant or takes the attention way from the most important points.
2. Tell them about your certification
It is not enough to simply list English as a skill because your potential employer cannot assess how well you speak the language. If you have a language certificate, state your level and give an idea of what that means – i.e. beginner, intermediate, upper intermediate, fluent.
If your skills vary between the four skill areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, and you want to be more specific, feel free to add the phrase “…in written and spoken” etc.
Having a certification can make you stand out from other applicants, but if you don’t have one, don’t panic. Read on…
3. If you don’t have a certification…
Without a certification, you can still provide a level of proficiency (basic, intermediate etc) that describes your English language skills on your CV.
To boost this, include any other relevant language experience, for example:
- Five years’ experience working with English-speaking clients.
- One year teaching English to children in Japan.
Proving that you have successfully used a language in context is always impressive for a future employer.
4. Be honest
Don’t overstate your skills – and be ready to be tested. When presenting your English language skills on your CV, it is important to show your best side and not be afraid to present your accomplishments. Because of this, people are sometimes tempted to exaggerate their skills. However, not being truthful about your language skills will probably be discovered soon – either in your interview or during your first few weeks in the new role.
If you make it to an interview and you are worried that your language skills may not be quite good enough, demonstrate to your employer how you’re committed to improving your skills by telling them about a course you are going to take or websites you use to learn new vocabulary. Employers are often impressed by candidates who make an active effort to improve their skills.
5. Use your language skills to make your CV stand out
You can also use your English language skills to make your CV stand out in another way. Use your vocabulary to make your CV different from everyone else’s. Lots of people will use common phrases on their CVs such as, “I’m a hard worker”, “I’m a team player” and “I’m a good communicator” on their CVs. Everyone applying for the position should be hard working and a team player, so standing out will help make your CV go straight to the top of the pile. Try something a bit different, such as describing your personality, what motivates you or how you think you’ll fit into the company. But remember – keep it concise and to the point.
Are you learning English to progress your career? How are you working to achieve your goal? Let us know in the comments section below…