As the world becomes more globalized, multilingualism will gain more traction. A translator is usually employed to translate written materials into one or more languages.
The primary responsibilities include ensuring that the context and meaning translated are properly maintained, implementing the correct terminologies, and proofreading the translated documents.
It’s important to note that translators differ from interpreters, the latter being more specialized in translating orally, most often in real-time settings.
Seeking to market yourself more by creating a fantastic freelance translator resume? Or perhaps you’re a fresh graduate crafting your first entry-level translator resume?
Maybe you want to create a specific language translator resume, such as a Spanish translator resume or an Arabic translator resume?
You and your career can benefit from having a firm grasp on the essence of a good translator resume.
As a professional translator, there is no doubt you would want to impress prospective employers with your translator resume.
One might think, surely, I can simply center my translator resume around my language skills and call it a day?
Doing so might only do a disservice to yourself, as there is more that goes into a resume than your skills, all of which will be discussed in this guide!
It’s easy to confuse a translator CV from a translator resume because of how frequently it’s interchanged.
In general, a CV would be mainly used in specific settings such as academia, medicine, or science fields, be more detailed and longer (over 2 pages) compared to its resume counterpart, and has a simple structure.
In contrast, a resume is used for a job application; thus, it should only contain relevant details and be shorter in length (within 2 pages).
You can also choose from a large variety of templates for a resume. This usually matters for most jobs, but as a translator, you might specialize in various fields, and your translator resume might need adjustments in length, content, etc.
Thus, in the translation field, a translator CV is usually synonymous with a translator resume.
There are 3 types of resume formats you can utilize for all kinds of translator resume (including a freelance translator resume!): chronological, functional, and hybrid/combination.
Which one is the best? The answer depends! Some formats might work better for you depending on your experience, background, and the skills you possess.
So before committing to a format, you might want to carefully evaluate your translator background, job context, and abilities.
There are a plethora of excellent translator resume templates and translator resume samples online which can be of help when crafting your professional translator resume.
The difficult part would be to sift through this sea of online references and pick out the good ones. Even so, these references might contain mistakes that you do not want to include in your translator CV.
Thus, it’s important to not simply copy and paste the contents and format of these references. Instead, tailor it to the job for maximum effectiveness.
Not your first translation gig? Great! You already have your entry-level translator resume as a solid starting point!
Still, you should always tailor your translator resume for the position; this also goes for a translator CV with no experience.
Tailor your resume by including keywords found in the job ad or only include relevant details and experiences (a recruiter can only spend so much time looking through your resume).
You should always craft a translator cover letter, no matter the type of your translator resume, may it be a freelance translator resume or a fresh graduate translator CV.
A translator cover letter allows you to explain the information within your translator CV.
The cover letter should introduce you, elaborate on the context of your achievements and qualifications, and explain your motivation and passion for the job.
As a translator, proofreading is a part of your job. You do not want your translator CV to be ridden with careless grammatical errors or misspellings!
You can do so yourself or you can utilize the help of a second pair of eyes or a spellchecker to ensure that your translator resume is error-free!
The translator resume templates and translator resume samples you find online can serve as a guide when crafting your own but you don’t have to necessarily follow their entire format.
Even so, below are the information that you should always include in your translator resume.
✅ Always include:
❌ And exclude:
A good newspaper headline’s purpose is to quickly attract attention to a news story while conveying the significance behind the said story.
An excellent translator resume headline should also serve the same purpose for yourself; a recruiter reading your translator resume should be able to immediately know about who you are: your strengths, achievements, and relevant experiences.
Your resume headline should be short and concise (one-line) and placed on top of your translator CV.
Translator resume headline examples:
After your translator resume headline grabbed the recruiter’s attention, you should elaborate more about your resume headline and yourself in your translator resume summary.
Ideally, a professional summary in a translator resume summary would be around 2-3 sentences long, with the main focus on your translator background, abilities, qualifications, and relevant experience.
Translator resume summary example:
Your career objective as a translator should be conveyed in your translator resume objective. A properly constructed translator resume objective should give recruiters an idea of who you are as a candidate.
A standalone resume objective is not necessary, you can combine it in your resume summary too.
Translator resume objective example:
A common misconception some translators may have is that recruiters will only focus on their language skills.
Although your language skills (hard skills) are extremely crucial, you should also list your soft skills if you want to elevate your translator CV from a good one to an exceptional one.
Example skills for a translator resume:
✒️ Hard Skills
✒️ Soft Skills
Your previous translation work experience, to prospective employers and clients, can serve as a testament to your skills as a translator.
In your work experience section, you should include basic details of your past job (job titles, your previous employers, employment periods, brief responsibilities) and the achievements you have attained.
Translator resume work experience example:
Spanish-English Translator | ABC Publishing
May 2012 - Present
Translating is a very specialized job that requires plenty of training and a high degree of precision and accuracy.
For this reason, education is one of the most highly valued sections of your translator resume.
Here, you should include your education institution, degree, major, coursework, year of graduation, honors and awards, GPA, and relevant extracurricular activities.
Translators do not always require certifications to prove their fluency in the language.
However, certification is a form of quality assurance in the translation and occasionally, in the localization of documents.
You may consider seeking certification if you want to assure recruiters and clients that the reliability and accuracy of your translation are of the utmost degree.
💡 Where to get certifications:
As mentioned prior, no matter the type of translator resume you are crafting, they should always be customized and tailored to the job ad.
As similar as most translation jobs could be, you are bound to spot a few differences if you look through the job ad carefully.
By customizing your translator CV, you increase your chances of standing out from other applicants who might use a standardized translator CV.
Qualitative descriptions of your results can limit you from showing the full extent of your qualifications.
To combat this, you can quantify results in your translator resume. Doing so can help your achievements look more outstanding and convincing than words.
Companies may utilize the help of an applicant tracking software (ATS) to filter out the massive amount of resumes they receive.
To ensure that you pass through the filter, you may want to use resume templates and layouts that don’t contain too many visuals.
Incorporating keywords found in the job ad can also increase your chances to be filtered in by the ATS, so remember to always tailor and customize your translator resume!
Action verbs are the way to go to provide information about you in an employer's mind. Proper use of powerful action verbs can propel your resume above other candidates’.
If you have any international experiences that required you to frequently utilize your language skills, such as living abroad, going on an exchange program, etc., include these in your translator CV, especially if they invlove languages you specialize in.
Including these international experiences can help enhance your skills section.
How would you show your professionalism as a translator other than ensuring that your translator CV is top-notch? You do so by crafting an excellent cover letter.
As the first document that reaches the recruiter (even before your resume), you would want to ensure that you leave a good and lasting impression.
All types of translator cover letter, may it be a freelance translator cover letter or a translator cover letter with no experience, should contain:
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Multilingual and Professional Translator With More Than 7 Years Experience in Translating Books and Novels
Multilingual, professional, and passionate translator with over 7 years of experience in translating English, Spanish, and German books. Completed over 400 projects, including 55 New York Times Bestseller and 7 Pulitzer Prize books. Seeking to leverage and improve my translation and communication skills for the Spanish-English translator position in Balboa Books Publishing.
German-English Translator | Freelance
Mar 2019 – Present
Spanish-English Translator | Atlantic Press
Jan 2014 – Feb 2017
M.A. in Translation with Concentration in German
Kent State University
02017 – 2019
B.A. in Spanish
The University of Arizona
Translation and Interpretation Emphasis
2010 – 2014
--- Originally written by Patricia Rosita ---