The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a guideline used in European countries and more so worldwide to estimate the general abilities of a language speaker. Is it well known enough to be included in a résumé or CV? Particularly I'm concerned about the advantages of using a common and reasonably defined scale vs. possibly causing confusion. For example, could I list languages I know as follows?

  • Spanish: B2
  • Portuguese: A2
  • German: A1
  • You could do anything you like. But is it relevant?
    – AndreiROM
    Apr 18 '16 at 22:09
  • I'd avoid it. If the hiring manager does not know the system, they will have zero context as to what those numbers mean. - H734
    – Myles
    Apr 18 '16 at 22:24
  • What sort of work, if you were looking at a translation job then it's relevant and would be known I guess.
    – Kilisi
    Apr 18 '16 at 22:32
  • 3
    It is commonly used in Europe, to the point where schools and universities put it in the course name. So students and recent grads are familiar with it. It's also a common sight in CV's - it certainly won't raise anyone's eyebrows here.
    – scrwtp
    Apr 19 '16 at 1:00

I would only include it if it's relevant to the position you're applying for, especially since you are at a low level for two out of three of the languages. Most employers will be looking for more common terms (beginner, intermediate, proficient, etc). If you want to highlight your language skills for a position that does not request the certification levels, it is best to stick with these general descriptions.


I would include it only if the job position you are applying for specifically asked for language proficiency, for example:

  • Must be fluent in German and English

Working in a multi-lingual environment, I have yet to come across a specific score rating - but what I have seen is "Native or bilingual proficiency" (as the highest level of competence).

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