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A Successful Application for Translator    

Translator Tips: A Successful Application


FINVERBUS Translations | SEP. 25, 2013, 3:30 PM

One of the most common questions posed by translators is how to get new clients. This question covers more than just new clients: it is about getting good clients who value your work, offer translator-friendly terms and are pleasant to work with. In other words, everything you would want from the perfect client.

While translators have their own criteria and requirements, clients—both translation agencies and direct customers—do as well. The following guidelines can help translators meet (or exceed) the market requirements and find what they are seeking: their ideal jobs and great clients.


Tips for a Successful Application

1. Only apply for jobs that you think you are qualified for.

- Applying for a job as a lawyer when you have experience as a salesperson will probably not work out, since you don’t have the experience and skills required to be a lawyer. The same applies to any industry, including the translation industry. When you have the experience and skills the position you are applying for requires, you are already halfway there.

2. Carefully read the requirements, criteria and instructions—and stick to them.

- The more familiar you are with what your potential client needs and wants, the easier it is for you to meet their expectations. Remember: just as you are looking for the perfect client, your potential client is also looking for the perfect translator. A lot of valuable information is available from different sources (websites, job advertisements and instructions): take your time to understand what your potential client wants and try to meet the requirements as closely as possible.

3. Invest in your cover letter and CV.

- Prepare a cover letter and address it to the right person (if available). Highlight your strengths and the qualities that set you apart from others. These should allow the client to understand why you are the best candidate for the job. Briefly describe your strengths and services and make sure you answer all questions if you are responding to a job advertisement. Add your contact details to your cover letter as part of your signature; this serves as your business card.

- Prepare your CV in PDF if possible—it is the most reader-friendly format. Your potential client wants to know about your experience and education so your CV should be able to answer questions like where, what and when you studied while clearly describing your fields of expertise and skills. Leave out any unnecessary information: no CV should be ten pages long, but one page is often too short. The ideal length is two to three pages. Should the potential client need further information, don’t worry, they will ask.

- Check over your CV and make sure there are no writing (grammar or spelling) mistakes in your cover letter and CV. Keep the layout clean and professional. If your application is in a language other than your native tongue, get a native speaker to revise it for you. When you are called for a job interview, you want to look great, so your cover letter and CV should as well.

4. Offer the right price.

- This does not mean offering the price your potential client wants to pay or offering the price you would like to be paid: it refers to offering a price that best reflects your qualifications and services. A translator with 30 years of experience and several degrees can ask for more than translators who are just starting their career. Know your skills and the market prices to orient your rates.


Why invest so much in your application?

Because you want your application to be successful. If you draft your application with the highest quality in mind and provide responses to all the questions and requirements posed by your potential client, you will not only get the client’s attention—there is a good chance you will get the job.