People the world over are losing their jobs because of this pandemic. Some of these jobs will come back; many are gone forever. Add to that the fact that many who have never done so before are now working from home – a new set of challenges for them, to be certain. For these people, the “new normal” of work will be very different.
There is still great news for those in the language services industry. We are in an industry where remote work has been “normal” for many years. The only exceptions, of course, are when on-site translators or interpreters are required, and language service professionals are usually employed on-site. Even then, however, video technology has allowed many of these pros to work remotely.
And here is another piece of good news. Recently, language service providers have experienced an uptick in demand, especially in healthcare, e-commerce and educational technology. Consider, for example, just the fact that consumers the world over have increased their online purchasing and will probably continue to do so even as restrictions ease. E-commerce companies will be looking for localization services to capture this expanded customer base.
The demand for language services will probably increase in other sectors too as the world begins to open for business again. If you have expertise in any of these high-demand areas and you’re seeking a new position, then it is time to revisit your resume and see how it should be remodeled to present yourself as an ideal candidate.
Here are five tips to keep in mind as you craft your revised resume:
Use the Right Format
Resumes come in two formats: chronological or functional. Chronological lists employment and/or freelance work/projects in time order, starting with the current or most recent employment. This format may work for some industry professionals, such as those applying for permanent employment in response to a business posting.
But for most of us in this industry, the functional resume is better. It focuses on our language specialties, the sectors in which we have expertise, our cultural knowledge and experience with various tech tools.
As you look at potential opportunities, see how you can focus on these two formats and craft your resume with those sub-headings rather than a timeline.
Quantify Your Successes with Facts
When you begin revising your resume, you should list your successes performing services for individuals, businesses, or as a freelancer working with translation services, for example:
- Did you get localized website content up and running successfully that met or exceeded the client’s deadline?
- Were you able to translate documents that were ultimately acceptable to foreign court systems?
- Were you able to take an urgent order and meet its deadline?
- Have you translated treatment protocols for a health care provider that provided perfect details for his peers in other languages?
- Did you introduce a process improvement that had a positive impact on a project or program, such as a faster delivery or lower costs?
You may not have a lot of “data,” but you can provide details of your successes, and these do matter.
If you have had a lot of successes, you might want to consider creating an online portfolio that provides more detail than a resume. You can provide a link to that portfolio within your resume. But you must also remember to respect your clients. Some may not want their names published. Get their consent or explain your accomplishment without naming names.
Speak to Important and Large Projects
Many potential clients want to know that you have the ability to take on large and complex projects over a period of time. This speaks to your perseverance and reliability. Cite these projects and your successful completion according to the client’s timeline.
For example, if one area of your expertise is in e-learning, did you get course curriculum content translated for successful use by foreign-speaking students? Have you translated an entire employee policy manual to perfection? These are big accomplishments that take far more time than simple document translation and can become key inclusions if you decide to have a portfolio.
Think About Crafting a Resume Overview
This is not the same as a cover letter. A cover letter focuses on the employer and how you can meet their needs – not yours – and your resume should focus on accomplishments that meet the employer’s needs too.
A resume overview can be a separate document, preferably no more than half a page, or added to the beginning of your resume. This very short summary highlights your specific skills and experience that directly relate to that employer’s open position. It is meant to motivate the reader to look at your resume because you seem to have what they need. In short, you present your strengths up front and explain why you are the perfect candidate.
You will also want to include keywords or phrases that were in the position posting because most industries use digital scanners, and language services companies are no exception.
The benefits of a resume overview are as follows:
- You will be noticed faster and get more attention than a candidate who does not have one.
- You can enumerate your qualifications and skills up front rather than “force” the recipient to read your entire resume and see if you really fit their needs.
Choosing Between a Summary and an Objective
At the top of a resume, candidates have a choice. They can choose to compose a short career objective detailing what they want to do and be with the skills and talents they have acquired. Or they can write a summary with a couple short sentences to highlight their skills and background. Making this decision will probably depend on the amount of experience you have in the language services industry.
If you are “long” on educational background and certifications, but short on experience, you will probably want to use career objective statements.
If you are “long” on experience, you will want to use the career summary option.
The most important thing to remember, no matter whether you choose the objective or the summary, is that this is not all about you. If you focus on what you want, you will turn off a potential client or employer. The focus must be on their needs for the open position and how you can meet them. Get the “I” out of everything and the “you” into everything.
Bonus Tip – Get Some Help
Resumes have changed over the years and you may not be up to date on many of the creative and format designs that will capture and engage a reader. It may be time to work with a resume specialist who can take your information and translate it into a document that will draw attention and be competitive. Check out the resume writing services at Studicus or Trust My Paper, or look for resume writing specialists/agencies that have great portfolios themselves.
You are in a great position during this pandemic. Your skills are still in demand, and, in some areas, that demand is increasing. You have the ability and the experience to work remotely. Now it’s time to craft a resume that shows exactly how you can meet today’s new hiring demands.
Bridgette Hernandez is a freelancer with the resume and CV writing services of BestEssayEducation, Wow Grade, and Supreme Dissertations, as well as a freelance resume creator for private clients. When not on the job, she can be found supporting educational causes for children in developing countries.