So you want to work as a translator. You have the perfect skill set for the business. You have the best communication skills. You are energetic and loyal to your work. But there is something that is still holding you back from getting that perfect job or maybe setting up your own business. You know what it is and you’ve stared at it for hours on your computer screen, always afraid to hit that print or send button. Yes, I am talking about your CV. You’ve typed for hours, included every detail that’ll get you the job and yet you don’t feel confident enough to send it to those job companies. The constant fear of “I might be missing something crucial!” is always in the back of your mind. What if I told you that there are certain points and tools that ensure you the greatest CV ever? Would you believe this? Now, what if I told you that I’ll be giving you some tips right here for that perfect CV? This hooked you, right?
So getting to point; a CV is basically you on paper or in words. Your CV (or resume) is the only thing that these high profile companies judge you on. So it has got to be good. What makes it good?
Your personal profile:
The first thing you should keep in mind while making your CV when you apply for a job in the UK is that you should not put your photo on the CV. If you ask me why there is a reason.
The photo might influence or manipulate the employer’s decision to hire; you don’t want to get judged based on ethnicity or looks. Hence, your personal profile should include your number, email address, address and Skype account.
The length of the CV: You should keep in mind that your CV should not exceed the length of two pages. If the length of your CV is more than that, it becomes monotonous and more of a catalogue for the agency than a CV. An ideal CV shares more information in lesser words.
First thing, do not use any strange or small size font. They are never easy to read.
It will be ideal to bold or highlight your specialization or Masters Degree according to the job you might be applying for.
For Example: in the case you want to apply for a medical translation job, it will be ideal if you bold the master degree for medical translation. It is not ideal to use any kind of flowery borders, custom background or any colors. Keep it as simple as possible.
It is quite recommended that you write something about yourself in brief after the personal profile. This makes your CV look more captivating and it helps to grab attention from a translation agency. This can start with For example: ‘I am a freelance translator’ which should be followed by your translation skills, the languages you can translate from and the ones you translate into and also your motivations.
Always keep in mind that it is not ideal to write down the jobs where you have been working as a babysitter, shop assistant and/or as a waiter/waitress. Any job which does not have a concern with the translation field is not ideal. Also, that information would make you look like that you are not that keen on the translation job. Also start with the earliest experience followed by the oldest one.
You should be starting from your most recent qualification followed by the oldest one, it is not mandatory to mention the marks unless you have graduated from Cum Laude. It will be ideal to mention the translation courses you attended along with the source and all the target languages you have worked on.
If you specialize on any of the translation fields drop a line for the same, fields such as technical, financial, commercial, website etc. It is also ideal to have experience or knowledge in the mentioned field.
It is much recommended to have knowledge about computers programs which is most commonly used by almost all the translation agencies – Trados or Wordfast CAT tools. And of course you should be bearing the knowledge of Microsoft office which includes Excel, Word, Publisher, PowerPoint etc
By knowing your interests, the agency can find a lot about your character and attitude. Most common translator interest should include travelling, writing and reading as those interests emphasize on translating. HOWEVER, try to be as different as possible so that you stand out of others.
Better than email than a cover letter:
Electronic mail is the hip talk of the day. So naturally when you send your CV, it should be well within the limits of what you would expect from an email. Not including a cover letter is preferable (no one reads it anyways) Just a few lines with your personal details , specializations, the tools you have and those you are able to use. Also, include your charge. (It is optional but most agencies prefer it.)
If you think any information or entity you have, know or possess which can be useful for the agency should be jolted down as well.
You are almost done
1. The CV you just made should demand attention from the agency you are applying, to help you get a job you deserve.
2. The CV will help you get the first impression right.
3. So to achieve that goal easily you should make it find the information that the recruiter is searching for.
4. Appealing would not help as much as focusing would.
5. Creating a theme, identifying the target making sure that all the required keywords and information is present.
6. In some cases, it is ideal to make several for different jobs.
7. From here on, your fate will be in your hands, your good work, your relationship building quality, your skills and creativity will matter the most.
All the best, have trust in your skills and you will sweep the way ahead of you!