The Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) test isn’t exactly a generally-known language test outside of Chinese-speaking countries, and there’s a good reason for that － it’s just a test that assesses your competence in the Chinese language. In a way, it’s similar to the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOELF), but with Mandarin as the language being tested.
Now, while taking the HSK test might not be a goal of yours when you first started learning Mandarin, you may want to consider taking it eventually. The reason being is that if you’re intent on gaining an edge in your career or if you’d like to open yourself up to more opportunities to work in Chinese-speaking societies, then having proof of your skills in the language is a must.
To further convince you how it can positively impact your resume, know these 5 reasons on why taking the HSK Singapore exam is good for your career!
1. It’s a test with certification
Certificates are always good for resumes. The more certifications you have, the more you have a leg up over the competition in your career. This is especially true if you are gunning for a job that requires Chinese language expertise, or are going into a country with dealings in Chinese-speaking partners.
In this globalised era, directly or indirectly, the company that you’ll work for will most likely be involved with a Chinese company in their business operations. Any business that deals with such companies will appreciate having someone on their team to aid in smooth negotiations and maintain the business relationship.
2. Shows your resilience
Even if the job you are interested in does not require Chinese language abilities, you can impress your future employers with your passion for learning. Having certified skills outside of what’s relevant to your job shows that you are a self-starter and motivated individual. Who knows, even if Chinese isn’t directly relevant to your job now, your boss may shortlist you for opportunities when they find your multilingual profile comes in handy for a new portfolio.
3. Heightened overall proficiency
When learning Chinese, it’s tempting to concentrate on just one area. This area that most people typically focus on is speaking, and they dedicate most of their time and efforts to it. Sure, doing so will guarantee that they pass its sister exam, the Hanyu Shuiping Kouyu Kaoshi (HSKK), since its focus is spoken proficiency.
However, if students wish to increase their overall proficiency, they must pass the HSK test. This is because this test covers all that the HSKK does not: listening, reading, and writing. Passing the HSK alongside the HSKK exam means that you are proficient in every aspect of the Chinese language.
4. Better knowledge of the culture
When you’re learning about the Chinese language, you also can’t help but learn more about their culture. In particular, what the different dos and don’ts are for those who plan on working in Chinese-speaking areas. Because of your fluency and proficiency, you’ll have insider knowledge of Chinese culture, something that other applicants likely won’t have.
5. Personal growth
Even though this doesn’t directly tie into your career, your growth as an individual greatly impacts your professional life. Taking the HSK test is a personal challenge that not everyone can accomplish. By taking the exam and passing it, you’ll be giving yourself a huge confidence boost, which can lead you to pursue other goals and even more success.
Ironically, not all employers may know what the HSK is, let alone require certification for it. But despite this, having a certificate is leagues better than merely claiming you understand and are proficient in Chinese. By possessing a globally-recognised certification that quantifies your Chinese proficiency, you’re sure to gain access to more opportunities in your career, be it in your home country or overseas.