Maximizing Your Chances of Getting Hired for Translator Jobs Online

In modern times, translator jobs are becoming increasingly popular. With the prominence of freelancing websites, many translators have turned to offering their translation services via the internet, and this trend only continues to grow.
Rodrigo Demetrio
5 min
Table of Contents

In modern times, translator jobs are becoming increasingly popular. With the prominence of freelancing websites, many translators have turned to offering their translation services via the internet, and this trend only continues to grow.

But, can anyone start earning money as an online translator? Well, if you speak at least two languages fluently, you're already halfway there.

Today we will discuss how you can use your language skills to earn money, all while working from the comfort of your home. Let's dive in!

Can You Make a Living as a Freelance Translator

The short answer is: Yes, of course.

Any company aspiring to reach the global marketplace is bound to require translation services sooner or later. Additionally, many companies and individuals within the translation industry outsource their work to freelance translators. The conclusion: people need translators.

Just think about it. If you couldn't make a living as a freelance translator, there wouldn't be freelance translators.

Like anything else, it will take some time to build up a strong portfolio and acquire high-paying clients. However, once you get the momentum going, the money will follow. As you get better, there is nothing stopping you from starting your own translation company.

Benefits of Working as a Freelance Translator

Being able to work remotely is the biggest benefit of being a freelance translator. This comes with plenty of perks, the most notable ones being the freedom to:

  • Work while traveling - All you need is your computer and access to the internet.
  • Be your own boss - How you schedule your work hours is entirely up to you.
  • Improve at your own pace - Progressively take on more difficult projects.
  • Interact with clients - Speaking to clients directly will improve your communication and sales skills.

Furthermore, An often overlooked benefit of freelance translation jobs is the opportunity to learn. When you're starting out, you will be tasked with translating material from a variety of industries. This will give you valuable insight into the world of business and life in general.

How to Find Freelance Translator Jobs

The best way to find work as a freelance translator is by signing up for a freelancing platform while simultaneously building your personal brand and reaching out to potential clients.

Joining a popular freelancing network such as Upwork or Fiverr will provide you with a steady flow of job offers to choose from. This will make sure you have a steady income while you improve and build up your professional CV one project at a time.

On the other hand, growing a personal brand on social media platforms such as Instagram or Twitter is just as important.

Let people know who you are and what you do. Building up your reputation as a translator and reaching out to people will help you create a strong network of clients, friends, and colleagues.

Tips for Getting Hired for Freelance Translator Jobs

So, you've decided to start looking for translator jobs. But, how can you improve the probability of actually getting hired? Here are a few things to consider.

Work on Your Language Skills

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it has to be said. Never stop learning.

In a job interview, nothing gives you more negotiating power than competence. This is why it's important to keep honing your skills. Not only does it make you more confident, but it also improves your work efficiency and increases payoff.

With that said, there are plenty of ways to improve as a translator. Some of the best methods are:

  • Read books in both your native and target language
  • Interact with a native speaker of the language you're translating to
  • Do practice sessions in your free time
  • Analyze already-translated content
  • Cross-reference specialized dictionaries

Get a Professional Certificate

One of the best ways to get more freelance translator jobs is by becoming a certified translator. Having a professional certificate as proof of your ability will set you apart from other people when applying for translation jobs.

What credential you go for will depend on your language pair, area of expertise, and region. As an example, the ATA certification is the most respected proof of translation competency in the U.S.

You might wonder what would make you a qualified candidate for a professional certificate. An avid online novel reader would be a good example of someone who is ready to have their translation skills certified and become a professional.

Carefully Choose Your Niche

A niche is a specialized segment of the market in a given industry. In other words, it would be your "field of expertise". To give an example, your niche could be translating fitness books from French to German, or translating podcast content from Japanese to English.

Honing your skills in a specific niche allows you to build a reputation as an expert in that particular area. Consequently, this will help you reach high-paying, and is always better than being an all-rounder.

Now, the question is: How do you choose a niche?

A great place to start is with something you already have a personal interest in. If you like watching fitness videos, start translating fitness content. Playing to your strengths is always a good idea and will help you progress much faster.

Prepare a Portfolio

Having an impressive portfolio is a must when it comes to landing high-paying translator jobs. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't just about having a list of projects you've worked on. A well-designed portfolio:

  • Shows professionalism
  • Communicates both confidence and competence
  • Makes you more memorable in the eyes of your employers

When it comes to language jobs, clients are looking for reliability above all else. They need to know that, if they hire you, they will never have to worry about missing a deadline or go-live event.

A strong portfolio should show companies and individuals that you can be trusted with their translations. With that in mind, don't be afraid to invest a few days into making yours truly eye-grabbing.

Use Translation Tools

Regardless of what kind of work you do, always strive to make your workflow faster, easier, and more productive.

The equation is simple: The faster you work, the more work you can do. The more work you do, the more money you make.

Having the right set of tools in your inventory is the best way to achieve this. Familiarize yourself with machine translation and translation memory software, as well as text editors and quality control tools.

Furthermore, find ways to automate any repetitive task. By doing this, your mind only expends energy on things that actually require creativity and critical thinking. As a result, you optimize your work process allowing you to work less and earn more.

Closing Thoughts

Now that we've gone over the entire process of becoming a freelance translator, all that's left is for you to take the first step.

Our advice is: don't overthink it. There will always be difficulties. Focus on taking action as soon as possible, and tackle the problems as they come along. With a bit of persistence, you will find yourself showered with more job offers than you can handle.

Good luck!

Rodrigo Demetrio
Steering the marketing ship at Bureau Works with 17+ years of MarTech under my belt, I transform mere ideas into tangible realities. Passionate about languages and their power to build bridges, let's build a new one?
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