How to write a translator CV (with template and example)

Updated 13 April 2023

Working as a translator is a specialised role that requires a number of core skills to effectively translate content from one language to another. If you're interested in working as a translator, knowing how to write a translator CV can help you to get an employer's attention. Recruiters look for candidates with strong language competency, cultural awareness and a range of other useful skills. In this article, we outline how to write a compelling translator CV and include a template and example for you to use to create your own translator CV.

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What does a translator do?

A translator is a specialist role that involves translating content, such as audio, speech or written work, from one language into another. The role requires a deep understanding of different languages and the cultures surrounding them to accurately translate content. A great deal of a translator's work involves conveying specific cultural expressions from one language to another, so a strong understanding of language and how it's used is essential.

Many translators use specialist translation software to assist them on a daily basis, though they still rely on their own expertise to ensure the tone is correct. Working as a translator requires strong attention to detail, patience and a good understanding of source material to accurately convey the sentiments and tonality of content between languages. They often work in political or scientific settings and deal with sensitive content.

Related: 151 CV words to enhance your application (and pass the ATS)

How to write a translator CV

Knowing how to write a translator CV can help you to secure a job. Follow the steps below to write your own translator CV:

1. Get the format right

Presenting your CV in the correct format makes navigating through the CV much easier. This means the person reading it is more likely to read the whole way through. The role of a translator relates to clarity, so employers expect their CVs to be easy to read and free of mistakes. Ensure that you use a formal font that's legible, such as Arial or Times New Roman. These are the most important elements to include in the CV:

  • contact information

  • professional summary

  • skills

  • experience

  • education

  • language proficiency

  • additional sections, such as professional memberships

Related: 90 of the best CV buzzwords to make your CV stand out

2. Include a professional profile or summary

The professional profile, sometimes known as a profile summary, is a brief outline of why you're suitable for the role that you're applying for. Try to encapsulate your translation skills, qualifications and experience in a few brief sentences. Below are a few tips to help you create a compelling, concise CV profile:

  • use the job description to tailor your CV profile so that aligns with the role and its requirements

  • keep it brief and to the point and aim for around five to 10 lines of text at the most

  • use simple language and avoid using clichéd terms and loading the article up with buzzwords

  • rely on facts and don't embellish your CV

Related: How to write a profile summary in your CV: a guide

3. Create a skills section

The skills section is a good way to demonstrate your abilities in relation to the role you're applying for. As before, use the job description to guide this and try to align your skills with what they're asking for in a candidate. Try to include both hard and soft skills to showcase your strengths as a translator. Below is a summary of some invaluable translator skills to consider adding:

  • strong verbal and non-verbal communication

  • initiative and self-management

  • teamwork and collaborative skills

  • copywriting and copyediting

  • cultural awareness

  • problem-solving

  • simultaneous and consecutive interpretation skills

  • analytical skills

  • time management

  • critical thinking

Related: Translator Skills: Definitions and Examples

4. Create an experience section

The experience section outlines your work history, specifically in roles that align with translation. It's a good idea to start with your most recent employment before working backwards. Include the position you worked, the company you worked for, the location and the dates of your employment there. List a few bullet points for each role that outline your key responsibilities and any achievements. If you lack any meaningful translator experience, try to include duties or tasks that align with translation, such as copywriting, copyediting, project management or transcription.

5. Add an education section

Your education section is a chance to summarise your qualifications and education in translation. You should include your most advanced qualifications at the top, then work backwards from there to highlight your education history. For each qualification, include the name of the qualification you earned, where you earned it and the date that you graduated.

6. Create a language proficiency section

As you're applying for roles as a translator, it's important to include a section that outlines your language proficiency. This should be a brief summary of the languages that you're proficient in, with the level of fluency. Start with your most advanced languages before working backwards, and be sure to include any regional variants, particularly if they're relevant to the role.

7. Additional sections to consider

There are a few optional sections that you might want to consider including in your translator CV if they're relevant. Here are some examples:

  • professional memberships

  • licences or certification

  • personal interests and hobbies

  • voluntary work experience

  • professional achievements and accolades

These aren't strictly necessary, but if you have extra room these sections can give recruiters a better idea of what you're able to bring to the role.

Related: What are digital skills and why are they important on a CV?

Template for a translator CV

Below is a template that you can use to guide you through the creation of your own translator CV:

[Your name] [Location] [Telephone number] [Email address]

Professional profile
[Include a brief paragraph that outlines your suitability for the role including core skills and experience]

Core skills
[Include a bulleted list of soft and hard skills]

[Job title] [Company] [Duration of employment]
[Bulleted list of responsibilities and achievements]

[Name of the institution] [Qualification obtained] [Date of graduation]

Language proficiency
[Bulleted list of language pairs with the level of fluency]

Example of a translator CV

Below is an example of a translator CV that you can use to help craft your own:

John Smith| London|Telephone number: 01234-567-891|

Professional profile

I'm an experienced translator with five years of experience in the field of translation. I have strong German-to-English and French-to-English translation skills which I feel are perfectly suited for this role.

Core skills:

  • Strong verbal and non-verbal communication

  • Initiative and self-management

  • Teamwork and collaborative skills

  • Copywriting and copyediting

  • Cultural awareness

  • Problem-solving


Translator|The Translation Station, London|2018–Present

  • Translating in real-time

  • Copywriting

  • Working as part of a dynamic team to complete projects on schedule

  • Developing resources to help improve cultural awareness

Junior Translator ABC Translation Inc, London 2015–2018

  • Translating and transcribing English texts into French texts

  • Updating a style guide for German cultural expressions and other idioms to improve the translation

  • Creating resources for common phrases in German and French for colleagues

  • Supporting training programmes for staff to improve language skills and proficiency in German and French

  • Received ‘Best translator' award in 2017 in recognition of my work on translation resources

Translator internship Business Translation Solutions, London 2014–2015

  • Assisting team leader with the translation of visa applications and travel documents for clients in German and French

  • Working on a large-scale project for translating various travel documents and legal guidelines for French and German languages

  • Learning about business translation while working under the supervision of a mentor

  • Training in real-time translation and transcription in German and French

Education: University of Fluency|2:1, London| 2014

Language proficiency:

  • English: Native speaker with strengths in business language, cultural awareness and colloquialisms

  • German: Fluent speaker with a strong grasp of business language and Bavarian cultural awareness

  • French: Fluent speaker with a moderate grasp of business language and culture

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