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How to write a good translation job offer?

[This article was written by my colleague Solène Binet as part of the collective La Linguistiquerie. If you’d like to read more articles written by her, you can visit her LinkedIn profile here.]

So you have just decided to launch one or several translations projects. Congratulations! You are now entering the wonderful world of translation job offers! Did I say « wonderful »? For us at La Linguistiquerie, recruiting translators is just natural: we know what to ask for, what to look for, and who could be the best fit.

If you don’t know anything about translation, this might become a real ordeal for you and your team. But don’t panic yet! We are here to help you understand how to write the translation job offer that will help you find the perfect match.

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* First of all, write the language pair you need for the job IN THE TITLE.

If you write in English and need a French version, the job title should be « English to French translator », clearly indicating the source language (English) and the target language (French). Why? Because when candidates go job hunting, they look for the languages they work with and won’t necessarily click on your ad if they don’t see their language pairs mentioned. If they do click on it and the languages are not the right ones, they will feel like they lost their time reading a job offer that doesn’t match their qualifications.

Looking for several different languages? You have several options:

  • You can write a general job offer stating you are looking for several profiles and list them in the ad. For example: an English to Spanish translator, a Swedish and Norwegian to French translator, etc. This can be useful if you aim to build a team who will work together with the same clients, or if the candidates will have the same mission, but work on different languages.
  • You can write a job ad for each role you want to recruit, especially if the mission, location, or requirements are different.

* Indicate whether it is a FREELANCE position or not. This is the second most important point when writing your job ad. Are you looking for a freelance translator for punctual missions, or a staff member who will work on all projects on a full-time basis? The job ad will be built differently depending on your answer:

  • For a freelance job, you will need to indicate your budget (if you already have one) or ask the freelancer to provide their usual rates. Please, PLEASE, don’t ask them to give their « best rates« ! It doesn’t mean anything to us and is perceived as « you will pick the least expensive candidate », which is often a no-go for most professional translators.
  • For a staff member, indicate the salary range, location, possibility of part-time or full-time remote work where applicable, and any other benefits.

If you are looking for interns, state it in the title as well, so candidates know straight away if your ad matches their search.

* Clearly detail JOB REQUIREMENTS.

Does the candidate need to have a Bachelor or a Master’s degree? In what field (translation, interpreting, or any other specific area of expertise)?

Do they need to know how to use CAT tools? If so, which ones? And how about other tools, like Office suites, project management softwares, CRM?

What specialities do they need to have? As you might know, each translator specialises in certain fields, or at least has domains they feel more comfortable translating. If this is an important aspect of your texts (e.g. your content is technical), you should select someone familiar with your field.

* Treat translators as the PROFESSIONALS they are.

Most of us have studied for a long time to acquire the skills and knowledge we have. It is often frustrating and sometimes hurtful to be considered as second-class workers, whose role is not essential.

Even the smallest language job, which might seem insignificant for you, requires skills and experience. As we often say, it takes me 5 minutes to do this task because I studied for years to be able to do this in 5 minutes.

Don’t underestimate the amount of work needed for the position. Translation isn’t just knowing a foreign language: it involves cultural understanding, project management, teamwork, and sometimes technical skills (e.g. IT) as well.

In other words, translation is a set of skills that can significantly impact the perception of the whole company, so it must be treated as a critical role by you and your team.

* Be PRECISE on what you are expecting from candidates.

List all the tasks and missions linked to the role. Candidates must know what will be expected of them, whom they will refer to, who their colleagues will be, and where they will be working.

Translators like precision, so don’t hesitate to give them an extensive list. This way, candidates will be aware of « where they are heading » and know whether they are fit for the job.

If you keep these elements in mind, you will have all you need to write a translation job offer that candidates will understand and reply to with precision and, above all, you will be able to tell who is right for you a lot more quickly and easily.

Still need help with your translation project? La Linguistiquerie can guide you in the definition of your project and, of course, translate your text!

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