Test of English as a Foreign language on resume?

PlusMinus's picture
Rank: Baboon | 127

Hey

Just a short question: Would you mention your TOEFL score on your CV? If yes, where would you add the score? Skills, Certficiates?

Thanks everyone

How to include language skills in resume

You should not list your TOEFL score in your resume. You should list your language skills by order of proficiency.

Here are some some good reasons why the TOefl score is irrelevant for resumes.

Sovjet - Asset Management Analyst:

No English-speaking person knows the metrics, testing or the meaning of your "score". Even if I saw that you got 100% on the test (if that's even possible), I would have nothing to compare that against. Does that mean you're fluent, that you could be a professor of English, or that you're the best non-native speaker they'd ever heard?

Quarterlife - Consulting Analyst:

Recruiters already assume you speak the language when your resume is in English and will know your communication skill if you're selected for an interview.

Regarding the resume, this is how I list my language section on mine, with languages in order of fluency level

  • -Languages: XXX (native), Mandarin-Chinese (fluent)

Language Proficiency Levels on Resume

Here are some examples of the levels of language proficiency. The Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale was developed by the predecessor to the National Foreign Affairs Training Center. The ILR scale gives a complete description of language proficiency levels which is more transferable to resumes. We've listed the common equivalent next to the ILR ranking. Examine the rankings carefully. An exaggeration of language skills could put you in a bad situation. Do not list "Full Professional Proficiency" or "Fluent" next to any language, unless you can proceed in an interview in said language.



ILR Level and equivalentLevel of Proficiency
Elementary Proficiency / BasicIncludes the only the basic functions of using the language.
Limitied Working Proficiency/ ConversationalAbility to communicate socially with limited professional application of the language.
Professional Working Proficiency / BusinessAble to speak clearly in a structured manner. Good sense of the languages grammar. Broad Vocabulary.
Full Professional Proficiency / FluentCan participate in any conversation with experience. Fluent use of the language.

=
Source: http://www.govtilr.org/Skills/ILRscale2.htm#1

Resume Language Skills Section

Here is an example of language skills on a resume. Note that the applicant lists their language skills as basic in French and fluent in Mandarin. Click the file attachment at the bottom of this post for the complete Wall Street Oasis resume template.


Are you still worried about the quality of your resume? If your resume is not clear, concise, or properly formatted it could end up in the "no" pile. Your resume is your first impression and it should be a good one. Follow the link below to get your resume reviewed by industry professionals.

Resume Review Service

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Comments (13)

Oct 22, 2011

no, no, no

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well.

Oct 22, 2011

^^^ What he said

Oct 22, 2011

Gosh no, English is pretty much a given these days! I don't even list English as one of my languages on my resume

My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil - JP Getty

Oct 22, 2011

Even if you're from a not English speaking country?
Thanks guys!

Oct 22, 2011
PlusMinus:

Even if you're from a not English speaking country?
Thanks guys!

Yep. I did not speak any English 5 years ago and I'm definitely NOT from any English speaking country. So take it from someone who's in the same boat as yours.

Look, if you're asking on WSO, chances are you're applying to finance/consulting industry, which means you're gonna have a tough time working if your English isn't up to standard. Recruiters already assume you speak the language when your resume is in English and will know your communication skill if you're selected for an interview.

Regarding the resume, this is how I list my language section on mine, with languages in order of fluency level
-Languages: XXX (native), Mandarin-Chinese (fluent)

Don't stress out over this inconsequential thing. Review your resume, know your stuff and if you're still nervous about your English, practice speaking out loud. Good luck!

My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil - JP Getty

Oct 22, 2011

By definition, no English-speaking person knows the metrics, testing or the meaning of your "score". Even if I saw that you got 100% on the test (if that's even possible), I would have nothing to compare that against. Does that mean you're fluent, that you could be a professor of English, or that you're the best non-native speaker they'd ever heard? What if you got 80%? Does that mean you'll understand only 80% of what I'm saying?

Either way, I'll get a better idea of your command of the English language through a read-through of your Cover Letter or Resume (if I was at all concerned). Obviously, I'd make my call at the interview if you show up and can't put two words together.

TLDR; No, no, no TOEFL score on the CV.

Oct 22, 2011

Analyst at one of the big consulting firms. Also interviewed at BB M&A.
Originally from a non-english speaking country, working in another non-english speaking country.

I put the TOEFL percentile (99th) on my CV.

Sovjet:

By definition, no English-speaking person knows the metrics, testing or the meaning of your "score". Even if I saw that you got 100% on the test (if that's even possible), I would have nothing to compare that against.

excellent point!
because especially HR in english-speaking countries doesn't care about the English of foreigners!
Non-english HR recruiting for non-english speaking countries on the other hand - ALL OVER that shit........

HR of all large firms have never heard of the TOEFL.
also, there is no such thing as percentile ranks.

AAA post Sovjet, will read again!
Do you even know what "by definition" means?
Because the people on the receiving end of the TOEFL score are almost EXCLUSIVELY English-speaking.
It's a damn shame they apparently never know what the hell this score is all the crazy foreigners keep sending. Perhaps someone should call ETS and tell them about this!

Oct 22, 2011
24837:

Analyst at one of the big consulting firms. Also interviewed at BB M&A.
Originally from a non-english speaking country, working in another non-english speaking country.

I put the TOEFL percentile (99th) on my CV.

Sovjet:

By definition, no English-speaking person knows the metrics, testing or the meaning of your "score". Even if I saw that you got 100% on the test (if that's even possible), I would have nothing to compare that against.

excellent point!
because especially HR in english-speaking countries doesn't care about the English of foreigners!
Non-english HR recruiting for non-english speaking countries on the other hand - ALL OVER that shit........

HR of all large firms have never heard of the TOEFL.
also, there is no such thing as percentile ranks.

AAA post Sovjet, will read again!
Do you even know what "by definition" means?
Because the people on the receiving end of the TOEFL score are almost EXCLUSIVELY English-speaking.
It's a damn shame they apparently never know what the hell this score is all the crazy foreigners keep sending. Perhaps someone should call ETS and tell them about this!

It's not a shame that they don't know what the score mean. You could get a high score because you did well in the writing and listening sections. I was "gifted" with good writing/grammar skills so five years ago, I got 95 % on my TOEFL essay but I could barely speak English well.

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well.

Oct 24, 2011
24837:

Analyst at one of the big consulting firms. Also interviewed at BB M&A.
Originally from a non-english speaking country, working in another non-english speaking country.

I put the TOEFL percentile (99th) on my CV.

Sovjet:

By definition, no English-speaking person knows the metrics, testing or the meaning of your "score". Even if I saw that you got 100% on the test (if that's even possible), I would have nothing to compare that against.

excellent point!
because especially HR in english-speaking countries doesn't care about the English of foreigners!
Non-english HR recruiting for non-english speaking countries on the other hand - ALL OVER that shit........

HR of all large firms have never heard of the TOEFL.
also, there is no such thing as percentile ranks.

AAA post Sovjet, will read again!
Do you even know what "by definition" means?
Because the people on the receiving end of the TOEFL score are almost EXCLUSIVELY English-speaking.
It's a damn shame they apparently never know what the hell this score is all the crazy foreigners keep sending. Perhaps someone should call ETS and tell them about this!

I may not have the requisite skills to know what "by definition" means (or do I?), but luckily I can smell the thick stench of your sarcasm a mile away. Oh wait, I don't have to sit here and argue linguistics with you. Phew, that's a relief - I was worried I might have to take the TOEFL myself!

You can take what I say any way you like; but as many posters before me have correctly stated, the jobs you're applying for here assume that you are perfectly comfortable in written and spoken English. Percentiles or no percentiles, you naturally don't compete with those for whom English is a native tongue on the TOEFL. This renders your results virtually incomparable in the majority of cases, given that at least a significant portion of the applicant pool will be native-speakers and won't include a TOEFL score.

Look at it another way. If you put your score down, then you have something to prove. As the screener, I'm going to wonder if you're using the test score to cover up for skills that you know may not be as strong as some of your competition (native speakers). Your CV/Cover Letter will always speak far more clearly to your abilities than would a TOEFL score, and if you choose to get those written for you - it'll be quickly caught at the interview. In my opinion, your time should be spent ensuring that your TOEFL score is visible through the content in your application.

Oct 21, 2012

I have TOEFL listed on my resume, the reason for that:

It is a certification much like GMAT. No HR person is fully aware of GMAT either, but I belive everybody puts that on resume....If they familiar with it and you have a high score, why not, if they are not familiar they will ask, what is it and why did you need to take it...

Oct 21, 2012

I don't think it's a good idea to include TOEFL score. First of all, it's a really easy exam for a native speaker who is reasonably well-read. English is pretty much my first language, but I just happen to be a foreign national who had to take the exam. Score was 99th percentile as well without much studying.

I think you're much better off using the CV to convey that you are an effective communicator by showing the list of responsibilities that may require such a capability.

Oct 21, 2012
Iamconfused:

I don't think it's a good idea to include TOEFL score. First of all, it's a really easy exam for a native speaker who is reasonably well-read. English is pretty much my first language, but I just happen to be a foreign national who had to take the exam. Score was 99th percentile as well without much studying.

I think you're much better off using the CV to convey that you are an effective communicator by showing the list of responsibilities that may require such a capability.

Of course for a native speaker it's super easy and you have no need to put in on your resume. Btw, do native speakers even take the test? If so, why?!

To address the question, I don't include my TOEFL score on the resume, but I have actually thought about it too. Just under "Language Skills: English (fluent; TOEFL XXX)", but yeah, I left it off so far.

Oct 21, 2012
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