The less you know of a language, the less helpful it will be to list it on your resume. However, if you’re actively working on improving your skills in a specific language, you may want to list elementary proficiency on your resume; something like “Russian (Elementary proficiency, taking college classes) will look better than Russian (Elementary).
You should also make sure the list languages you’ll actually use on a regular basis. Don’t include dead languages like Latin unless you’ll use them on the job. Someone applying to work as a Bible professor may need to list their skills in Koine Greek and Latin, but someone applying to work as a cashier won’t.
On the other hand, if you just want your manager to know that you can communicate with someone on a more casual level, such as a customer in a store, you can use a self-assessment. Your manager may also want you to take a quiz or test to ensure you’re being truthful about your language proficiency, so be prepared for this possibility.
If you speak a language well enough that native speakers would believe it was your mother tongue, but it’s a second language or another language you learned later in life, you’ll typically describe this as “near-native” fluency. If you describe it as “native” fluency, this typically means it’s the first language you learned. An accurate language skill level for this ability is usually “near-native.”
If you’re looking for some ideas on which languages to learn so that you can add them to your competencies, here’s a list of some of the most in-demand languages employers are looking for:
Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal)
Consider taking classes – even self-starter classes that you complete on your own. Recruiters are looking for people who know multiple languages, and this can get you higher up on the hiring list.
This isn’t a great marker of fluency, so it’s typically not a good idea to list it on your resume. Think about it this way: Someone who took four years of high school Spanish probably doesn’t know as much Spanish as someone who lived for two years in Mexico. This is why it’s a good idea to list your fluency level rather than the amount of time you’ve been learning or speaking a language.