When you’re applying for a job, you should always submit the resume in an employer’s native language. In other cases, non-English native companies may require English resumes in order to check your communication skills in English.
In both cases, the translation of your resume has to be impeccable. Having even the tiniest mistake in your CV will signal that you don’t pay attention to detail and that you didn’t put in a lot of time and effort into the task.
In this article, we’re bringing you 6 important tips for getting a perfect resume translation:
1. Beware the Dangers of DIY Translations
Many job-seekers decide to take the matter into their own hands and try to translate their resume themselves. When doing this, they take advantage of machine translation tools such as Google Translate and enter some of the phrases contained in their CV’s source language.
First of all, its important to note that you should always avoid computer translation tools if you want a professional and perfect translation. If you use Google Translate, a native speaker will quickly tell the difference and you will give off a very unprofessional vibe.
If you think you speak the target language relatively well and believe you can translate your resume yourself, make sure you find native proofreaders that will check the text for fluency afterwards.
2. Hire Experts to Do it for You
The easiest way to achieve a perfect resume translation is to hire experts who have years of experience in the field. Here are some of the best services that you can use to get your CV translated quickly and professionally:
● Studicus – a writing service that can help you craft an epic CV
● WowGrade – a writer and translator platform that can help you translate your resume to
● Upwork – a freelancer database where you can find native speakers of all languages
● ResumeCoach – an online CV editor tool
3. Don’t Just Translate – Localize
Many people think translation and localization are synonyms, but localization actually implies a broader set of actions that adapt a text to the target audience.
In other words, translation of a resume would mean transferring the meaning of a text from one language into another. Localization, in this case, would mean that you also adapt the date format, currencies, job titles, etc. to the target culture.
Having a localized resume will show that you have respect towards the culture and attention to detail. The opposite can have a detrimental impact on your job application, as it may seem that you don’t have a good grip on the differences between your culture and theirs.
4. Be Culturally Sensitive
When you’re localizing a job resume, you have to keep in mind that different cultures have different approaches to work and the hiring process. What might seem as proactive and direct in one culture can easily come off as aggressive in another.
For example, asking about a person’s employment gap or why they got fired from their last job is a taboo question in some cultures. In Western culture, this is a perfectly acceptable question that’s often used to determine how the candidate responds to pressure.
That’s why you should do prior research on how exactly the application process looks like in the foreign country that you are applying to. Once you get a handle on it, you can tailor the phrases and the concept of your resume to give you the best chances of getting hired.
5. Don’t Translate Word for Word
Usually, resumes and CVs are full of phrases and idioms such as “team spirit“, “go-getter attitude“, “flexible and adaptable“ and similar. These are often phrases that make sense as idioms but can turn out to be quite goofy if you translate them word by word.
Try finding an equivalent idiom or phrase in the target language. If you can't find it or it doesn’t exist, simply remove it or explain it in other words.
The important thing about translating a CV into another language is for the wording to remain natural and fluent. One of the main cornerstones of fluency is a person’s grasp of the languages idioms. Therefore – whatever you do, don't use an idiom from the source language, thinking it will go unnoticed.
It’s better to remove the phrase altogether than to include something that’s going to look awkward in the target language.
“One of the most fascinating thing about languages is that there’s almost always an equivalent for a phrase in another language. It may be radically different in wording, but it portrays the same thing. For me, it’s a sign that we're not so different after all“, says Cece Hamilton, a writer and translator at TrustMyPaper.
6. Check, check, check!
The ultimate advice for a flawless resume translation is to perform proofreading, checking and editing on multiple fronts.
First, you can start with a basic proofreading check with an online tool like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. However, if you really want to make sure your writing is flawless, you shouldn’t rely solely on this source.
After you have made the preliminary check with online tools, you can ask a local native speaker for help. This will usually not set you back as much as translation because proofreading takes much less time and effort.
If you really want to play it safe, you can have your resume checked by more people.
Investing time, effort and resources in having a perfect resume translation is definitely worth it. By showing your potential employer that you’re willing to go the extra mile and submit a translation in a non-native language, you will show that you’re motivated, ambitious and resourceful.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to perform multiple checks of your final translations, either using online tools or with the help of native speakers (editors).
If you hire an agency or an expert freelancer to do it for you, they will usually provide their own proofreading service before they submit their final translation. In this case, you will have to invest a bit more resources, but you will surely get a flawless translation of a resume.