How to present language skills in a CV and cover letter

With excellent language skills on your CV, you can give your future employers the edge over other applicants. Language skills are particularly useful in fields such as sales or marketing or in companies that work on an international basis. But how do you correctly state your language skills in your CV? We will address this very question and give you useful tips and advice on how to present your language skills correctly in job applications. We will also give you some templates for your application portfolio and CV.  

Language skills in the CV

A structured and precise presentation of your skills in your CV is very important for a successful application. Of course, this also applies to your language skills in your CV. As a multilingual applicant, you should make use of the unique selling point in your application and present your language skills in the best possible way.

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Tips for presenting your language skills in your CV

Here are some tips to help you improve your CV.

Language skills category: Add a section that you call "Languages" or "Language skills". This will make this section more prominent.

Specify languages: Indicate all the languages you know. Starting with your mother tongue, you should list all the languages you know in your CV. You do not have to speak the languages perfectly. It is enough to have a basic knowledge.

Indicate the level of your language skills: Indicate the level you have in the respective language. There are different approaches. On the one hand, you can indicate your language skills from "basic" to "fluent". You can also indicate your language skills in your CV according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Then you indicate your language skills in your CV from level A1 to C2.

Provide evidence of level: If you have successfully completed an official language certificate, you should also indicate this in your CV. This can give you a useful advantage in your application. However, don't forget to place the language certificate in the appendix of your application file.

Be honest and realistic: Be honest when stating your language skills in your CV. Incorrect information will be noticed quickly and can cause problems in the job interview or later during the probationary period.

Language skills in the cover letter

You can also state your language skills in your letter of application. This can be especially important if the job advertisement requires good language skills. You can recognise job advertisements by key words such as "Excellent English skills are a must". Then you should definitely state your language skills in the cover letter as well. Here are a few tips for doing so:

Highlight specific skills: If you have specific skills, such as job experience in translation, experience abroad or a degree in a foreign language, you should mention this in your application.

Emphasise practical experience: A good way to confirm your language skills in applications is through practical experience and work in projects. For example, if you have worked on an international project, written your thesis in a foreign language or worked abroad, you should definitely confirm your language skills based on this practical experience.

Provide evidence of language skills: In addition to projects, language certificates, a language study trip or studying abroad are also excellent proof of your language skills. Show recruiters in your application that you really have the language skills you list in your CV.

Sample formulations for stating language skills in the letter of application

Take a look at how you can present your language skills in your cover letter. You will realise that the indication of language skills in the application is always proven by real projects or achievements. This will help recruiters to better assess your language skills.

English language skills in applications

"I was able to demonstrate my fluent business English skills as a customer service representative at XYZ Company, where I communicated with international customers in English on a daily basis."

Spanish language skills in job applications

"While working as a translator for a non-profit organisation, I was able to successfully use my advanced Spanish skills by translating texts from Spanish into English in writing."

French language skills in job applications

"My study of French language and culture at the University of ABC, including a year abroad in France, allowed me to develop my language skills in an immersive environment. My fluency in French allows me to communicate easily in this language."

Chinese language skills in job applications

"Through my participation in an intensive language course and completion of a certificate programme, I was able to acquire basic communication skills in Chinese. My knowledge enables me to hold simple conversations in Chinese and understand basic written texts."

Conclusion: The right presentation of your language skills makes all the difference

If you want to include your English skills in your CV or application, make sure you present your language skills correctly. Show the HR department that your information is honest and realistic with projects, practical experience or certificates.

You will soon find your dream job! Are you interested in working in an international environment and making language learning accessible to many people? Then apply at Sprachcaffe and start your career with one of the largest language travel companies in the tourism industry!