Guide: How To Improve And Highlight Linguist Resume Skills

Updated 11 July 2023

Linguistics is a discipline that studies the science of language and how it develops. You can improve your linguistic abilities by understanding how syntax, semantics, vocabulary and phonetics work for different types of languages. Knowing what abilities you may require as a linguist can help you prepare for the role and identify a suitable career path in this domain. In this article, we define linguist resume skills, list how to write these skills on a resume and review a template and example resume.

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What Are Linguist Resume Skills?

Linguist resume skills are competencies that professionals in the field of linguistics require to succeed in their career. A linguist's resume may list their work experience, academic qualifications and relevant skills that pertain to a job role. Relevant skills may range from soft skills like communication to hard skills like language proficiency.

Linguistics involves the scientific study of language and its components, like phonetics, syntax and meaning. Linguists may pursue a general practice or specialise in a particular aspect, like vocabulary, grammar or history and evolution. Linguistics graduates can also work in occupations that allow them to apply their linguistics knowledge less directly, such as dictionary compilers, proofreaders and editors.

Related: Different Linguist Skills (Definition And Development Tips)

How To List Linguist Skills On A Resume?

Follow these steps to effectively list linguist skills on a resume:

1. Prepare a list of relevant skills

Linguists require a wide range of skills, including hard and soft competencies. You can prepare a list of relevant competencies to identify the ones that apply to you and evaluate your degree of proficiency in each one. Read the job description to identify the competencies that a potential employer may be looking for in a candidate for the role. These are some common skills that linguists can consider mentioning on their resumes:

Language fluency

Linguists study a wide range of languages, including those that are not their primary fluency. This requires foreign language proficiency or the capacity to effectively interpret and speak a variety of languages. This includes comprehending linguistic variations and exploring these aspects:

  • Influence of culture on language

  • Impact of geography on dialects

  • Dilution of meaning due to translation

  • Differences in words and phrases between dialects

  • Best ways to learn a particular language

Foreign language proficiency programmes often include intensive classroom sessions that focus on the history and culture of specific places and their foreign influences, to educate linguists about the ways in which languages develop and change over time. For example, colonial and imperialist endeavours across a few centuries contributed greatly to the spread of several European languages across the world. Similarly, many languages borrow words and phrases from other languages, due to the cultures of speakers mixing over time.

Related: How To Feature Language Proficiency Levels On Your Resume

Interpretation and translation

Linguists may specialise in interpretation and translation, both involving attention to detail and fluency in multiple languages. Translators work with written documents, transferring information between two languages in documents, books, articles and other forms of written communication. Interpreters are typically verbal translators who use the spoken word to communicate concepts, words and phrases from one language to another.

Linguists can develop these competencies to expand their skill set and career prospects. A linguist who can translate and interpret may have better chances of finding employment, because they may be capable of performing a wide range of tasks. Developing a skill for translation and interpretation often requires formal education and extensive training.

Related: Language Skills: Definition, Examples And How To Improve

Communication skills

Verbal communication is a crucial skill for linguists because they spend much of their time dictating or explaining concepts. For interpreters, transferring ideas from one language to another through verbal communication is a central aspect of their duties. Professionals who study language can benefit from learning how to reinforce spoken words or phrases with body language and how common mannerisms differ around the world. For example, a yes or no head shake is not always a universal body language indication across the world.

To use body language effectively, linguists may try to retain context across translations and ensure that they do not break the cultural standards associated with a language. Linguists may also use written communication abilities to work and engage in dialogues with other professionals in their field. They also benefit from knowing how to explain concepts in one language to native speakers of another language.

Related: Top Communication Skills For A Resume (With Examples)

Active listening skills

Good communication often involves active listening. This requires individuals to listen carefully, ask relevant questions and evaluate nonverbal cues to connect concepts. This entails observing body language and spoken words in conjunction, and paying close attention to the intended meaning of text or speech. Linguists can improve their active listening skills by practising with friends or colleagues and through professional training sessions.

Related: How To Be A Good Listener (With Tips And Benefits)

Attention to detail

Comprehending the nuances of different languages typically requires good attention to detail. Many language interpretations, translations and studies concentrate on developing an advanced understanding of languages, such as how particular words may not translate well into other languages. Linguists can use their knowledge of multiple languages to accurately translate the meanings of words and phrases, and develop strategies to use them in the right contexts. Professionals in this domain can develop attention to detail by completing academic coursework and gaining hands-on work experience.

Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips

2. Create a separate section to list your most relevant skills

If you are a fresher with limited work experience, you can create a separate section to list your skills and place this section right after your resume summary, before your work experience section begins. You can either mention skills using a bulleted list or choose a more compact format and list them in a single line. Consider using visible separators between pieces of information to effectively highlight each data point.

Candidates with extensive work experience may want to have emphasis on the extent of their professional experience, rather than on their skills section. In such cases, it is ideal to place the skills section towards the end of the resume. If you are an experienced candidate, you can also use job descriptions in the work experience section to highlight your competencies. Here is an example of how this may appear on a resume:

Fluency in French, Spanish, Hindi and English | Real-time translation and interpretation| Superlative communication | Documentation skills

3. Highlight skills in your work experience section

You can use your work experience section to describe duties from your previous roles in the domain of linguistics. While describing your duties, you can also indicate how your skills enabled you to succeed in the role. It is ideal to write job descriptions using a combination of active verbs and adjectives to describe your skill levels associated with each duty or task. Consider these examples:

  • Used active listening skills to perform real-time translations for over 60 clients

  • Employed excellent written communication skills to document translation work and compile reports

  • Performed quick transcriptions for over 120 real-time television broadcasts

Related: How To Become A Proofreader (With Duties, Tips and Skills)

Template For Linguist Resume

The following is a template that you can use to create a resume for the role of linguist:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City], [State]

Professional Summary

[Two to three sentences that highlight years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications, and achievements as a professional.]


[Job title] | [Employment dates]
[Company name] | [City], [State]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job title] | [Employment dates]
[Company name] | [City], [State]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]


[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]


[Degree and major] | [Name of school or university]
[City], [State]

Linguist Resume Sample

This is an example of a linguist resume that follows the template above:

Deepak Kumar Soni +91 67233 90551 | | Jaipur, Rajasthan

Professional Summary

Experienced linguist with over ten years of experience in the field, working with reputed broadcasting organisations and media channels. Highly skilled in interpretation and translation in languages like German, English, French, Italian and Hindi. Seeking an administrative role in a multinational company, with a pan-European scale of operations.


Team Lead | July 2020 - Current
SM Distribution International | Jaipur, Rajasthan

  • Lead a team of video artists, editors, content writers and graphic designers to develop effective content in multiple languages

  • Mediate with clients and company employees to identify the scope of individual projects

  • Conduct training workshops and seminars for new recruits

  • Work with senior management to finalise quarterly targets, budget allocations and policies that pertain to the team

  • Edit transcriptions and translations to achieve optimum quality before broadcasts

Senior Linguist | June 2016 - July 2020
SM Distribution International | Jaipur, Rajasthan

  • Transcribed and translated content from six different international channels to multiple languages

  • Proofread materials before creating final deliverables

  • Suggested modifications to internal workflows to increase quarterly productivity by 20%


Fluency in Spanish, English, German, French And Italian | Communication Skills | Translation | Real-time interpretation | Copy editing


BA in linguistics | Green Hills University
Noida, Uttar Pradesh

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