What Makes a Good Resume for Translator Services?

If you are attempting to sell your translator services, then you should have a resume for translator services that you offer. Your resume allows potential employers to see what your background is and where your skills and talents lie. This will help them determine if you are the right fit for a job or a contract involving your services. Your ability to translate from one language to another is a strong point, but other elements of your experience and expertise also matter. For example, if you have legal background and your resume shows this, then you will be more desirable to employers seeking translation in the legal arena.

In the qualifications area of your resume for translator services, there are specific details that you want to document if they apply to you. For example, you should document all of the languages that you can proficiently translate between. You should mention if you have an English education, because you need to have a superb command of idiomatic English just as much as a superb command of your second language. You should list qualifications such as interpreting skills, translation editing, computer and word processing skills, how many years you have been translating and other pieces of information that show a prospective employer that yes, you know what you are doing.

You should have a work experience section in your resume for translator services that talks about previous translation work. Do not simply state where you worked and when. Provide concrete details about the specific tasks that you completed, such as translating documents relating to technical subjects like engineering or law, providing language and linguistic skills for the conversion of technical product descriptions into a different language or interpreting for actual people. Interpreting and translating paper are two different skills and both are extremely sought-after in the market today, so make sure that you are marketing both of these skills.

The important thing to know is that prospective employers do not spend many hours poring over resumes in search of people to meet with. Your resume for translator services needs to be concise, easy to skim and easy to understand if you want to get someone's attention. Your resume needs to detail all of the more important information about your qualifications and skills, education and work background in a way that allows the employer to see your value quickly and easily.
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Benefits of joining a professional association for translators or interpreters.

As a translator or interpreter keen on establishing further your professional identity joining a professional association can be a wise decision. Why?

Here are some of the benefits:

-Networking (joining an association can be a great way to get in touch with local, national or international colleagues).
Continuing Education and Professional Development (Professional associations often organise workshops and/or conferences on subjects which are important for their members, allowing them to improve their language and business skills and to keep up to date with the latest developments in the business)
-Promoting the interests of the profession (most associations support the interests of their members)
Code of Ethics(most associations have a code of ethics or conduct that can give guidance to members in difficult situations.
Resources(many associations have a members-only section on their website that includes copies of their journal, as well as tools, resources and discounts for members).
-Information about new developments in the business (most associations publish their own newsletter or bulletin with information about whatever is of interest to their members: new rules and regulations, information about and reviews of software and books, articles on how to market your services, interviews with fellow translators, etc.
Prestige(being a member in a professional association adds prestige in your professional image and looks good on your CV too!).
Professional services (Many professional associations offer professional services such as model terms of business, professional insurance, debt collection services and legal advice for free or at a discount and specifically tailored to the translation profession).

Here is an indicative list of the most famous international professional associations pertaining to translation and interpreting:

International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI)
UK Institute of Translating and Interpreting (ITI)
International Federation of Translators
American Translators Association (ATA)
International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies
Translators Without Borders
European Society for Translation Studies
CEATL – European Council of Associations of Literary Translators – An international not-for-profit association created in 1993 with the purpose to bring together literary translators’ associations from different European countries. Its 34 member associations from 28 European countries (approximately 10,000 authors) can exchange views and information.

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How can cross selling be applied to translation?

Translation companies or professional translators (freelancers and in-house) can ‘sell’ an additional product or service to their clients (cross sell) or they can sell additional features to the existing product/service (up sell). For example, a freelancer apart from offering his/her translation services can also do editing/back-editing, proofreading, transcription work, data processing, localization and so forth.

Getting It Right-The key here is to try and create a win-win situation. You have already developed some kind of bond and trust with the client, so you are in a good position. You do not, however, want to turn into a pushy sales person, that will ruin the relationship.
If the client feels that you are just trying to make money, they will no longer trust you and they will be less likely to return in future. 

If the client feels that you are looking out for their best interests, that will strengthen the bond of trust already created. You need to identify a need that the client needs fulfilled and match the product/service accordingly.

It is all about reading the cues properly. You need to gauge whether or not the client would be receptive to the upsell or cross-sell and be prepared to back off if they really do not seem interested. Put your value proposal forward and then leave it up to the client. If they are interested, all is good and well. If they are not, let it go.

Positive client experience is worth a lot more than simply making another sale. That client will reward excellent customer service with increased loyalty and will certainly recommend your company or your services to their friends.

Communication is Key
Key to this process is providing enough information to the client prior to the sale and to also give them after-sales support. Your client wants to be able to contact you when necessary and you need to make this as simple as possible.
Not everyone is happy to send in questions via email. Sometimes clients feel that real-time communication is essential. You can facilitate this by offering multi-channel communication. Give your client choices when it comes to being able to communicate with you. This could include a live chat, email or Skype allowing the client to choose the format that they are most comfortable with.

This increases the chances of creating a favorable client experience and also increases the chances of being able to upsell or cross-sell your products or services.

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Personal Branding in Translation

Being a freelance translator is certainly not the easiest thing to do! You're called not only to be a translator, but also a project manager, a sales manager and so forth.

Your ultimate goal is to prospect and attract as many clients as you can so you have to think of ways to promote or brand yourelf. So, how do we do that?

You do it through what we call nowadays Personal Branding.

What is Personal Branding?

Personal Branding has to do with how to market and promote yourself as a freelance translator, maximize your marketing efforts and make the biggest impact possible when promoting yourself.

The aim of Personal Branding is to:

 find better jobs,
land better clients
grow your professional network and
Acquire valuable feedback from clients.

7 steps to Personal Branding:

Identify your goals
Identify your target audience
Determine your unique value proposition
Build your own website
Start blogging
Become a social networker
Review and update your personal brand regularly

“If you're not marketing, you're dying."

You think the above term is too exagerating?

Well, no if you see it from a professional point of view.

Once you've landed your first few clients, marketing yourself becomes easier in the sense that you have something to tell new prospective clients about, other than the fact that you're looking for work.
In general, even a successful freelancer must spend at least ten percent of his or her time on marketing; for beginning translators this figure may increase to as much as 50 percent, and for those who have been in the business for many years, the need to market may fall by the wayside.

So think of customer prospecting and marketing yourself as a continuing process; if you stop chasing it, it will stop chasing you!!

Follow-up clients

Follow-up with your clients regarding a prospective project is equally important as prospecting.

Why is follow-up important?

- have total control of the project flow.
-Show clients that you care about your work and the specific project.
-Enhance the client-translator relationship & build long-lasting cooperation(s).

So what you should do?

Keep a log of the person you talked to or e-mailed with (contact person) and what his or her response was to your inquiry.
As you get more experience, periodically contact these people to let them know that you're still interested and available. Let them know what types of projects you've been working on, and let them know that you would be happy to help them out with similar jobs.

Let them know you're still an active translator and not a bystander!!

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Factors to consider when writing a translator’s CV

Motivation –important to know as a translator’s CV can lead to several jobs (single freelance project, long-term freelance project, in-house translator, freelance cooperation with a client or company, project manager, etc.). So, before start writing your CV ask yourself: “what kind of translation job am I looking for?”
Purpose-place yourself into your prospective clients shoes and imagine how they will react when they will read your CV; think what will make them want to read your own CV.
Target Audience-who will be reading your CV? It could be a project manager who is also a translator, an account manager, a human resources manager, etc.

Make the most of your time –prioritize what your clients want to see first (your skills, your experience, projects , etc).
Pay attention to subject field
Read other translators’ CVs in your language pair(s)-this will give you a general idea of how other translators write their CV, share ideas or even use some of them.
Think of what is your unique selling proposition-what makes you stand out from the crowd? Why should a prospective client choose you over million of other translators? Think of what makes you special as a translator(i.e. do you type fast and accurate?, offer qualitative work at reasonable prices?, etc.)

Use a CV Checklist

I am writing this CV because….
Purpose of my CV is to…
I have listed:
Personal details: name, surname, contact, logos of institutions or my titles
Professional headline with my working languages
Profile statement: 2-3 lines and skills in bullet points
Key achievements
Professional experience: Name of company, dates, position, summary and achievements
Professional memberships
General Skills
I have proofread my CV
5. I have formatted it
6. I printed it, read it and gave it to my friend for a review
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Ways to maintain an existing clientele (Happy Clients =Happy Translators)

Maintaining good relationships with your clients is a win-win situation for both you, the translator, and your client.
As we steadily build a relationship with our client, the better we get to know that client’s needs and thus, the better we can meet his needs.

So what do we do as translators to retain our existing pool of contacts happy?

Effective Communication (this can go from writing a simple email to your client to more sophisticated public relations techniques like sending holiday cards, birthdays, etc.). Remember to keep the lines of your communication open, be responsive and caring to your client’s concerns.

Invest in Quality & Excellent Customer Service-Let your clients know that above all is quality and customer satisfaction. For instance, if your client chose you among other translators because of your high quality work as a professional translator, then you must live up to his expectations.

Be Proactive- For instance, If you used to get regular work from a client, but you haven’t heard from them for a while, it would be a good idea to drop them a line to see how they’re getting on.
They may have simply forgotten to reach out to you recently, or they may be able to give you a tip regarding some upcoming work that will allow you to plan your upcoming schedule better.
And even if there’s nothing available right now, if some new translation job does come in, you’ll be first in their database– so they’ll know exactly who to call about it.

Add Value to your work-It might worth walking that extra mile for your clients especially if you have a long cooperation with that client. For example, if you are transcribing a text in English for your client and he/she asks you to also transcribe a small paragraph in another language that you know and you do it (even for free) it is certain that they will mark your effort!!

Another example might be of a client asking you via email to translate quickly into your native language a simple sentence or phrase.

Showing to your clients that you care about them and that you’re willing to walk that extra mile for them will certainly pay off in the long-run.

So, keep that 'equation' in mind: Happy Clients=Happy Translators!!
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Do you need to revamp your CV? Here are some free online tools that will help you do it!!
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As you are stepping into the translation industry you might be faced with the dilemma of working either as a freelance translator or as an in-house translator.

Freelance Translator vs In-house Translator. Do you really know the difference? What are the pros and cons of each?

Having worked both as an in-house and freelance translator I know first hand what is like to do both so let me share with you some insights about the pros and cons of each.

A freelance translator is a translator who (depending on his interests and level of experience) works as an independent contractor or vendor from home or a private office with a variety of clients and with no binding agreements to accept all tasks.
A. Pros:
One of the greatest advantages to being freelance is a more flexible schedule, in other words, you can work whenever you want!! Good time management skills do matter here!!
Ability to choose what and for whom to translate/ to choose the most profitable and best jobs for you.
Ability to refuse any job that you might not like or are unable to undertake. Even though this may not sound very positive or professional, freelancers sometimes refuse jobs from clients that do not pay on time, have low levels of B. Cons:
Need to spend lots of personal time and effort in client prospecting, acquisition and retention.
Requires a multi-talented and multi-tasked person (a freelancer needs to be an account manager, project manager, translator, proofreader/editor, marketer, etc).
Need to provide his own equipment (PC or other devices), CAT tools, glossaries, references, etc. All these cost lots of money to freelancers.
No constant source of income and health-insurance benefits or other perks. So, a freelancer must really know how to manage his/her finances!!
Translators’ Burn Out (Limited free time to themselves!! (Freelancers often work long hours and stay overnight to complete their projects).
Difficulty in specializing as they tend to accept various types of texts to translate.
communication etc.

An in-house translator is a translator who works for a specific company as an employee on a full-time basis, usually at the company office.
No need to worry about new clients’ prospecting, acquisition and retention.
No need to  worry about Customer Relations Management.
No need to worry about finding the workplace, PC and software needed for job.
Constant source of income, annual leave and insurance.
Become an expert of specific field (this means you can gain valuable experience working in a specific field like finance, legal, etc.).
Get promoted
Translator’s talents will be used solely for translation.
Work with a team or group of translators or other stakeholders and share ideas or even experiences.
B. Cons:
Working on a less flexible schedule
Inability to chose or even refuse a project
Need to adhere to company’s policies and code of conduct


Working as a professional translator either as a freelancer or in-house translator can be both exciting and demanding, but also pretty rewarding.
The important thing to remember is that if you want to be a professional translator, then you need to become part of your industry.
Find professional groups of translators in your area and get to know them. This will give you a place to learn and a place to share!!
Also, by joining professional groups or even by getting associated with other professionals you can get information on the latest trends in the business. It also gives you the opportunity as a translator to do your own networking .

Being part of your industry means being a contributor, not a by-stander!!
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Some of you might say what on earth is she talking about?

We all have heard of the idiomatic phrase "It's raining cats and dogs" so the above sentence is actually the transcreation of the above idiom in various languages.

Let's have a look in other languages:

In Greek, (EL) we say: "Βρέχει καρεκλοπόδαρα", in French "il pleut de cordes/comme vache qui pisse"

Idioms are a great example of transcreation; images can also be used to produce meanings for a local market and adapt it to appeal in the target audience.

Few people recognize the significance of transcreation or international copy adaptation, marketing translation and cultural adaptaion. All are synonyms of transcreation.

When transcreating a text we should always bear in mind target market from the start. A poor understanding of the local market can have 'lethal' outcomes for the product/service being advertised.

Some examples of bad transcreation projects include Pepsi's campain in China where the message was merely translated as "PEPSI BRINGS YOUR ANCESTORS BACK FROM THE GRAVE or KFC's "Eat your Fingers off", Schweppes translated as "Toilet Water" and so on.

On the other hand, companies who took seriously the meaning of transcreation and the target market's local needs succeeded in launching their products. For example, FROSTEE FLAKE'S campain of "It Tastes GRR-REAT" in which marketers wanted to emphasize the Grr sound of a tiger was successfully transcreated or adapted in French as "GRRR" emphasizing the 'R' sound in French.
Also, COCA-COLA Soft drink company Coca-Cola’s wildly popular Share a Coke campaign exploded worldwide in the summers of 2013 and 2014. The idea originated in Coca-Cola’s South Pacific division in Australia. On millions of cans and bottles, Coca-Cola’s famous cursive writing was replaced with 150 of Australia’s most popular names.

The idea took off, first traveling to New Zealand, then Asia, Europe and the Americas. Each country has managed to take this original idea and use transcreation to give it their own twist. Instead of first names, China used popular nicknames on cans and Great Britain publicized the birth of the royal baby by having its famous Piccadilly Circus illuminated sign read ‘Share a Coke with Wills and Kate’. With such a diverse market it’s inevitable that the success of Coca-Cola’s campaign depended on transcreation to appeal to its local customers on a global scale.

Other companies, like NIKE, prefer taking the safe way and keeping their slogans in English as they've seen that transcreating it in other languages will not be successfull. Another example of this was used by McDonald's. Arguably McDonald’s most famous campaign, ‘I’m Lovin It’ was launched in 2003. It appeared in 120 countries in 20 languages, although to different effect. In Arabic the famous tagline was translated as ‘Of course I love it’; in Ukrainian it was ‘I love this’ and in French ‘It’s everything that I love’. The tagline was originally created by a German ad agency as ‘Ich Liebe Es’, but the English version was used in several non-speaking English countries – recognizing the fact that some countries have a relatively high English literacy level. Here, McDonald’s opting to not translate their tagline shows that their message and intent could best be presented in English to these countries

Thus, when transcreating a text the copy can be modified completely in order to meet the needs of the target market's and audience!!
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Happy International Translation Day!! Translators are inded the 'dormant heroes' in global communication!
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