Not knowing how to choose the right places to apply could well result in missing out on positions that could be absolutely perfect for you.
So, you’re just starting out in your career as a professional translator, but now you’re wondering: How on earth do you get started? It’s a big decision as to where you should apply for translation positions, but this indecision can be dangerous to your career. Not knowing how to choose the right places to apply could well result in missing out on positions that could be absolutely perfect for you.
Luckily, it’s not that difficult to narrow your choice down, and even though the job you do land will depend on your work experience, the languages you speak, and any other skills you’ll be bringing to the position, we hope that the following list will assist in deciding whether a specific translation position is worth your time and effort.
Translation Language Service Providers
Probably the first place you’ll start looking for a translation position is with an existing translation language service provider that offers translation services to a variety of clients. You’ll need to look at all available options because different agencies often have different specialties - such as medical interpreting, legal translation, and so on. If you apply for a translation position with a language service provider you will usually require your CV/resume for reviewing and you’ll be asked to go undergo translation tests. Language service provider positions usually have many applicants, so the competition may be intense; however, if you’re successful in securing a position at one of these agencies and you’re able to demonstrate high-quality work, it will generally result in a steady workload of translation projects.
Legal departments and lawyers for multinational companies are often looking for translators for Contract translation; for their correspondence requirements, and other legal documents whereby the parties involved don’t speak the same language. Accuracy is very critical with these positions because with legal matters the documentation generally contains a certain degree of jargon. In addition, you may be asked to sign a Confidentiality Contract or Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) because confidentiality is vitally important with legal translators.
It’s also worth noting that, in the legal field, interpreting is also often required, with court interpreters normally requiring certification. If you’re interested in this area of specialization, then in-house legal interpreting and translation can be a great first step.
Large corporations with international operations will often use translators to ensure that all their product documentation, correspondence, and other important documents are accurately localized for each of the countries the company operates in. Positions in these companies may be found on the company’s recruiting website, or they may specifically advertise their translation vacancies. If you’re specifically looking for a corporate position, ensure that the company you’re considering does business in the country’s/regions that use the languages you’re fluent in.
Media Localization Services
We often forget that the spoken language in foreign television shows, films, and other media content must be translated prior to being presented to English-speaking audiences. This means that translators are required to create dubbing scripts or captions so that English-friendly versions can be prepared. Unfortunately, because these positions are difficult to find and highly sought after, they’re not easy to land; but should you be fortunate enough to land one of these positions you’ll find the work extremely interesting – probably more interesting than you’d find through most standard translation agencies.