Recognizing the telltale signs of a good translator is essential when recruiting a freelancer. Selecting the correct person will save you a huge amount of time and hassle in the long run, as it will avoid poor quality work and unhappy clients.
Here are some of the main points to look out for.
CV and Cover Letter
First impressions are paramount. CVs and cover letters tell you a lot about writing skills and should be well-written and faultless. If a freelance translator hasn’t taken the time to ensure this, then you simply can’t trust their skill.
As well as spelling, punctuation, grammar and structure, you should also be looking for excellent content. If the translator is replying to an advertisement, then all the required information should be covered. Have they taken the time to research your company and include relevant references to it? Above all, it needs to be original enough for you to be sure that it hasn’t been copied and pasted from stock examples online.
Look candidates up on social media. Translators should keep their social media platforms up-to-date and professional looking. A high-quality photo is a great first impression and completed profiles should give an idea of their experience and activity.
Referring to social media should be done even before contacting a translator. A stagnant, badly created social media platform may indicate that the freelancer is not as immersed in the industry as you would like. Are they worth taking the time to contact?
Once a translator has passed the CV, cover letter and social media checks, put their communication skills to the test. When you contact them for a quote or to ask questions after receiving their CV, they must respond in a timely manner. Taking too long may mean that you have to chase them on work deadlines.
Do their replies indicate that they understand what your project is about? Do they ask the right questions, showing that they know what a translation project involves? Even better if these questions make you think of issues you didn´t anticipate.
These are the basic telltale signs of recognizing a good freelance translator to work with in your agency. Each one is a minimum requirement. If a translator fails on any of the above points, you need to keep looking.