Under the skills section, should I list the programming languages I'm only familiar with (taken a University course in) by themselves, label them (e.g., SQL (familiar)), or leave them out entirely?

Edit: I think my original question was a bit ambiguous. By "familiar", I mean not proficient in. How can I distinguish languages I'm merely familiar with from those that I'm proficient in. On my paper resume I add the proficiency in parentheses next to the language, but I haven't seen anyone else on LinkedIn do that.

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    Better yet, get some of your peers to endorse them too! Jul 17, 2019 at 22:25
  • @gnat Thank you for the link. My question is specifically with regards to LinkedIn. I've updated my question to reflect that.
    – WHY
    Jul 17, 2019 at 22:53
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    Meh, it's Linkedin. Everyone just tends to list nearly everything in my experience, and just get meaningless recruiter spam in return. Heck, I've had "recommendations" by peers for languages I've never touched.
    – berry120
    Jul 17, 2019 at 23:48

2 Answers 2


Should I list programming languages I'm only familiar with on LinkedIn?

Ideally, yes.

Otherwise you will be giving false information about your skills, something that could (and will) come up if you eventually land an offer and get to the testing part.

It is not necessary to include only those that you "took a course" for... Include the ones you are familiar with and have experience coding (either by a course or self-taught).

How can I distinguish languages I'm merely familiar with from those that I'm proficient in.

As you say, on a Resume one would write the level of proficiency next to the language.

In LinkedIn, the equivalent to this would be evidenced by the Endorsements you get on your skills. In theory, you will get more Endorsements on the languages you are more proficient and less on the ones you are just familiar with.

This means that you will have to ask or receive endorsements from your contacts so viewers of your profile can judge which languages you know better than others.

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    I'm definitely planning to list programming languages I'm proficient in. I suppose my wording in the original question was a bit misleading. How can I differentiate those languages from those which I'm simply familiar (but not proficient) in?
    – WHY
    Jul 17, 2019 at 22:44
  • @WHY that is a totally different question. Would you mind editing your post to reflect what you really want to ask?
    – DarkCygnus
    Jul 17, 2019 at 22:45
  • Updated! I hope it's a bit clearer now.
    – WHY
    Jul 17, 2019 at 22:53
  • Yup, updating my answer :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Jul 17, 2019 at 22:56

Don't. Simply list "Programming Languages". Detail your desires in your cover letter or resume. Your language experience is detailed in your employment descriptions. Let THEM decide what your experience level is and if it's useful. There's no good reason to say "I'm not as good at this as I am at that." on a resumé. Detail your preferences, not your self-evaluations.

Would you say you're really smart on the resume? Or that you're not as good at shorthand vs typing? No. It's the same thing here.

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