Translator Resume Example

Jobs for Translators are growing fast -- at 20% -- so get in on the action by ensuring your resume is up to date and ready to go!

Katerina Frye
Written by Katerina Frye • Last updated on Jun 16, 2021
Translator Resume Example
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Translators Resume Example & Template

Translators can work in the private sector or for governmental agencies, providing invaluable assistance converting texts from one language to another. Top paying jobs for this career are in the federal government, technology companies, and the education field. Meanwhile, top paying states are Virginia, New Jersey, and Maryland. 

In addition to the popular languages of Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Korean, there is a growing demand for American Sign Language interpreters and those who speak indigenous languages from Mexico and Central America such as Mixtec, Zapotec, and Mayan languages.

Now that we’ve reviewed your prospects, let’s get started with polishing up that resume!

In this article, we’ll discuss

  1. Which format is right for your resume
  2. How to write a resume summary 
  3. Describing your work experience
  4. Listing your skills
  5. Including your education 
  6. Naming your certifications
  7. Choosing the right template

Translator Sample Resume 

Translator, Rockefeller Publishing

  • Translated 17 children’s books into Spanish
  • Identified 3 Spanish manuscripts that became Amazon Best Sellers
  • Negotiated for fair and equitable publishing and copyright contracts on behalf of Spanish speaking authors
  • Copyedited 2 full length novels a week, 15% faster than average
  • Liaised between artists and authors regarding book covers
  • Caught 93% of translation errors from junior publishers, saving the company $200,000 in reprints

Spanish Translator, Greenfield Hospital

  • Attended patient-doctor meetings and acted as an official translator between parties to mediate discussion
  • Converted written materials, such as doctor’s notes and patient forms, from Spanish to English and vice versa  
  • Created brochures for Spanish patients with hospital information and offerings 
  • Completed referrals to specialized mental health and substance abuse treatment provision on patients’ behalf
  • Assisted patients in filling out medical forms and documentation, ensuring utmost privacy and confidentiality 
  • Explained medical terminology and procedures to Spanish-speaking patients in a calm, compassionate, and professional manner

Linguist and Arabic Analyst, US Army*

  • Ensured translation accuracy and performed in-depth cultural consideration on critical communications within the Middle Eastern region
  • Oversaw 3 junior linguists’ transcribed and translated materials to guarantee clear and accurate content
  • Collaborated with a team of 6 linguists to maintain a database of translated Arabic source material
  • Conducted open source research, translation, and interpretation of more than 20 Arabic foreign documents on a weekly basis 
  • Served as an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Arabic Analyst to interpret and translate passages difficult to understand due to the complex nature of various Arabic dialects, including Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese, and Egyptian
  • Drafted reports and abstracts after analyzing valuable information in order to facilitate detection of threats and provide incident reports based on emerging threats
  • Performed summaries, extracts, full and verbatim transcripts, and translations of audio and written materials, ensuring preservation of nuances and sublets of original text
  • Translated, transcribed, and analyzed work of foreign media and foreign language audio files in Arabic 
  • Interviewed informants, ensuring accurate and precise translation of their information 

1. Choose the Right Format for a Translator Resume

The first step to drafting your resume is deciding which resume format to use. This depends on your career experience and skillset. 

You have 3 main options for your resume:

  1. Reverse-Chronological -- this is the most commonly used resume format. With this structure, place your most recent jobs first, followed by the next most recent job, and ending with your oldest position. 
Tip: When in doubt, choose the Reverse-Chronological resume format. For more details, check out our guide on How to Write Your Resume in Reverse-Chronological Order
  1. Functional -- this format is best for people who have been out of the workforce for a while, perhaps because they had to care for children or an elderly parent. This format will have headers like “Published Texts” and “Speaking Engagements” with their respective details listed in bullet points below. At the very end of the resume, include a brief timeline of your work experience.  
Tip: Read our advice on How to Explain Employment Gaps on a Resume
  1. Hybrid / Combination -- this format is a mix of both Functional and Reverse-Chronological. It provides more detailed work experience descriptions that would typically be seen in the latter, while still offering a bulleted list of skills.  

For a Translator, hiring managers want to glance at your resume and get a sense of the following:

  • The language(s) you know, and your levels of fluency -- beginner, intermediate, expert, fluent or native
  • The industries in which you’ve worked, such as translating materials for the medical field or working as an interpreter for a school
  • An adjective or two conveying your personality, such as “patient” or “dedicated”

The best format for a Translator is the Reverse-Chronological resume format. This is because it shows the trajectory of your career -- how you’ve grown professionally and expanded your work experience and knowledge base. Check out our advice on How to Show Your Job Promotions on a Resume for more details. 

 2. Write a Strong Translator Resume Summary

Did you know that hiring managers only look at resumes for an average of six seconds?

While this is certainly an optional section, your resume summary is one of the best ways to succeed in that short glance.

But first --- what is a resume summary?

A resume summary is one or two sentences at the top of your paper that summarizes your entire resume. It’s the punch line that gets the resume reviewer wanting to know more.

For a Translator career, include the following points in your summary

  • The amount of time you’ve worked as a Translator, and for which industries you’ve worked (e.g., medical, education, military)
  • The language(s) you know and their respective fluencies
  • An adjective or two conveying your personality 

Here is an example of a bad resume summary: 

Experienced translator of medical documents from English to Spanish and vice versa.

While this summary does convey which language you know, it is a bad resume summary because it doesn’t explain your level of fluency, nor does it explain what “experienced” means. Additionally, there is little that makes you stand out and gives the hiring manager a sense of you and your personality. 

Here is an example of a good resume summary: 

Former Army Private with 3+ years of experience as an Arabic Translator in Iraq. Fluent Spanish speaker with experience in a hospital setting translating medical documents for patients and staff. Passionate about helping others and seeking a position with an NGO. 

This is a good resume summary because it is very specific in regards to the languages you know, your fluency, and where you’ve previously worked. The hiring manager also gets a sense of your personality as someone who is “helpful” and wants to serve others. This summary also includes a resume objective -- that you want to work for an NGO. 

A Resume Objective tells the employer what kind of position you are seeking. 

While this is certainly optional, it can help employers understand what you want from them and what you can offer. Put another way, a resume objective clarifies your intentions to employers. Plus, it can help to show why you are a good fit for the job.  

For more information, checkout our guide on How to Write a Killer Resume Summary. Or, browse our Resume Summary Examples

3. Describe Your Work Experience as a Translator

The next step to drafting your resume is to list your work experience. This includes the name of your position (See: The Right Way to List Job Titles on a Resume), the name of the location at which you worked, and the length of time in which you worked. 

If you previously served in the military, format your service with the following in mind:

  • List your military positions and responsibilities
  • List any military honors, including military medals, awards or an honorable discharge
  • List any additional training or technical skills

You should also quantify your resume whenever possible. This means adding a number -- such as a dollar amount or percentage -- to your accomplishments. Quantifying your resume gives the hiring manager a more concrete idea of your workplace performance. For example, say that you “analyzed 30 blogs a week,” “improved accuracy of translation by 20%,” or “saved the business $30,000 by catching translation errors.”   

Tip: One way to quantify your resume is by listing your accomplishments and awards

For more information on how to format your work experience, check out our guide on How to Describe Work Experience

Don’t have any work experience? We have a guide for Writing a Resume with No Work Experience!

4. List Your Skills

Skills show the hiring manager what you can do for the company -- without taking up too much space in the “work experience” part of your resume.

There are two types of skills -- soft and hard. “Soft” skills are those that are not quantifiable and are more indicative of your personality. Examples include leadership, problem-solving, and communication. In contrast, “hard” skills are those that are learned through formal education. Examples include computer technology, programming and foreign languages, and certifications. 

Today, many translators use softwares, called Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) Tools, to assist in the translation process. Popular softwares are:

  • SDL Trados Studio
  • Wordfast
  • CafeTran Espresso
  • Lokalise
  • Memsource
  • Smartcat
  • Transifex
  • Phrase
  • Crowdin
  • XTM Cloud
  • memoQ translator pro
  • EasyTranslate

Relevant Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Problem-Solving
  • Teamwork
  • Efficiency
  • Time Management
  • Patience
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Concentration 
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Attention to Detail 
  • Organized
  • Dependable 

Relevant Hard Skills

  • Foreign Language and level of fluency -- beginner, intermediate, expert, native
  • Writing Skills
  • Editing Skills
  • In-Depth Cultural Knowledge
  • Research 
  • CAT Software and Tools
Tip: When completing this section on your resume, review the employers’ job requirements. Try to incorporate some of the language they use. For example, if the job description states they need someone who can “edit and proofread text to accurately reflect language” then be sure to include some of these keywords and ideas. List “Editing” and “Detail-Oriented” under the skills section of your resume. 

If you want a more complete list of skills, read our guide on 100+ Key Skills for a Resume in 2021 with Examples for any Job.

5. Include an Education Section 

Most jobs require that Translators learn their languages in a formal college setting, earning a bachelor’s degree in that specific language. However, the military trains its linguists without a college degree in an intensive months-long process. 

If you earned a college degree, be sure to include:

  • The name and location of the university 
  • The dates you attended
  • The level of your degree (associate’s, bachelor’s, graduate, PhD, etc.)
  • Your major and minors, if applicable

Still uncertain on what to include in this section? Review our guide on How to List Education on Your Resume in 2021

6. Mention Certifications Relevant to the Job

While certifications are not necessary to attain a job, they show employers that you’re expanding on your skills and diversifying your experiences. Not only are you more knowledgeable, but you’re also more employable. 

Certification programs include:

  • American Translators Association Certification. ATA is one of the industry's most respected credentials for translators and is the only widely recognized measure of competence for translation in the U.S. 
  • Several universities and colleges offer certifications in lieu of formal degrees. So if you want to become a certified translator in a shorter time, you can go that route. 
  • You can also become certified in the different CAT tools, such as the MemSource Certification, Trados Certification, or the SDL Trados Studio Certification

For more information on certifications, check out our guide on How to Include Certifications on Your Resume the Right Way.

7. Pick the Right Template

Now it’s time for the fun part -- picking the aesthetics of your resume! 

Here at EasyResume, we offer several different templates. 

  • Academic: these resumes are professionally structured with minimal aesthetics in order to provide a clear and concise glimpse of your experiences. This is best for current students or those looking to pursue a career in an academic field as a researcher or teacher. 
  • Creative: these resumes are bold and colorful with eye-catching fonts to help you stand out from the crowd. This is best for those in creative fields like marketing and art. 
  • Elegant: these resumes are contemporary and stylish in a way that highlights you and your experiences. This is best for those in fields that prefer austerity, such as the healthcare and finance industries. 
  • Modern: these resumes have sleek designs that are fresh and bold with tasteful fonts and clean lines. This is best for individuals applying to startups or to companies with a young audience or product.
  • Professional: these resumes have a clean, crisp look that incorporates only one or two accent colors. The focus is solely on the text, pulling the recruiter into your experiences and accomplishments. This is best for individuals applying to straight-laced companies that mandate a suit-and-tie dress code.  

Your resume template should reflect the job to which you’re applying. For a Translator career, try a Modern or Professional template. If you’re looking to work in academia, then go for an Academic format. 

Or, if you want to create your own template, read how with our Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Resume Template in Microsoft Word

8. Takeaways

We’ve done it! Almost. 

Now it’s time to get down to business -- actually creating the resume. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Research the job description to locate keywords
  • Use a Reverse-Chronological resume layout
  • Write your resume summary, including the languages you know, your fluency, and the length of time you’ve worked as a translator
  • Include your education and relevant certifications
  • Write your experience section in a way that any outsider could understand. Talk more about the how and why of your responsibilities. Quantify your results.
  • Pick a resume template that fits the position to which you’re applying, such as Professional or Modern

Start from our resume example to save time.

You’ll soon be well on your way to your next interview, good luck!


*Military experiences used in this resume example were adapted from the following:

Katerina Frye
With a background in Psychology and Marketing, Katerina devotes her time to understand people, their careers, and their goals to help them succeed. She also has experience in social media, science writing, and fiction. When she isn't writing, she's hitting the gym, playing with her cats, or eating chocolate.
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