10 Tips for Writing a Job Winning CV to Be Hired as a Freelance Translator


If you want to find a new freelance translator job, don’t use the old CV template. To make a good impression on a prospective client, you should write your resume from scratch.

Don’t worry. It’s not half as hard as it seems. Use the following tips for freelancers to make your CV to stand out. And you will get the job of your dreams.

Start your CV with a short intro

Write a couple of words about yourself. And explain how you can help your prospective client to meet his translation needs.

This part of your CV should be two sentences long. The catchy intro will give you a chance to grab the client’s attention immediately.

List your language pairs

Next, you should add information about your language pairs to the header of your resume. It will allow the client to understand that your skills fit the job.

As a rule, companies hire freelance translators whose native language matches the target language of translation.

So if you are fluent in a few languages, you should put your strongest language pair first.

For instance, if you are from France, then you should write that your first language pair is English-French.

Indicate your areas of specialization

You have already mentioned who you are and what languages you speak. Now you need to indicate the areas of your specialization. Even if you are an experienced translator and are able to translate texts on any topic, it’s still better to mention two or three specific areas of your expertise.

The point is that most clients prefer to hire freelance experts with a background in the industry in which the company operates.

For this reason, if you write in your resume that you specialize in medical, legal, technical, or other types of translation, you will increase your chances to get hired.

Write about your work experience

There are four resume types: chronological, functional, combination, or targeted. Of course, you can choose any of these types. But professional recruiters strongly recommend using the first one.

So it’s better to place information about your work experience in reverse chronological order. That means that you should start this section of your CV from the information about the most recent experience.

Each work experience item of your resume should include:

  • Name of the company
  • Years of work
  • Position (e.g., legal translator)
  • Name of the projects
  • Your major duties

You can also add information about your freelance related experience:

  • Name of the freelance platform (e.g., Upwork)
  • Years of work
  • List of a few major clients and/or projects

Focus on your academic achievements

Did you work at popular, reputable translation services like those that listed at PickWriters? If your answer is “yes”, then there is no need to go into details when writing about your education in resume. Companies value experience more than a degree.

But if you are a newbie in freelance translation, then the situation is following. You should draw the client’s attention away from the fact that you have no experience. Instead, you should make an emphasis on your academic achievements.

Were you the best student in your class? Did you win college translation competition? Did you participate in any international or national competitions? You can mention any interesting and relevant facts of your biography to present yourself in the most favorable light.

Indicate specific software you use

As a freelance translator, you should be familiar with CAT – the tools that help to enhance translation speed and consistency. In your CV, you should indicate whether you know how to use the following software:

  • SDL Trados
  • MemoQ
  • Across
  • PoEdit
  • SDL Passolo

Also, feel free to add any other tools that may help to succeed in freelancing. For instance, if you used to work as a freelance learning designer and use Photoshop like a pro, you can mention it in your resume.

Customize your resume

It’s worth mentioning that your resume should include only relevant, informative data. If you worked as a legal assistant, you could indicate this fact in your resume to get a translation job in a law firm.

But if you apply for a job in a company that sells grass-cutters, you should better exclude this work experience item. The client will find this information irrelevant and useless.

Customize every resume to match it exactly with the job description. It will double your chances to land a project and start your freelance business.

Know what your clients want

If you want to get a job in a specific company, you should do a little research. Surf the web to learn about the values and principles the company promotes.

Let’s say you want to apply for a job at an IT company that is famous for its creative hiring process. To grab the recruiter’s attention, you can use the original colorful template.

Or let’s imagine that you have decided to apply for a job in the UK or the Netherlands based company. In this case, you should exclude photo from your CV to increase your chances to get hired.

Pay attention to formatting

High-quality content of your CV is not the only things that matter. You should also pay your attention to the structure of the file.

Divide text of your resume into sections: contact information, education, experience, etc. Use headings and add bulleted lists to make your resume looks attractive and easy-to-read.

Proofread your CV

As a freelance translator, you should demonstrate perfect writing skills. If you make a spelling error or typo in your own resume, it will kill your chances to get a new job. Reputable employer will never hire a freelance translator, who isn’t fluent in his first language.

For this reason, you should take proofreading seriously. Read your CV aloud to spot even minor errors. Or, use online grammar checkers and apps for freelancers that help you to identify common mistakes.


Follow tips given and write a job winning CV. Get a freelance translator job and make a step towards your dreams.

Remember that your success is in your hands.


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