Freelance Translator CV Examples & Guide for 2024

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Freelance Translator CV

Your freelance translator CV must prominently display your language proficiency. List the languages you translate between and your level of fluency in each. Showcase your relevant experience and key translation projects. Highlight any specialized fields, such as medical or legal translation, to demonstrate expertise.

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Crafting a CV that effectively showcases your diverse language skills and project experiences is a common challenge for freelance translators. Our guide provides tailored strategies and examples to help you construct a compelling CV that highlights your unique expertise and attracts potential clients.

Land the job of your dreams with our bespoke guide on how to:

  • Design and format your professional freelance translator CV;
  • Curate your key contact information, skills, and achievements throughout your CV sections;
  • Ensure your profile stays competitive by studying other industry-leading freelance translator CVs;
  • Create a great CV even if you happen to have less professional experience, or switching fields.

When writing your freelance translator CV, you may need plenty of insights from hiring managers. We have prepared industry-leading advice in the form of our relevant CV guides.

Structuring your freelance translator CV layout: four factors to keep in mind

There are plenty of best practices out there for your CV layout and design. At the end of the day, a clear format and concise CV message should be your top priority. Use your CV design to enhance separate sections, bringing them to the forefront of recruiters' attention. At the same time, you can write content that:

  • Follows the reverse chronological order in the experience section by first listing your most recent jobs;
  • Incorporates your contact information in the header, but do skip out on the CV photo for roles in the UK;
  • Is spotlighted in the most important sections of your CV, e.g. the summary or objective, experience, education, etc. to show just how you meet the job requirements;
  • Is no longer than two-pages. Often, the one-page format can be optimal for your freelance translator CV.

Before submitting your CV, you may wonder whether to export it in Doc or PDF. With the PDF format, your information and layout stay intact. This is quite useful when your CV is assessed by the Applicant Tracker System (or the ATS) . The ATS is a software that scans your profile for all relevant information and can easily understand latest study on the ATS , which looks at your CV columns, design, and so much more.

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Incorporate a touch of colour in headers or section breaks, but keep it professional and ensure it doesn’t detract from readability, especially in more conservative industries.

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The top sections on a freelance translator CV

  • Professional Summary highlights career achievements and translation expertise.
  • Language Proficiency shows the range of languages mastered and to what level.
  • Translation Experience details past translation projects and specific industry knowledge.
  • Education and Qualifications confirm academic credentials and any translation-specific training.
  • Professional Affiliations and Certifications showcase memberships in translation associations and relevant certifications.
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What recruiters value on your CV:
  • Highlight your language proficiency by detailing your command of the source and target languages, and include any certifications such as DELE for Spanish, DALF for French, or JLPT for Japanese.
  • Emphasise your specialisation areas, like legal, medical, or technical translations, as this can show prospective clients your expertise and the specific types of documents you’re experienced with.
  • Include past translation projects or experiences with context, such as the types of texts (websites, manuals, books), to give an idea of your versatility and scope of knowledge.
  • Showcase your familiarity with translation software and CAT tools such as SDL Trados or MemoQ, as this demonstrates efficiency and the ability to integrate with clients’ workflows.
  • Demonstrate cultural competency by mentioning any relevant experience or education you have had with the culture of the languages you translate, which can be crucial for localisation tasks.

What information should you include in your freelance translator CV header?

The CV header is potentially the section that recruiters would refer to the most, as it should include your:

  • Contact details - your professional (non-work) email address and phone number;
  • Professional photograph - if you're applying hinting at the value you bring as a professional.

Many professionals often struggle with writing their freelance translator CV headline. That's why in the next section of this guide, we've curated examples of how you can optimise this space to pass any form of assessment.

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Examples of good CV headlines for freelance translator:

  1. Senior Translator | Literary & Commercial Texts | MA in Translation Studies | 10+ Years Experience
  2. Medical Translator | Certified by IMIA | Specialising in Healthcare Documentation | 5 Years Experience
  3. Technical Translator | Engineering & IT Sectors | ATA Certified | 7+ Years of Professional Practice
  4. Junior Translator | Business & Finance Localization Expert | Bilingual English-Spanish | 2 Years Experience
  5. Freelance Linguist | Diplomatic & Legal Translation | NAATI Accreditation | Senior Level with 12 Years Expertise
  6. Multilingual Translator | Creative Media & Subtitling | FLT Certified | Progressive 4 Years of Experience

Opting between a freelance translator CV summary or objective

Within the top one third of your freelance translator CV, you have the opportunity to briefly summarise your best achievements or present your professional goals and dreams. Those two functions are met by either the CV summary or the objective.

Still not sure about how to write your CV opening statement? Use some best industry examples as inspiration:

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CV summaries for a freelance translator job:

  • With 10 years of in-depth experience in translating legal and financial documents, I have honed my skills in English-Spanish language pairs, ensuring precise and culturally appropriate translations. I've completed over 1,000 projects successfully, including the translation of a landmark legal case that influenced major legislative changes.
  • As a seasoned translator specialising in French-English literary translations, my background includes 8 years of crafting compelling and faithful renditions of classic and contemporary literary works. I've been recognised with the Translators' Guild Award for Best Fiction Translation in 2020, reflecting my commitment to excellence in my craft.
  • Transitioning from a 5-year career in journalism to professional translation, I bring a unique perspective that enhances content translation, specialising in English-German pairs. My keen eye for detail and storytelling prowess ensure translated material retains its intended impact and nuances, despite the language barrier.
  • After a successful career as a bilingual legal assistant, I am pivoting towards translation to utilise my dual-language proficiency in legal and administrative contexts, with a focus on English-Japanese document translation. My 7-year experience within legal environments ensures an expert understanding of technical terminology and confidentiality principles.
  • Keen to embark on a journey as a freelance translator, I am eager to apply my BA in Modern Languages and Linguistics and my proficiency in Italian and Russian. Committed to learning through action, I aim to develop my translation expertise by working on a diversity of projects, while delivering accurate and engaging text translations.
  • With a fresh degree in Spanish Literature and a passion for bridging language gaps, I am determined to start my professional translating career, focusing on English-Spanish language pairs. I am excited to bring my linguistic flair and dedication to translating cultural texts, aiming to provide authentic and enjoyable reading experiences for diverse audiences.

How to meet job requirements with your freelance translator CV experience

We've now reached the essence of your actual CV - your experience section. This is the space where you can list your career roles and on-the-job successes. Many candidates tend to underestimate just how much time and effort they should put into writing this CV section. Your experience shouldn't be a random list of your responsibilities, but instead:

Before we move on, make sure to check out some professional CV experience sections.

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Best practices for your CV's work experience section
  • Highlight your language pairs and your proficiency levels, stating any language certificates or accreditations you hold, such as from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.
  • Detail your specialisation areas, like legal, medical, or technical translations, providing examples of projects you have completed in these fields.
  • Emphasise your ability to maintain the nuances, tone, and context of the original text in translations, and give examples of challenging projects that demonstrate this skill.
  • Mention any CAT tools (Computer-Assisted Translation) you are proficient with, such as SDL Trados or MemoQ, and your knowledge of quality assurance practices for translations.
  • Include your familiarity with localisation and cultural adaptation, referencing specific projects where you've ensured the content was appropriate for the target audience.
  • Make note of your average words per hour or pages per day translation output to give a potential employer an idea of your work pace.
  • Detail your experience with proofreading and editing translated texts, stressing attention to detail and ability to meet tight deadlines without compromising on quality.
  • List any experience you have in project management for translation projects, including coordination between other linguists, clients, and managing timelines.
  • Specify whether you've worked with direct clients or through agencies, and how that experience has shaped your approach to customer service and communication.
Work Experience
Technical Translation Specialist
GlobalWords Translations
  • Translated over 500,000 words of technical documentation for engineering firms, enhancing the clarity and accessibility of complex materials for global clients.
  • Worked closely with subject matter experts to ensure accurate representation of specialised concepts in translations, significantly reducing client review and revision time by 30%.
  • Developed and maintained a glossary of technical terms in collaboration with clients, ensuring consistent terminology across all projects and improving translation efficiency.
Work Experience
E-commerce Localization Manager
  • Implemented a streamlined translation workflow using CAT tools for a major e-commerce client, increasing productivity by 40% and ensuring timely delivery of project deliverables.
  • Led a team of language experts to localise website content into 5 languages, directly contributing to a 20% uptick in international traffic and customer engagement.
  • Managed project timelines and budgets effectively, resulting in high client satisfaction rates and securing repeat business worth over £200,000.
Work Experience
Literary Translation Expert
WorldLit Translations
  • Provided high-quality, culturally adapted translations for over 40 novels and literary texts, broadening the market reach of several award-winning authors.
  • Fostered partnerships with publishers to ensure translation nuances were preserved, resulting in positive reviews from literary critics for maintaining the original tones and styles.
  • Spearheaded a collaborative initiative with other freelance translators to share best practices on literary adaptation, enhancing the overall quality of work within the network.
Work Experience
Legal Translation Consultant
LexisTrans Global
  • Handled sensitive legal document translation for corporate mergers and acquisitions, playing a pivotal role in the facilitation of international deals and agreements.
  • Ensured zero-error tolerance in translations of contracts and legal correspondences by implementing rigorous quality control procedures, safeguarding clients against potential legal issues.
  • Collaborated with legal teams to develop a comprehensive legal terminology database that significantly expedited the translation process for future projects.
Work Experience
Video Game Localization Specialist
PixelPerfect Localisations
  • Orchestrated the translation and localisation of multiple video games, contributing to a 25% rise in sales in non-English speaking markets.
  • Pioneered the use of AI-assisted translation tools to enhance the speed of localisation without compromising the playful tone and cultural relevance, delighting clients and end-users.
  • Established a robust feedback loop with gaming communities to continually refine translations post-launch, ensuring an immersive and authentic gaming experience for all players.
Work Experience
Medical Translation Services Provider
HealthWords International
  • Delivered accurate and timely medical translations for pharmaceutical companies, contributing to the expedited international release of new drugs and treatments.
  • Coordinated with healthcare professionals to ensure that translations of medical reports and clinical trial data adhered to sector-specific regulatory standards, facilitating smooth operational progress.
  • Conducted in-depth translation reviews and adaptation for patient-facing materials, ensuring comprehension and user-friendliness while maintaining medical accuracy.
Work Experience
Environmental Science Translator
EcoScript Translations
  • Executed a comprehensive translation project for international environmental studies, supporting advocacy groups in disseminating critical research to diverse audiences worldwide.
  • Actively participated in workshops to align translation practices with the evolving terminology of climate science, underpinning efforts to convey urgency and accuracy in global communications.
  • Championed the adoption of eco-friendly work practices within the freelance translator community, reducing paper usage by digitising the majority of the translation process.
Work Experience
Marketing Translation Professional
BrandBridge Linguistics
  • Facilitated cross-cultural communication for international marketing campaigns, adapting branding messages that resonated with new markets and increased brand visibility by 35%.
  • Utilised cutting-edge localisation software to maintain brand voice consistency across multiple languages and platforms, driving a cohesive global marketing strategy.
  • Empowered client decision-making with clear, concise translations of market analysis reports, enabling them to capitalise on emerging market trends and opportunities.

How to ensure your freelance translator CV stands out when you have no experience

This part of our step-by-step guide will help you substitute your experience section by helping you spotlight your skill set. First off, your ability to land your first job will depend on the time you take to assess precisely how you match the job requirements. Whether that's via your relevant education and courses, skill set, or any potential extracurricular activities. Next:

  • Systematise your CV so that it spotlights your most relevant experience (whether that's your education or volunteer work) towards the top;
  • Focus recruiters' attention to your transferrable skill set and in particular how your personality would be the perfect fit for the role;
  • Consider how your current background has helped you build your technological understanding - whether you've created projects in your free time or as part of your uni degree;
  • Ensure you've expanded on your teamwork capabilities with any relevant internships, part-time roles, or projects you've participated in the past.
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If applicable, briefly mention a situation where things didn’t go as planned and what you learned from it, demonstrating your ability to learn and adapt.

Mix and match hard and soft skills across your freelance translator CV

Your skill set play an equally valid role as your experience to your application. That is because recruiters are looking for both:

Are you wondering how you should include both hard and soft skills across your freelance translator CV? Use the:

  • skills section to list between ten and twelve technologies that are part of the job requirement (and that you're capable to use);
  • strengths and achievements section to detail how you've used particular hard and soft skills that led to great results for you at work;
  • summary or objective to spotlight up to three skills that are crucial for the role and how they've helped you optimise your work processes.

One final note - when writing about the skills you have, make sure to match them exactly as they are written in the job ad. Take this precautionary measure to ensure your CV passes the Applicant Tracker System (ATS) assessment.

Top skills for your freelance translator CV:

Linguistic proficiency in source and target languages

Translation and localisation

Knowledge of translation software tools

Cultural intelligence and cultural references understanding

Terminology research skills

Proofreading and editing skills

Subject matter expertise in relevant fields

Time management and meeting deadlines

Transcription abilities

SEO and keyword integration for web translation


Attention to detail

Critical thinking



Client relationship management

Communication skills

Reliability and punctuality

Continuous learning and self-development

Negotiation skills

Teamwork and collaboration

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If there's a noticeable gap in your skillset for the role you're applying for, mention any steps you're taking to acquire these skills, such as online courses or self-study.

Your university degree and certificates: an integral part of your freelance translator CV

Let's take you back to your uni days and decide what information will be relevant for your freelance translator CV. Once more, when discussing your higher education, select only information that is pertinent to the job (e.g. degrees and projects in the same industry, etc.). Ultimately, you should:

  • List only your higher education degrees, alongside start and graduation dates, and the university name;
  • Include that you obtained a first degree for diplomas that are relevant to the role, and you believe will impress recruiters;
  • Showcase relevant coursework, projects, or publications, if you happen to have less experience or will need to fill in gaps in your professional history.
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If there's a noticeable gap in your skillset for the role you're applying for, mention any steps you're taking to acquire these skills, such as online courses or self-study.

Key takeaways

Here are five things you need to remember about writing your freelance translator CV for success:

  • Sort your experience based on the reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent career items, to showcase how you've grown your career;
  • Include within your CV header your relevant contact details, a headline that could spotlight your unique value, and a photo - if you're applying for roles outside the UK or US;
  • Decide to use the CV summary, if you happen to have more professional experience, and an objective, if you want to showcase your career goals;
  • Within the experience section, write your bullets using action verbs, skills, and success, instead of just merely listing your on-the-job responsibilities;
  • Prove your technical skills, using your education and certificates, and your soft skills, with your achievements and strengths sections.

Looking to build your own Freelance Translator CV?

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Freelance Translator CVs:

Q: Should I include my non-translation work experience on my CV?

A: If your non-translation work experience is relevant to the Freelance Translator role, such as experience in a particular industry, include it on your CV.

Q: How important is it to include language proficiency levels on my CV?

A: It's crucial to include proficiency levels for each language on your CV to demonstrate your capabilities and to meet client expectations.

Q: Should I include my rates or pricing on my CV?

A: Unless specifically requested by a client, avoid including rates or pricing on your CV. This information can be discussed in the negotiation process.