Is TOEIC an extra in my resume?

Hi Im interested on taking TOEIC next month, I am from Mexico and I am studying english in US. I heard about TOEIC and it seemed interesting to me, I would like to take it next month but not because someone or some company are asking me for it, but because I want to take it just to add an extra to my resume, so when Human Resources take a look to my resume they’ll be aware of my english level. Does it work like that?

Hi Diana,

Anybody can take the TOEIC, even if nobody is requiring you to take it. Personally, I think your idea about adding it to your resume is an excellent one.

However, I do think that the TOEIC test isn’t as widely recognized in the US as it is in some parts of the world. That doesn’t mean that your score is less valid, but some US employers might not be familiar with what that score represents. In fact, the TOEIC Speaking and Writing test has only been offered in the US since Dec. 2007. Here in the US, it has yet to become the industry standard that we’ve seen it become in some parts of the world, especially East Asia. This may change with time.

Still, showing the initiative to take the test on your own is a positive thing, and is just one more little thing to make your resume stand out from others, which is always good. If somebody has a question about what the TOEIC is, you can always elaborate and explain that it’s a test of your ability to use English in an international workplace environment.

I can’t tell you for certain how each Human Resources Department would look at it, but I do think it can only be helpful to your resume, and certainly nobody would think less of your resume for having your TOEIC scores on it.

I would recommend that you take the Speaking and Writing components also, if you take the test. The Speaking test in particular reflects your ability to communicate with others in English, more so even than the reading, listening, and writing components of the test.

HI!!! Thank you very much for answering, I really apreciate your time! I just needed that somebody tells me that it was a good idea and that its not a waste of time and money.
About the Speaking and Writing part, I called the ETS and they told me they are not offering this part for now, Do you know if I can still take it? or Have you taken it?
Well, I have another question… I know that TOEFL is for academic purposes whereas TOEIC is realted with business and workplace, but Would it be better to take TOEFL inested of TOEIC in order to show my english level in my resume? What do you think? And…do you have any idea of what is the best text book for TOEIC Preparation?
Thank you sooo much!

Hi again, Diana.

I know the Speaking and writing test is new. I work with the program, helping to grade responses, and insure that other scorers are giving accurate scores, but I’m not certain what parts of the world the test is available in just yet.

I talk about the TOEIC Speaking some more, in this post of Maggie’s, and answer some of your questions there.

I do know that we’re constantly expanding into new areas of the world, and that the Speaking/writing test is only about 3 years old, so we’re still growing.

As for the best TOEIC book, see my comments in the above mentioned post. (Short answer: there is no book for the Speaking test).

You’re correct that the TOEFL is more for academic purposes, and the TOEIC is more for workplace communication. Since you don’t have a specific requirement from a company about which test to take, I think either one would be good for your resume.

Due to your location (you said you’re in the US), you may find the TOEFL a better choice for now, for 2 reasons. 1) It’s widely available in the US, where the TOEIC is not yet widely available here. 2)More people are familiar with the TOEFL right now, and are likely to understand it better.

Obviously, if you interview for a company, they are going to do a face to face interview, and will make their own judgments about your language ability. However, I think it’s still a good idea to highlight that ability on your resume. Multilingualism is a very marketable skill. Being bilingual in English/Spanish is of particular value here in the United States, and using the TOEFL or TOEIC scores as ‘proof’ of your language level is probably a good thing to reflect on your resume.

For example, if your resume says something like “Native Spanish speaker, and completely fluent in English, with a TOEFL score of 1234”, then that’s proof of your claim. Again, of course, the real test would be when you do the actual face-to-face interview with a company.

Hope that helps.

I work with TOEIC in the U.S. and we’ve now got some examples on our site of how you could describe your TOEIC score on your resume so that even employers who might not have heard of it yet would understand what it means in terms of your English level.