Recipe for the Ultimate Translation CV

August 18, 2014
Recipe for the Ultimate Translation CV

In a crowded marketplace, having the perfect translation CV can make all the difference.Often, your CV is the first means that a potential client has of assessing whether or not you are the right professional translator to work with them.

It needs to stand out from the crowd, with exactly the right balance of ingredients in order to tempt the potential client to pick you over and above any of the other translators he/she may be considering. 

As such, here we present the recipe for the perfect translation CV, to help you turn that potential client into an actual client. 


¼ cup contact details 
½ cup goals
1 cup specialist skills
1 cup experience 
½ cup additional details
¼ cup personality
½ cup design


1. First and foremost, present your contact details clearly at the top of the first page. You want to make it as easy as possible for the potential client to know how to get hold of you. 

2. Clearly lay out your goals at the top of the CV. If your aim is to work on legal translation, for example, state it at the start. This will help your potential clients to see instantly whether or not you are aligned with their requirements. 

3. Lay out your specialist skills in a clear and easy to read format. Start with the language pairing(s) that you cover, then list any specialisms that you have, such as medical translation or immigration document translation, followed by relevant academic qualifications.

As with the goals section, this allows potential clients to quickly identify if you are the right translator for them, thus emphasising your efficiency and attention to detail right from the start. 

4. Detail your experience. This is an important section of the CV, as it provides the evidence to back up the specialist skills you have listed in the section above. Where possible, include links to documents online that you have translated, as proof of your experience and abilities.  

5. Include any additional details that are relevant and likely to add weight to your CV. This could include details of non-translation-specific qualifications (to demonstrate your intelligence), your ability to work under pressure, your meticulous nature or excellent prioritisation skills. 

6. Be sure to let just the right amount of personality shine through your CV. Don’t make the style too casual, but equally don’t make it so formal that the potential client is bored by your tone – try to strike the perfect balance. 

7. Finally, ensure that the above is included in an eye-catching yet professional design. It needs to stand out and catch the reader’s attention, but without seeming gaudy. Think clean and simple, with the tiniest touch of colour. 

Once you have mixed together the ingredients for your perfect CV, it’s time to send it out to as many potential clients as possible and wait for the phone calls and emails to start pouring in. 

What are your tips for producing the perfect translation CV? Share your thoughts via the comments box. 

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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