5 Lessons I Learned From Applying For Translation Jobs Online

What does it take to land a translation job online? Here are some of the things I’ve learned.


  1. As translation agencies and direct clients get bigger so does their time frame sometimes get bigger. I’ve learned that it can take months from the day you apply for a job until the client gets back to you. Then throw in a test plus review of that test, and you’ll have a fantastic opportunity to train your patience 😉 I’ve learned that it’s important that keep marketing yourself although it looks like absolute nothing is happening. Don’t play the waiting game.
  2. A lot of times the timing isn’t right. Someone else might get the job a nanosecond before you apply, or when the client finally decided to get back to you, you may have committed to another job. Lesson learned: Get back on the horse, and market yourself.
  3. Some clients have completely unrealistic expectations regarding price per word. You would either have to translate at a ludicrous speed to be able to have a life besides your translation work, or you would have to work, hmm, let’s say 20 hours a day, permanently.
    Remind me to check back with those clients in a year, and see how that is working out for them. It seems like a very unsustainable situation, and I’ve learned to stick to my rates in order to build a business for the long run.
  4. It seem like translators are divided on the question, whether you should do tests for clients, or not. I’ve learned that for the most part the tests that they use are very doable and don’t take longer than an hour to complete. You could easily spend an hour on getting yourself back and forth for a normal job interview. I would gladly do a test via email, and avoid traffic jams. Sometimes the tests are even interesting texts that will broaden your horizons.
  5. Keeping track of all your marketing efforts is a really good idea, to avoid applying for the same job twice, and to keep focus. What you focus on grows, and you’ll want your marketing efforts to be healthy.
Having your own blog is also a great way to market yourself.

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