How To Get More Work From Translation Agencies
Why You Are Not Getting Work – How To Approach AgenciesGuest Post by Antonio Catanese
Let me confirm straight away a painful truth, which I’m sure you are aware of by now: we get hundreds of CVs every day.
The good news of course is that with a large enough agency, there is enough work to go around for good translators. On the other hand, it’s not just the competition that’s high – it’s also the level of noise in our inboxes.
“Ok, we get it, you are busy, but how do we get you to notice us?” – I hear you ask.
Fear not, my fellow language-loving professionals, because I am going to show you the laziest AND best way.
Ready? The secret is: don’t make it easy for us to overlook you.
It’s that simple. Before even thinking about how to optimize your pitch, the thing that will give you the best results with the least amount of effort is to not get it wrong. I am ready to bet there are a good number of incredibly talented linguists who miss out on good jobs because they do something that makes it harder for us to say “yes”.
So, we asked some of our Talent Managers, the very same people who will be reading your applications, for tips on how to get hired and how to keep getting more work (beside being a good translator, of course).
We’ve split your application in two stages:
- 1. Preparing your CV and
- 2. Reaching out to agencies
1. YOUR CV
- Put dates in your CV. Some agencies like TranslateMedia have a minimum requirement of 3 years of experience and the Talent Management team always checks for that. Are you just starting out? Then this might come in handy: http://www.translatemedia.com/students-career-advice-language-students-startup.html
- Have a clear section with your specialisations. Listing every single project you have ever worked on is fine, but it sometimes puts Talent Managers off when they have to go through 4 pages of projects and sometimes they can miss an important piece of information.
- List your native language.
- List the level of the other languages you translate from.
- Send your CV in English – Yes we are a translation agency and yes we have multilingual staff. However, they are not always available. It’s about making it as easy as possible to get your CV picked up.
- Don’t have a general CV. If you don’t state the areas you specialise in, your CV is not useful.
- Don’t lie about being bilingual. This is going to be checked.
- Don’t lie about being a freelancer when in truth you are representing an agency.
2. REACHING OUT TO TRANSLATION AGENCIES
- Fill in the application form and drop a quick e-mail letting the Talent Management team know about it.
- Provide professional translation references. Talent Managers need to check how much work you have done, in which fields and if other agencies have been happy with your work
- Be polite and helpful. The Talent Management is there to assist you but if you are being unpleasant chances are they are not going to promote you to the Project Managers as much as they would if you were nice.
- Do not mass e-mail agencies. This is Sales 101. Do your research and make your e-mail more personal. If you don’t, chances are the reply is not going to be personal either and you are not going to be remembered.
- Don’t ‘harass’ the Talent Management Team every other week as to why you haven’t been receiving any work. Be realistic and professional about it. Get in touch to let them know about your availability but keep in mind that big translation agencies have a database of thousands of translators. Be smart and remind us about your specialisations rather than just say “I am available” or “why I haven’t been receiving work”.
- Don’t give friends, colleagues or family members as your referees. Also if you have been translating for years it doesn’t look good to indicate your university professor as your referee.
- Don’t reply vaguely when you are asked specific questions about your experience or native language. You are wasting the Talent Managers time, who might prefer to find somebody else and you are also limiting your chances for work.
- Don’t mass e-mail every single person you know from the company. It just doesn’t look professional.
Follow the tips listed above and you are well on your way – if you don’t get selected straight away, at least you would have picked up professional habits that will help you building your career in the long term.
Good luck in your search for work – if you want to give it a go you can apply to work with us by filling in this form http://www.tm-stream.com/RecruitmentPages/RegisterCandidate.aspx?ref=translatemedia.com.
Antonio is a Digital Marketing Executive at TranslateMedia. He has spent 9 years in the translation industry, in different roles: Translator, Salesman and currently Marketing Geek. He is passionate about languages and digital marketing. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net