I want to share with you 2 tips to write a resume that gets the attention and ultimately gets you the dream project.
Using these tips I’ve been given two major projects from 2 different clients over the past 6 months. Each time I was told that my resume stood out and answered their questions and concerns.
They didn’t even bother to check out my reference. My clients just liked what they saw in my resume.
First of all, you need to understand that writing a resume for a regular job position is quite different from doing so as an independent contractor who provides a service for a living.
As most of my visitors are freelance translators, the focus of this article is on how to write a good resume to attract quality contract jobs or freelance jobs.
Tips to write a resume
So here are my 2 tips to write a resume that gets you the dream job:
1- know your potential client and address their concerns
The biggest mistake translators often make when they apply for a contract job is that they use a one-size-fit-for-all resume. What do I mean by that? All right, many translators do have a few resume versions for different scenarios. It’s better than just sending out one resume to all different potential clients. But that’s not enough!
A manufacturing company who needs to have all their legal documents translated for a civil trial has completely different needs from a marketing company who is doing a major campaign among the Chinese community.
Make sure your resume speaks to them loud and clear. Do not use jargons or terminology that only insiders would know.
Among all the tips to write a resume, this one clearly grabs the top position of my list. You need to speak to your potential clients in a way that you would to a friend. Address their concerns directly.
For example, in my resume for a major court trial I stated that I “have excellent note-taking skill to ensure that minimum content would get lost in the translation.” The respond to that really amazed me – my client repeatedly confessed to me that having the excellent note-talking skill was the major reason that I had been awarded the job.
This is the kind of concerns many clients have – whether or not the court interpreter would be able to translate everything during the trial. And note-taking skill is one of the most important skills many court interpreters have. Unfortunately none of the others cared to mention that in their resumes.
By addressing that concern clear and loud in my resume, I got the job.
2-Do not bore your potential clients with irrelevant details
This is one of the most overlooked tips to write a resume. I’ve seen too many resumes from translators that list all their past work experience and translation projects with great details. It may make you feel good but your potential client couldn’t care less about what you have done in the past that has nothing to do with their project in question.
And many clients are just like you and me, they are busy and impatient. They have little time or interest in reading through long resumes. So what do you do?
You only list projects that are relevant to your current job application. You do not need to describe every little detail about the jobs and things you’ve done that have little or no impact on helping you get the next project.
If you are not sure about this one, here’s a rule of thumb – read your resume to a friend who is not a professional translator. If he or she is bored or confused before you finish reading, you have some work to do.
On the other hand, if your resume sounds interesting to a lay person and answers the concerns of a potential client, you can be almost assured that you’ve got a winner.
So in short the 2 most important tips to write a resume are:
- Speak to the potential client and answer his/her concerns
- Focus on relevancy.