How can translators and interpreters increase their chances of employment? Part 3

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Following on from my blog, Nina and I have now worked hard on her CV, to help increase her chances of employment.

Here is the last lot of tips I passed on to Nina.


This may not be a large section, but I believe it’s worth including – clearly an employer will be expecting you to be able to use email and Word, but add in other programs such as PowerPoint and any CAT tools you may have used. Note that you do need to be a confident user of any CAT tool you mention – some agencies will provide licenses for projects, so even if you don’t currently have the software, it is worth mentioning.

OK, you’ve got this far. What next? Well, many people include their education next. I would tell you not to do this – put your Professional Experience next. So many people hideaway amazing experience on a second or even third page. A few pointers if you’re quite new to the world of freelancing. If you have done voluntary translation work, you may decide not to include the words “free” or voluntary. You did the work and gained the experience, regardless of whether you were paid for it – and it is a great way of gaining experience, particularly to the benefit of a charitable organisation.

Experience to date

In Nina’s case: Website localisation and translation for a current Aid project in the Congo, to increase sales internationally of local hand-made products to support families and children in the area. Technical engineering and professional development syllabus for a college in Spain, UK Project Manager and lead Translator for Coopera, translating communications, global concepts and objectives and interpreting at annual Conference.

Many of our translators and interpreters have fascinating backgrounds before they fell into the freelance life. For your second page, I would go on to include this. It’s part of who you are, and has contributed to your skills.

Other Experience

Add in any relevant details here. You can decide how many of your previous lives to include. It’s probably time to ditch your teenage years as a babysitter, and your school work experience!


OK, now you can add in your educational achievements!

Recent Training and CPD

Any successful translator or interpreter will tell you that in these professions, you need to keep yourself up to date – and that means CPD. There is a lot out there at no or low cost, so there’s no excuse not to join in. Having this section and updating it shows your clients that you are a real professional. It also ensures you won’t get left behind. Atlas Translations started in 1991 when all work was sent by post and fax, in a world before email. We watched as some translators refused to get email, and then we had to stop working with them as we couldn’t send them work. It’s hard to believe but it did happen. You don’t even have to leave home to keep up with CPD – you can do online seminars and courses.


These may be “upon request” or with contact details, but they should be included. And if you add in their details, please remember to make sure that they are happy to give references – it is a courtesy to let people know if you are having a campaign to find new clients so they may get a call or email. If they are forewarned, they are much more likely to respond quickly to any subsequent requests. It sounds obvious, but we do contact referees and sometimes they are not prepared to provide a reference for an applicant, which is embarrassing for all parties and doesn’t reflect well on you and your CV!


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