Translator Resume Examples to Help You Build Yours

Translators help people understand each other, which can be an incredibly important job. What can you do to showcase your skills and get hired as a translator?

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Translator Resume Examples

Translators are some of the most important individuals in the business space because they allow people to communicate and conduct all sorts of business, even with a language barrier. Without translators, many people would be unable to make purchases, get medical care, or generally do business. If you’re interested in doing translation work, there are many opportunities out there. Use these tips and translator resume examples to create your translator resume.

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What to Highlight in a Translator Resume

Translators need to have an excellent command of at least the languages that they will be using most frequently. However, they also need to understand the culture surrounding a foreign language in a specific country and provide translation services for spoken language, written language, or both, depending on the job being applied for. Many languages need English translation, including the most common ones:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese)
  • Japanese
  • Russian
  • Arabic
  • Italian

Other languages need translation, so it’s most important that you know which language you want to translate for and study it extensively.

Structure of a Translator Resume

The order of your resume sections will depend on the resume format you select. The most common format is chronological, which emphasizes your work history. If you have less work experience, you can use the functional format or the combination format. Regardless of their order, these are the sections you’ll see in a translator resume sample:
 
Contact information
The first section is going to be your resume header with your contact information. This is more of a resume design quirk than it is part of the resume proper. It includes your full name, phone number, and professional portfolio links, such as your LinkedIn profile.
 
Resume summary
The first section of your resume will be your resume summary or resume objective. This is a short 2-3 sentence paragraph that highlights the most important skills and achievements that you listed on your professional resume. If you have experience, go with a summary. If you have little to no work experience, use a resume objective to state your career goals. The intent is for this paragraph to be enough information that a hiring manager can read it and understand your top qualifications for the position.
 
Skills
Next is your skills section. The translation skills for a perfect resume will of course vary depending on the job you’re applying to. Here are a few bullet points you might want to consider:

  • Ability to translate legal documents
  • Cultural awareness of the target culture
  • Communication skills
  • Knowledge of translation memory tools (SDL Trados, WorldServer)
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Localization competencies
  • Writing skills
  • Time management skills
  • Microsoft Translator

This includes both soft skills and hard skills. Technical skills are important for translation, but it’s also important that you’re able to work with your coworkers effectively.

 
Work history
Any translation experience that you have should go in your work experience section. This can even include translation experience that doesn’t perfectly match the job you’re trying to achieve at this moment. It helps showcase that you’ve been doing different forms of translation for many years.
 
Education
Your education section is where you put all of your education experience. Translators almost always need a bachelor’s degree in their target language, usually in the form of a Bachelor of Arts in Translation. You’ll also want to become a certified translator and put your certification in this section. Accreditation from professional associations, such as the American Translators Association (ATA) are also helpful.


Do’s and Don’ts for a Translator Resume

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind as you write your translator resume:
 
Do:

  • Disclose when you’re a native speaker of a specific language, such as the English language or the Spanish language. The native designation indicates that you’ve been speaking that language since you were a child.
  • Include how fluent your language skills are rather than how many years of experience you have spoken a language. Fluency is a much more effective measurement tool.
  • Check the job description to see what translation certifications the recruiter is looking for.

Don’t:

  • Include skills that are irrelevant to the type of translation you’ll be doing. If you are translating books exclusively, you don’t need to include listening and speaking skills.
  • List any target languages that you aren’t at least conversational in. In a translation job, you need to be conversational in a language for it to help you.
  • Turn in your resume without proofreading it. If your resume has typos or grammatical errors in your native language, a hiring manager probably won’t trust you in a different one.


FAQ: Translator Resume Examples

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter for a translator application?

Yes. A cover letter is always an important tool for any application, regardless of what it is. Cover letters show that you really care about getting the job, and they also let you ask directly for the job interview. You can use the ResumeHelp cover letter builder to make yours more easily.

Q: How can I write a translator’s resume without a lot of experience?

If you don’t have much experience in the translation field, rely on your skills and education instead. A professional translator just needs to be bilingual at a minimum. In other words, they need to know their target language and their native language.

Q: How do I change my translator resume to apply to different jobs?

Every time you apply for a new job, you should revise your resume to fit the job opportunity. Use specific keywords listed in the job posting (e.g., particular skills needed), which increases your chances of capturing the recruiter’s attention. With resume keywords, you can present yourself as exactly the type of employee the hiring manager is looking for.

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