How to craft the perfect translator CV


One of the basic objectives of a freelance translator is to receive new business consistently. To do so, you always have to present yourself professionally. It is unfortunate however, that some freelance linguists don’t apply professionalism when presenting themselves. In order to start getting more translation job offers from top agencies, you need to first scrutinize your CV. As the first point of contact a prospect has with your personal brand is your resume, you need to put effort into it to entice potential employers to start a conversation with you. Getting an outstanding CV is great, but how do you write one?

Increase your chances by understanding your target audience

You should have a thorough understanding of your prospective reader as you craft your resume. Tailor the content and style accordingly for that specific reader. For instance, the language resource manager or project manager of a translation agency may prefer a more technical write-up. However, a direct or end client may be looking for proof of quality, ROI, or efficiency in your previous work.

What to include in your translator CV

Your resume should inspire trust and exude professionalism while making you stand out from the crowd. It is your opportunity to show just what makes you a perfect choice. Moreover, it needs to accomplish all of that without being overly long and only containing relevant professional information.

Your CV should include:

  • Field(s) of specialization
  • Previous relevant past projects and experience
  • Language combination(s)
  • Relevant software you have access to, such as CAT tools
  • Contact details
  • Other related services you offer apart from translation
  • Achievements
  • Education history and relevant qualifications
  • As a bonus, highlighting your top selling points can help too.

What to exclude from your translator CV

While there is no general rule as to what to exclude from your translator CV, you should use your best judgement and add only information that is relevant to your application. Always avoid cluttering your CV with unnecessary information.

Choose an easy-to-read layout

Although no design is superior to others, you should be most concerned about the legibility of your CV. This means that your CV should not appear clumsy and unprofessional, instead it should be easy for the recruiter to scan and read.

How long should a translator CV be?

There is no certain rule on this, but you don’t have to include every detail about you. Instead, make it simple and short because recruiters have lots of CVs and other things to attend to.

Nail the two purposes of the translator CV

As a freelance translator, your CV is a bit different. It actually serves two purposes, to not only sell yourself but to get yourself added to a vendor database of potential translators. You should make your CV standout by focusing on necessary information so that the recruiter will easily find the needed information. Make it easy for any recruiters to contact you when needed, should they require your services in the future. It is important to keep in mind that you may not have the opportunity for a one-on-one interview, so you should craft a professional CV that will convince the recruiter that you are the perfect candidate.