How to write a great translator CV
A general CV versus a translator CV? Do they really differ that much? The answer is yes, and you should bear that in mind when applying for work as a freelance translator.
Just as with a general CV, the main objective of a translator CV is to highlight the most important and relevant information about you. Below are six tips on how to put together a good translator CV.
1. Contact information
Your contact information is obviously important to include in your translator CV, so that we can contact you by e-mail, phone, LinkedIn or through other relevant channels such as Proz.com. If you have a CVR/VAT number, it would also be a good idea to make it visible together with your contact information. At Diction, for example, all EU citizens who want to work with us as a translator are required to hold a CVR/VAT number for invoicing.
2. Language and accessibility
Indicate clearly what your native language is. At Diction, we only use native-language translators, which is why it is important that you highlight this information. You also need to indicate which language pairs you work with, which is to say which languages you translate into and from.
Agencies need to know when translators are available and to what extent. You should therefore also indicate how many hours per week you dedicate to translation and how many words you can translate and/or proofread per day.
3. Prices and specialisations
- Transparent prices
This is a key point that sets a translator CV apart from a general one. In the translation industry, pricing transparency is very important. It makes the whole process easier and faster as it enables us to quickly determine whether our budget matches your price level and vice versa!
At Diction, we calculate prices based on a rate per word. For translation, we use the number of source words and for proofreading we use the number of target words. You should therefore highlight both your price per word for translation as well as your price per word for proofreading.
Another important element to include in your CV is your specialisations. Briefly and concisely state which subject areas and specialist domains you work within. For example, you might write:
Law, medicine, brochures, marketing, science, literature, culture and the humanities.
Highlighting these areas makes it easier and more manageable for us to assess whether or not you have the right profile for a particular project.
Most often, it is worth including your entire educational background, but it is also a good idea to highlight the two highest level degree courses you have completed. For example, your master’s degree and your bachelor’s degree.
At Diction, all translators are required to have a master’s degree or an equivalent qualification. In some cases, however, relevant experience may be enough.
5. Relevant experience
List your most relevant experience first. What types of assignments and subject areas do you have experience in translating?
It would also be relevant to highlight how many years of experience you have within the translation industry as this can often be of considerable importance. It is especially relevant if you do not hold a master’s degree, for example.
Next, it is recommended that you indicate what other work experience you have. This may affect your knowledge and competencies in a certain area, even if you have not performed translations within this domain. For example, if you have worked as a salesman in the marketing industry for three years, the knowledge you gained from this work will likely prove useful when translating materials within this field.
6. References and examples of previous translations
Examples of previous translations are not a requirement, but including them can help project managers to determine whether your experience is relevant for a specific project. They can also serve as ‘proof’ of your experience as a translator.
Finally, it is also a good idea to attach any references or testimonials you have received from previous costumers or partners.