Desirable Skills for Translators to Boost their CV
This article is a collaboration with Day Translations. What makes a good translator’s CV? What should a translator’s CV include to make recruiters notice it?
A well-crafted CV should present a translator’s competence and showcase desirable skills that recruiters are looking for. The CV should include terms that recruiters can easily search in a database, such as language pairs, years of experience and areas of specialisation. It is always a good idea to actually spell out what makes you a different translator from anyone else, for example including which countries you have lived and worked in and other types of experiences that have exposed you to different cultures.
Most importantly, stating the area of specialisation is key.
What Skills Are Most Desirable
Some skills that translators need to possess are more in demand than others.
- good writing and editing skills
- specialisation in an industry
- proven knowledge of cultural differences, such as listing any countries you have lived in
- time management skills
- IT skills.
Specialisation is one the most requested skills for translators and is a top requirement for recruiters.
There are a few avenues available for translators that help gain a specialisation. Translators can become more specialised by acquiring a second degree in a chosen subject or take training courses. Alternatively, a translator could start by working in a chosen specialised field, for example in a legal office, and then start offering translation services of legal documents.
Having first hand knowledge of an industry gives a translator useful insights into different business practices, rules and regulations, and how to convey them in a target language using the correct terminology.
Examples of Industry-Specific Requirements for Translators
A candidate applying for a translations job will need to demonstrate skills that are relevant to a specific role. Here are a few examples of translation jobs that require a specialisation in one industry sector, but of course this list is not exhaustive. These examples, from sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn, are there to show what additional skills translators can acquire to give them an advantage.
In the video game industry translators will need to be able to translate and proofread game support materials, game glossaries, transcripts of the audio scripts and any text prompts that appear during gameplay. They must have a good understanding of cultural differences and ensure any type of text reads smoothly.
In the technology sector, roles for translators may require translating text data labels, researching and annotating data, observe patterns and evaluating the quality of data sources.
Other technology roles may require translating cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) terminology. Translating and localising software may also include making recommendations on how to improve the software to adapt it to a specific regional market and potentially avoid user issues on an international level.
In the Quality Assurance (QA) field, translators are required to possess excellent analytical skills and be able to process large amounts of data.
Marketing roles with translation require creative writing alongside language skills to produce editorial pieces, speeches for senior executives and any advertising materials.
Translating subtitles for video assets requires experience of subtitling software, speech recognition software, and knowledge of subtitling styles and guidelines. Subtitling is in demand in the entertainment industry, news and sport.
Translating documents information leaflets, patient information files, policy documents requires possessing a large vocabulary and be able to deal with confidential data.
What Makes a Good Translator CV?
Translators who really want to stand out can include in their CVs how they managed to add value to their clients by using their insights gained through experience, such as identifying patterns and trends. This means that they can be very efficient and have a strong background in their chosen industry.
Showcasing achievements is one of the best ways to get noticed. Familiarity with multicultural environments allows translators to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, therefore saving time and avoiding mistakes along the way, factors that are highly valuable for recruiters. This could be by identifying how to improve a product to adapt it for a different market, for example, based on the cultural context.