How to write an appealing CV for translation agencies

By Gabriela Garcia Calderon Orbe
In Translation
Oct 24th, 2016

How to write an appealing CV for translation agencies


What I’m about to tell you comes mostly from my personal experience and some are tips I’ve found online about how to make your CV appealing and attractive for translation agencies.

First of all, have in mind that translation agencies receive many CVs per day, so it’s likely that yours will not be read immediately, if at all. Don’t let this disappoint you. The Internet provides all of us freelance professionals plenty of good opportunities we can use at a time. So, if you don’t get any answers from a particular agency, just keep trying. Sometimes it’s not that your CV has been discarded, it’s just you’ll have to be patient and wait in line.

I can tell you, more than once I’ve been surprised by a message appeared in my inbox from a translation agency I had sent my CV to many weeks ago. In fact, sometimes, many months ago.

My first recommendation for a CV is to have a perfect spelling and a perfect grammar. This is a must. I don’t mean just good or acceptable. The spelling has to be simply impeccable, perfect. If you are a professional working with words, you have to use them skillfully. No one will take seriously a carpenter who can’t use a hammer and a saw, because they are his working tools. So, why would anyone take seriously a translator who doesn’t know the difference between “its” and ”it’s”, to mention one example?

(Tip: in case of doubt between those two options, just replace the word that generates your doubts with his or her and see if the phrase makes sense. If it does, the correct option is “its”. If it doesn’t, well, just go with the other option)

Another issue to consider is the length of your CV. No one wants to spend much time reading pages and pages of self-praise, let alone agencies who have lots of applications to look at. What translation agencies look for are professionals with skills that are relevant to them, so put those relevant skills on top of the first page to entice the examiner. If you are applying to a scientific translation position and you have any experience in that field, make sure that’s the first line of your résumé after your name and contact details.

Don’t hesitate to add specializations in other professional fields, even if you think they are not connected with the job you are applying to. Just think about, what if you have attended a carpenter workshop in the city that’s homeland of the CVs reviewer? Besides that, as we say in Spanish, knowledge doesn’t take up space.

Keep your CV up-to-date, always. You don’t know when you will have to send it in a hurry and maybe you won’t be able to add the latest entries of your professional activity. Or maybe you’ll end up making mistakes or writing nonsense on your rush.

Have always available a photograph that looks professional. Don’t consider funny selfies you use for your Facebook profile. You can take it yourself, but in the image you have to look as someone we call all rely on, even more if you are going to be evaluated by someone who hasn’t met you in person.

It’s easy to write a good CV. And remember not to get disappointed if you don’t get an answer right away. Keep trying, be patient and don’t lose faith in yourself.

Want to learn how to write a CV that agencies will actually read? Enroll in our new course:

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About "" Has 5 Posts

Gabriela Garcia Calderon. I'm a lawyer, translator, proud lefty, short-sighted born in Peru and based in Lima. I live two blocks away from the Pacific Ocean. I am able to read from right to left, as a mirror. I love Limean winter, yes, the winter. I like reading, watching good movies, writing on my blog "Seis de enero" (January 6th) and sharing an ice cream all around the year.

2 Responses to “How to write an appealing CV for translation agencies”

  1. Md shariful islam says:

    excellent.really beneficial.

  2. Nice tips. I don’t agree with the photo part though. Please check the last part of the article for an error: Furthermore if you are going to be evaluated by someone who doesn’t have met you in person.


Leave a Reply to Md shariful islam Cancel reply