Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Applying for job offers: top tips for translators

Guest post by Rebekka Wellmanns

Marta Stelmaszk, DPSI, ACIL, is a former translation project manager. In last week's webinar, she covered everything a freelance translator might want to know about CVs and cover letters, from replying to job offers and analysing the competition to planning, writing and revision.

Here are just some of her suggestions:

Before you even think about replying to an offer, take care to analyse it first by making note of the client’s requirements, language used, etc. Then try to mirror this in your own cover letter.

Make sure you do all that the client has asked you to do, i.e. use their suggested subject line, address the reader etc. Stelmaszak provided a great tip: if you do not know the name of the person you need to address, instead of saying “Dear Sir/Madam”, say something like “Dear Project Manager”. Including an email signature is also very important.

On writing CVs, she suggests analysing the competition by finding CVs of other translators in your language pair and specialities, and applying what you like about them to your own CV. You may even learn of other opportunities in this way.

She also addresses the issue of adapting CVs to specific offers. She supports having as many different versions of your CV as specialisations/target audiences. Stelzmaszak also reminded us to continuously bear in mind the motivation and purpose of the CV.

When it comes to planning and writing your CV, what counts is that you showcase your tangible achievements. Don’t include your age, marital status or a profile picture.

She also gave a detailed outline of each of the headlines below, all of which should be included in your CV:
  • Professional headline and statement
  • Key achievements
  • Professional experience
  • Qualifications
  • Memberships
  • Publications
  • General skills
  • Making it interactive

In summing up, Stelmaszak addressed the language and revision of CVs. She reminds us that translators are wordsmiths yet we somehow seem to forget this when writing our own CVs. We have to make sure they are impeccable as they showcase our ability.

This webinar was packed with helpful hints and suggestions for getting the most out of your CV and cover letter. Marta also shared the details of her free e-book, “How to write a translator’s CV”, and offered to look over the CVs and cover letters of the translators on the webinar.

Access this webinar on our website. Originally broadcast: 22 November 2011. Duration: 71 minutes, including question and answer session.

Our guest author is Rebekka Wellmanns, a Spanish to English translator with a background in music, linguistics and education. She is also the author of a widely-read translation blog, and tweets at @WellRebekka.

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