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!
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
Translator, Rockefeller Publishing
Spanish Translator, Greenfield Hospital
Linguist and Arabic Analyst, US Army*
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:
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.
Tip: Read our advice on How to Explain Employment Gaps on a Resume.
For a Translator, hiring managers want to glance at your resume and get a sense of the following:
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.
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
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.
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:
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!
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:
Relevant Soft Skills
Relevant Hard Skills
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.
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:
Still uncertain on what to include in this section? Review our guide on How to List Education on Your Resume in 2021.
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:
For more information on certifications, check out our guide on How to Include Certifications on Your Resume the Right Way.
Now it’s time for the fun part -- picking the aesthetics of your resume!
Here at EasyResume, we offer several different templates.
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.
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:
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: