How to correctly indicate your level of English on a CV? Our advice and tips

How to correctly indicate your level of English on a CV? Our advice and tips! A few days ago, you started your “Curriculum Vitae”. Everything was fine until you indicated your level of English on your CV. 

Should you enter your language level according to the CEFR scale (A1, A2, B1, etc.)? Should you rather use vague terms to qualify your achievements? Should you certify your language level? The answers to these questions: are yes, no, and yes. The professionals at My English School explain it to you.


Here's how to indicate your level of English on a CV

Language proficiency, especially English, is a fundamental skill that can make a huge difference on your resume. Still has to be said, right? 

How to correctly indicate your level of English on a CV? Our advice and tips

“Good command”, “Notions”, “School level”… If you have used one of these concepts to indicate your skills in the languages ​​you can speak, unfortunately, you have not taken the right path. Using vague terms to describe your level of English on your CV risks harming you.

So, how do you indicate your level of English on your Curriculum Vitae? 

To properly showcase your language skills, you have a choice. You will be able :

  • Use the language levels of the European framework 
  • Fill in your language level according to the 4 common notions 
  • Share one of your certifications (the ultimate!)


Use the CEFR language level chart

“CEFR language level table”: say it like that, it means nothing to you. On the other hand, if we talk to you about levels A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2, that speaks to you, doesn't it? 

Set up by the European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFRL), the classification of languages ​​for levels A1 to C2 assesses your skills in a foreign language, and in particular English. Since it is a “frame of reference”, 99% of recruiters know how to interpret this indicator perfectly on a CV. 

Therefore, if you know your level of English, indicate it this way on your CV. 

Don't know your level of English proficiency? Many free online tests are available to give you an idea! Even if they are not recognized, they can do the trick to know, more or less, your level of English and fill it in on your CV. 


Use the 4 common language levels (native, bilingual, fluent, beginner)

If you do not know your language level and you have neither the time nor the desire to take a test, you can indicate your level of English on your CV with one of the following 4 terms :

  • kindergarten
  • bilingual
  • running
  • beginner

SPOILER: Not the best alternative. 

These 4 notions are common points of reference. Any recruiter can get an idea of ​​the language skills of a candidate who is a beginner, fluent, bilingual, or native in a language.


Use certifications (TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS…)

Certifications are the best way to indicate your level of English on your resume. Recognized internationally, they officially certify your proficiency in English or other languages. 

To stand out from other candidates, certifications are an excellent asset. They allow you to prove and certify your level on your CV.

Do you have the TOEIC? The TOEFL? A Linguaskill certificate? IELTS? Did you pass Cambridge? Indicate it on your CV! 

You don't have a certification yet? It's never too late! We are here to help you. Daily Events Blog offers training and personalized courses allowing you to obtain one of the certifications mentioned above. 

For more information, send us an email or visit us at our training center in Lyon! Our native trainers will be happy to inform you and accompany you.


3 advantages of properly informing your level of English on a CV

In the section dedicated to your language skills, properly informing your level of English on your CV has 3 advantages. 


1. Make a difference with other candidates

You are rarely alone when applying for a position. To be able to stand out from the others, clearly indicate your level of English – and in other languages ​​– you will probably make the difference. 


2. Broaden your scope of skills

If you speak perfect English or are proficient in professional English, play it, especially if the position you are applying for requires skills in this area.


3. Get a job involving international relations

By correctly indicating your level of English on your CV, you will probably catch the eye of the recruiter, especially if you have a very good command of the language. This may be able to offer you a job in the IR (International Relations) of the company to which you have applied.


What are the English levels?

There are 6 English levels (not counting the A0 level which is not officially defined) established by the European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR).

  • A1: Introductory level (beginner)
  • A2: Intermediate level (elementary)
  • B1: Threshold level (intermediate)
  • B2: Advanced level (intermediate+)
  • C1: Autonomous level (advanced)
  • C2: Master's level (bilingual)

Level A1 is the lowest. At this level, the person is able to understand the most common expressions (eg How are you? My name is…) and can express themselves in a simple context.

Level C2 is the highest. At this level, you are bilingual. You have a perfect knowledge of the language. It is extremely difficult to reach this level, even though tailor-made training. Concretely, the C2 level corresponds more or less to that of the natives.

Levels A2 and B1 are the most common. Most people who speak English have a B1/B2 level. Thanks to learning English at school, the vast majority of people in France have an A2/B1 level.

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