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The Basics of a Translator’s Resume

When you are looking for work and want to reply to a job offer, your resume and cover letter need to be flawless. Companies receive numerous applications and most likely perform a first screening. Here are the elements you need to include in your resume to get past this step.

A resume usually begins with your contact information : surname, first name, postal address, email address, phone number… Even if you are replying to an online offer and your email address appears, companies prefer having candidates on the phone. As such, they need more information than your surname and first name alone.

If you choose to include a picture in your resume (which is not mandatory), use a more professional-looking one : ID pictures can prove useful, even if they can look grim. Most importantly, refrain from using a cropped group picture or a picture of yourself in a setting which appears too casual.

Then come your work experiences and education. You can choose which one you want to appear first, this does not have a real impact on how your resume is read. However, you must highlight (in both) the elements relevant to the job offer. For example, for a job offer in translation, favour your higher education over your high school education, put your experiences in translation forward rather than your seasonal jobs. Do not leave these elements out of your resume, but place them at the end.

Like any good translator, you have at least two working languages. You need to include them, along with how fluent you are in each of them. So you know how to speak French, English and Spanish, but not with the same ease. Use the international language standards (A1, B1, C1 or mother tongue) rather than “beginner”, “intermediate” or “advanced” which are too vague.

Companies are interested in the fields translators specialise in. Remember to include them in your resume : business, marketing, sciences, video games… If you did not determine them yet, do not fret : mention the fields in which you have worked even if you do not wish to specialise in them.

Almost all translators work with CAT tools (Computer Assisted Translation) such as Trados or memoQ. Indicate the tools you know how to use even if companies usually use a single one and mention it in the job offer.

Everyone has different hobbies, so I cannot really help you there.

All in all, your resume should be one to two pages long at most. Nobody wishes to read a 10-page-long resume, least of all you, so do not make others suffer through it either. If your resume is too long, shorten it and keep only the elements relevant to the job offer. Remember to keep your resume up to date !

Spelling and grammar are essential, especially for translators. If there are mistakes in your resume or cover letter, you will not be taken seriously. Proofread your application, use the free spellcheckers available online.

For your resume’s style, stay away from the traditional route : make it dynamic, use several columns, etc. Make a resume that is memorable !

Source : http ://

Written by Marie Moriceau

Translated by Céline Echilley

Céline Echilley

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