5 Golden Rules For Finding Entry-Level Translation Jobs
Like any profession, becoming a translator takes practice, experience and if you were to ask ten translators how they got into the profession, you’ll hear ten different stories. There’s no one way to do it, but here are steps to take you in the right direction:
1. Write an Error-Free Translation CV
Since you already know that your resume should be error free, we won’t bore you with saying that your resume should be error free. What we will say is that translators need a resume for translators; you really shouldn’t use the same CV you used to get hired at all of your other jobs.
2. Focus On Marketing Your Services:
- Register with the free online databases at online job-search sites such as Linkedin.
- Use headhunters or placement services to find positions in translation agencies.
3. Be Likeable
Despite the fact that translation is often pigeonholed as a solitary profession—which it very often is—successful translators are able not only to negotiate several languages, but cross social and cultural borders with dexterity. Translators like language, but they also like people and know how to collaborate, take direction and please clients and employers.
4. Do not accept work that is beyond your expertise.
If your specialization is not medical terminology or legalese, know your scope and breadth; don’t oversell your skills. Turning down work does not automatically disqualify you for other projects. It simply demonstrates that you know your field and limits, and understand that taking on a too-difficult task slows everyone down, and reflects badly on everyone involved as well. Knowing your limitations helps people trust you.
5. Keep Your Ear to the Grindstone
Once you make contact (and are taken in) by an agency, it is wise to continue reaching out to other translation agencies. Author Morry Sofer explains that the problem with working with one agency is that “there may not be a steady flow of work coming out of any given agency in any given language, in subjects you are equipped to handle.” If you have cultivated a relationship with two or three agencies, you’ll have a more even work flow.
The downside of working with more than one agency is, of course, that you may be bombarded with work from all three agencies at once. You may be tempted to accept all of it, but taking on more than you can handle will potentially destroy your relationships. Be sure that you establish an understanding with your agencies.