When I was in high school I took four years of Hebrew and a year of Spanish. Since then I have forgotten most of what I had learnt. Is it appropriate to include this on a CV or resume? If so, how would I write it since it was part of a high school curriculum rather than a language certificate?

  • Unless you're applying for something that needs proficiency in said languages at all, it is of no use whatsoever. It also won't do any harm, however you might make better use of the space on your resume emphasizing things employers would care about. – Meredith Poor Sep 12 '13 at 8:37
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    Hi Alex, and welcome to the site! As Jmac pointed out you might already be able to find an answer on a similar question we already have here. If you think answers to your question would be significantly different please feel free to drop into The Workplace Chat and we will be more than willing to help reshape the question! – Rhys Sep 12 '13 at 9:08

Golden Rule of Skills on Resumes

If it's on It, it's fair game during your interview!

Plain and simple.

While I'm not exactly a HR manager or in charge of recruiting by role, I've had to hire a lot of people, and if there's one thing that brushes me the wrong way it's people who oversell themselves.

If you put it on your resume, I'll ask you about it. So, except if it's a job that requires a Spanish and/or Hebrew level in the ballpark of "have forgotten most of it", I wouldn't recommend putting it on.

I'd say I can be a bit more lenient with online resumes, as they tend to be the longer kind, as long as you clarify your levels truthfully.

Personal Experience

I speak German and English fluently. My German used to be way better than my English, but it's the other way around now as I lived in English-speaking countries for a while and stopped speaking German for a while. So I tuned down my German level from bilingual to "proficient".

I also had learned enough Chinese to get by in China 6 years ago and can't remember how to write my freaking name now. Sad, but true: haven't spoken it more than 3 or 4 times since I left, so that goes very quickly. Do you think I should put that on my resume?

I also have rudiments of Spanish, but nowadays they're pretty much back to the kind of conversation you'd see in an entry-level class book, where conversations revolve around saying your name, what time it is (and barely that).

Unless it's for jobs where it would matter (job in a Chinese- or Spanish-speaking environment, or involving dealing with contacts who speak it or where the culture would be beneficial), it has nothing to do on my resume.

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