How to Write a Perfect CV: Tips for Language Industry Professionals

Sara Demiri 6 years ago 4 min read

This is a common topic in the HR department of every industry, including the localization industry. There are several reasons for this, and today we are going to talk about the reason we consider to cause most troubles for human resources managers in translation companies – listing irrelevant content.

Most of us are living in the fast lane these days, which makes everything a stone’s throw away. Hence, the lack of time is not uncommon. Keeping this in mind, when writing a job application or a résumé/CV, try to make your CV stand out in the three minutes it takes to like something or attract attention.

Human resources managers go through a large number of job applications on a daily basis and it should be of no surprise that a good CV can be somewhat of a ticket to the desired job.

What Makes a CV Perfect for the Language Industry?

A good CV differs significantly from a bad one. First of all, the visual contents of the CV should be organized in a clear and systematic manner.

You should tailor your CV for each job application. Everybody loves a personalized approach and you should definitely keep this in mind when writing your CV.

About the Candidate

List your contact information, such as your first and last name, address, e-mail address, Skype contact and your telephone number in one place. This makes it easy for the reader to contact you.

Short Summary

Write a short summary of the essential personal information bellow the contact information:

  • Language pairs
  • First language
  • Years of active translation experience
  • Services you offer (e.g. written translation and revision)
  • Number of words you can translate per day (e.g. 2,500 words per day)
  • Main fields of specialization (e.g. medicine, pharmacy, law, EU)
  • Three of your most important clients or brands
  • Desired type of employment (e.g. permanent employment and/or freelance employment)
  • List of actively used CAT and QA tools.

Professional Experience

List the relevant positions in a chronological manner, beginning with the most recent one and work your way back.

Keep in mind that less is more, especially when writing a CV. Leave the irrelevant positions out. Working in a gift shop might have provided you with excellent experience and helped you perfect your communication skills, customer relations and calculation of a daily turnover, but this is not relevant for a translator position.

List your experience in the field of translation in such a way as to you list important information next to every position: the language combination, fields of specialization, brand, tools (CAT and QA tools).

CAT and QA Tools

Technical knowledge without proper linguistic knowledge is useless. However, the lack of technical knowledge is a serious impediment for the translator trying participate in a dynamic industry. This is why you should list CAT and QA tools that you actively use and for which you own licences. Using a trial version of a tool does not constitute active use of a tool! Always be honest. Your knowledge and skills can easily be tested. If you have not yet had the opportunity to work with such tools, make sure to emphasize that you are interested and open to learn.

The experience of using glossaries and terminology databases, as well as machine translation is also very important.


Specializations are your greatest assets so make sure to list your three main and three secondary specializations. A specialization can be the key to your first job on a translation project.

List the clients and brands you have worked for next to your specializations. Specify the number of words you can translate and deliver per day, as well as your availability for new project engagement (e.g. every working day from 9am to 5pm, weekends upon request).


Make sure to list your language combinations, in both directions. Specify your language proficiency (e.g. Croatian – native language, German – Master’s degree, English – living in England for 3 years).

List your formal education and any further training and/or certification which is relevant for the job for which you are applying.

Type of Employment

Specify the desirable type of employment. If the desired type is freelance employment, make sure to name the payment method for the provided service.

If you have a registered business and can issue invoices, be sure to state it because this is very important. LSPs mostly work with freelancers who can issue an invoice for the services provided. This is why this kind of employment constitutes the preferred type of cooperation.

If you are working abroad, make sure to state if you own a valid VAT ID number as it can be a very important factor for cooperation if you live in a EU Member State.


CV templates such as Europass can be very useful. However, keep in mind that even the most delicious cake can ruin your figure if consumed in large quantities. The same goes for templates. Templates can be very useful and can make it easier for you to create a good CV, but they can also make things worse if you forget the golden rule – less is more.

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