Translating CVs and resumes

July 5th, 2010

A curriculum vitae or CV is probably one of the most important documents for a job seeker. Writing a proper CV can mean the difference between getting a job or remaining unemployed. A professional looking CV highlighting the job seeker’s achievements is important for attracting the attention of a potential employer from among the thousands of resumes that the latter may get. Many HR consultants and professional resume writers have mushroomed everywhere to the meet the demand of this segment of the population. A good CV should generally include information on the applicant’s identity, work history, education, and skills Translating the CV from one source language to a language of choice is equally important when one is seeking international assignments. It is important that the resume reflects the cultural identity of the prospective employer and is presented in a manner that is generally accepted in the latter’s country / society. One may have to hire professional translation service providers to the job. Translating a CV does not mean literal translation from the source language to the target language. It needs to be ‘localized’ meaning reflecting the cultural, national or stylistic differences of the target language / country. Localization of the CV is of utmost importance while presenting one’s CV in another language. There may be country specific requirement or ‘norms’ in writing CV or resume which a CV translator has to bear in mind. For example in Germany and other European countries, a photograph of the applicant has to generally accompany the resume. When the applicant’s name is very long like in some non-English names a nick name is generally used for easy reference. Even the format of presenting the name and address can vary from country to country. For example the address begins generally from street to city but can be other way round in some countries. A professional CV translator would be aware of other generally accepted practices of the target language / country. The resume would appear ‘odd’ if these norms are not followed while translating it. With the advent of the internet many prospective job seekers present their credentials through many free websites. If they seeking assignments beyond their borders, it is important that the home page of the website is also translated meaningfully. Thus applicants may not only have to engage a professional CV writer for generating suitable resume in the host language but also engage professional CV translation agencies for translating into the target language whether it is hard copy or a soft copy such a website.

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