Instead of presenting yourself as a potential employee and future part of a company you are applying for, you present yourself as a separate business, individual contractor.
Logo / Brand
First of all you may already have your business name which is not necessarily your name and surname. This can be used to present your CV and cover letter on a letter-headed paper with your company’s logo, slogan and contact information.
Even though you may apply for a particular job, mentioning your relevant specializations and services will almost never be superfluous. The client may never ask you to provide any other service than the one he requested, but knowing that you are an expert in the field can help him to choose you as a service provider. Informing your client about the range of your services may work for you when he after all decides to use someone’s services and will already have your information on file. Providing such information can also set you client thinking of employing your services even though he may never thought about this before. For example some web-design clients often ask me for translation when I mention my translation services.
Client list is freelancer’s short portfolio. Very often the most effective one. Of course potential clients will want to check the quality of your work, but still a list of well-known international clients in your CV is so impressive.
It’s necessary to mention here, that confidential clients or project should never be disclosed, though inquiring your confidential client about the possibility of indirect mentioning their project in your CV can be helpful.
Recent or major projects
Show your recent (if they correctly represent your overall work) or major (if you didn’t have any significant projects lately) projects in you CV. Apart from the client list and description of your services providing “what you can do” information, description of your completed project will show “what you already successfully did”.
There are also some supporting materials that are sometimes useful, required or unwanted depending on each separate situation.
There are two options:
1. Create offline portfolio (*.doc, *.pdf, etc.)
- it’s better to have it anyway, updating it regularly, as sometimes clients request samples of previous translations to be sent via e-mail along with CV and cover letter
- some clients prefer not to visit any external links as your freelance profile or website but have all necessary information at hand
2. Create online portfolio (personal website, profile on freelance specialized websites, etc.)
- personal website often creates impression of serious and credible specialist behind it
- while visiting your online portfolio client may visit other pages containing additional information about you and your services
Create an easy to read and appealing text briefly outlining your services and benefits of working with you. Work on presenting all this information in a visually competitive layout either on your own or with the help of external designer or company.
And some more tips:
1. Update your CV after each job that in one way or another can be reflected in it.
2. Review your CV before sending it for a particular job: it may need to be rearranged to emphasize your strengths relative to the nature of the job.
3. Keep irrelevant information out of your CV: if it doesn’t add up to your experience and skills required for a particular job, it will only dissipate attention from the most advantageous information in your CV.
At the end I would like to say that good and even perfect CV and cover letter can not guarantee a job, but as well as any other promotional materials it helps to stand out among other freelancers offering their services.
I would be glad to receive any comments and suggestions to my e-mail: Natalie@translation-navigator.com