Profiles in Courage: How to Showcase Yourself to Get More Clients and More Jobs

These days, freelancers have plenty of sites where they can look for work. And if you sign up on SmartCAT, translation work can find you automatically! Getting those first jobs from a new client is harder when you have an empty profile, however. So what we advise is to take a minute and learn how a properly completed profile, combined with a well-done portfolio, can get clients to beat a path to your door.

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Here are two common mistakes: a freelancer details their work experience and uploads a comprehensive portfolio, but uses an alias instead of their real name. Meanwhile, other freelancers fill in contact information and leave all the other fields empty. Neither of these strategies is a winning one.

First and last name. Be sure to indicate your real first and last name in your profile. First of all, most companies want to work with a known quantity, not an anonymous shadow. Anonymity weakens trust and breeds suspicion—will the freelancer truly take responsibility for the quality of their work? Secondly, nicknames are no longer en vogue online in professional contexts (or Facebook, for that matter).

Photo. Statistics show that LinkedIn profiles with a photo receive 7 times more views than their photo-less counterparts.

Like a house that’s on sale, the assumption is that if there’s no photo, something’s wrong,

says Nicole Williams, LinkedIn Career Expert. A photo profile instantly earns more trust from clients, who appreciate the assurance provided by this information.

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But why do I need to put my face online if I’m a (written) translator and don’t interact with the client in person?

Clients don’t care how you look, but they do like to see who it is they’re dealing with.

And at risk of stating the obvious, stick with professional, work-friendly photos. Leave the party photos, I’m-in-a-funny-hat photos, and me-with-my-cats photos for your friends on social networks. Your profile is all about showing you in a professional light. Portrait photos are best.

Language pair. Indicate which language pairs you work in. Don’t forget to be specific about locales: the difference between Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain) or Spanish (Argentina) can be a significant one.

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Service type. In SmartCAT, you can select the services that you specialize in and are willing to offer:

  • Translation – No explanation needed, we think.
  • Editing – The editor corrects errors of meaning and style, verifies term use, cross-checks the translation with the original, and makes sure that the text reads smoothly and consistently.The best editors are experts in a particular field or subject area. So if you are claiming that you are ready to edit technical manuals for industrial equipment, for example, you should indicate your relevant education and work experience.
  • Proofreading – A final check of the translation. The proofreader checks spelling and punctuation, and makes sure that no text has been skipped.
  • Post-editing Editing of a machine translation to bring it up to the necessary quality standard. Post-editors focus above all on syntactic errors and words that have been misunderstood by the machine translation engine.

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Specializations. Be selective. If a client is looking for an art specialist, the choice is more likely to go to a translator who has indicated “painting” and “architecture” in their profile than to one who claims to be an expert in 20 seemingly random subject areas.

Try to list fields that logically relate to each other.

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Location and contact information. The contact information in a translator’s SmartCAT profile is visible only to technical support. But we still recommend keeping this information current. The email address or phone number that you indicate will be used to send job offers to you – so if you want jobs, it’s better to be able to respond without delay.

Your country, city and time zone help the client to know when to expect a reply from you by email and when to call you if needed.

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