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While I am directing this primarily to translators who are just starting out and seeking to build up a client base, seasoned translators might also find it useful to rethink their approach. Many translators, and not just the new ones, have the sense that their CVs aren’t even being looked at, despite the fact that their qualifications and experience are ideally suited to the particular project in question. Given the number of freelance translators from all over the globalized universe who are apparently applying to every single agency and for every single “solicited” translation project, what in that world is a girl (or boy) to do?

First, it should go without saying that your cover letter should be absolutely meticulous in terms of spelling, syntax and punctuation. After all, you are selling your communication and linguistic skills. Your primary goal, however, is to catch the recipient’s attention so they do in fact read it rather than throw it into some virtual dustbin along with most of the others they’ve received.

Then make sure that your letter is specifically tailored for the particular job or translation agency. I, for one, have close to a dozen carefully crafted, tuned and targeted cover letters at my constant disposal. Unless you’re one of those focused souls who has only ever worked, or will work, in one highly specific subspecialty (such as in legal, financial or medical translations), then you should have a cover letter to suit each of your fields, sub-fields, micro-fields...

And more. Beyond making sure that your cover letter is clearly suited to the specifics of the translation agency/project in question, you can also take the extra moment to emphasize your other deeply relevant qualities. One way to discover the relevance of your numerous sterling qualities is to have a careful look at the agency’s website. Once beyond the boiler-plate superlatives (yes, they have “offices” everywhere, employ only the finest of translators, will do absolutely anything, are incredibly cheap because they really don’t have any old-school physical offices, have a precious and uncanny grasp of all language cultures and so forth), you can often get a sense of what their real priorities are or at least how they see themselves.

Perhaps they fancy themselves lean and mean (as you are swift and flexible) or upscale and “professional” (emphasize your degrees and pedigrees) or sleek, cool and technologically supreme (bullet point all the CAT tools you have in your arsenal). It’s a simple, but important, concept. Basically, you’re just taking the time to do exactly what you would be doing if it were a non-virtual job interview: sizing up the office, personnel and culture. By reflecting that back, even in a small way, you’re making an immediate, and hopefully memorable, connection. – Language Translation Agency.
Originally Written/Posted By : rose diaz
Posted on: 2010-01-29
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