Approximately 80% of college students decide to start working before graduating to increase their chances of working once they finish their studies.
Despite the number of students who work, getting a job while you are a student is not so easy, especially if you want to find a job that introduces you to the professional field of the career you are studying.
There are many tips that you can put into practice to get a job where you can exercise your knowledge and that also gives you benefits that go beyond money, such as experience and the development of your network of contacts.
1. Optimize Your CV
The most important asset in getting a job is the resume. Knowing this should make you think about how important it is to dedicate time to perfecting your resume.
What can you include in your resume?
Everything that improves your professional profile, from what you are studying, online courses, to the languages you speak.
It is important that your curriculum is well organized, that it is easy to read, and that you try to use short sentences using simple language.
It is essential that in your resume you highlight the relevant skill according to the job offer.
For example, as a student who wants to be dedicated to translation, if you apply to a vacancy and want to get a job translating manuals from French to English, highlight the employment experiences you have, your certifications of French or English studies, and if you have received training related to technical translation.
2. Perfect Your Profile on Freelance Platforms
Sometimes the reason why you do not get clients is in your own profile. It is common to make mistakes about the information you put there, so you should keep in mind that your profile is your presentation, the first impression that potential clients take. You must optimize it to get the best out of it.
Make sure you specify very well what you study and what type of translation you are interested in dedicating yourself to, it also talks about what types of projects you are capable of carrying out.
Put a profile photo that looks professional and that represents you, fill in each space of information in your profile to convey confidence and that potential clients can know you well.
3. Create a Portfolio Website
If you wonder what a portfolio website is, you should know that it is one of the best tools to make yourself known and improve your professional image.
Just because you are a student does not mean that you cannot project yourself professionally.
If you create a portfolio website, you will not only have a place to show your work experience or projects that you have done for a class, but it will also help you to start forming your professional image, especially if you have your own domain.
By having a portfolio website, employers can observe what you do and it is also a practical way for potential clients to find you on the web.
4. Be Open to Proposals
Even if you are clear about what type of translation you want to do, be open to the opportunities that come your way.
The most important thing at this stage is that you can grow and test different areas, only then will you be really sure of the translation area you would like to work on.
On the other hand, if you are interested in getting a job, you cannot afford to be very selective about vacancies. In any case, you should only reject those that are not compatible with your skills or that are not related to the translation niche.
5. Use Job Platforms
Freelance job platforms are of great help for translation students who are looking for their first clients. In these freelance platforms, you will find a great variety of projects to which you can apply and that are suitable for beginners.
At first, it may seem a bit tedious to do a job search on these websites, but with patience and effort, it will be worth it.
You should take the time to see how each platform works, which are the best freelance websites for beginners, what are its peculiarities, how much job availability there is in your area, and thus start applying for job opportunities.
It is likely that when you join one of these platforms, you will start with jobs that pay less than you expect, but accepting them will be necessary for you to start gaining experience and a good reputation within that platform.
Having a good reputation will help you land other better job opportunities and where you will receive higher pay.
Every day you must be attentive to opportunities, present yourself to potential clients, and keep in mind that there are never too many.
6. Have Adequate Job Expectations
Many students looking for a job are looking for one with good hours and a salary.
However, it should not be forgotten that this first job, like the following ones, must mainly serve to acquire greater learning, develop qualities and abilities and, of course, increase experience in the world of work.
Having the right expectations will help you avoid disappointments and frustrations and to notice those offers that you are overlooking.
If you think there are no job opportunities that fit what you want, it may be because you are not being open with your options.
Staying receptive to offers that come your way will help you find a job faster than you expect.
7. Be Proactive
Finding a job implies moving your CV through all those channels that you have at your fingertips.
From job portals to social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook groups, they can become great allies.
If you keep actively looking for opportunities, the greater the chances that you will soon find a vacancy for you.
You cannot sit back and wait for everything to happen alone, apart from having an attractive CV and participating in job platforms, you must make employers notice that you are willing and that you want an opportunity.
To be successful and achieve your goals, you have to be persistent and not give up in front of the obstacles that arise, your effort will be worth it and it will be rewarded.
8. Stay Up-to-Date With Trends in The Job Market
Currently, there are certain trends in the labor market, certain jobs, specializations, which are much more in demand than other jobs.
Dedicating yourself to studying the labor market and knowing those specializations most demanded by companies will help you focus much more specifically according to the current needs that are in the market.
For example, German and French translators are in high demand, so if you study these languages you can increase your chances of finding a job.
9. Learn Additional Skills
Don’t just settle for your university career if you want to stand out from the broad market of translators.
To dedicate yourself to freelance translation, it will not only help you learn languages and technicalities but how to treat your clients, marketing, how to promote yourself, and of course, other skills related to your niche, such as proofreading.
Clients will always want to work with qualified freelancers, so if you can add more skills to your resume, it will improve your chances of finding work.
10. Ask For Recommendations And Testimonials
Having recommendations and good client testimonials is something that will open the doors for you to find work, but what if you have never worked with clients or with very few?
This is common for students who are just beginning to enter the labor field, but this should not stop anyone.
An alternative to this is that you ask your teachers for a recommendation letter, where they talk about your skills and good character.
You can also collaborate with a foundation or work for a friend or family member, and ask for a recommendation at the end.
These testimonials can be included in your portfolio website or in case they are letters of recommendation, attach them to your CV when necessary.
11. Focus On Your Social Skills
If you still do not have any experience to show, in your CV you can highlight the skills that make you a valuable translator, who although they do not yet have a university degree, is a very competent translator.
Examples of these skills are interpersonal skills, organizational skills, leadership skills, and communication skills.
Focus on your ability to type fast, familiarize yourself with guidelines, be punctual, or meet deadlines.
Make a resume that brims with personality and showcases these competencies in all their work glory.
Aim to show why a certain skill you possess will make it easier for you to do a task or job.
12. Research Potential Clients
Search for companies in which you would like to work and that somehow need your services.
Get to know them, evaluate what needs they have, and address them by showing them how you could help them with what they need or how you can be useful to them.
In your research, you must determine what the target of your client is. Then prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask them to understand their criteria.
It is also essential that you ask yourself questions about that potential client and answer them by putting yourself in their shoes.
Look for people working in those companies, that is how you can establish a connection between you and the business that might be interested in your work.
13. Prepare Yourself For Interviews
Once you have captivated the client with your profile, prepare for a possible interview.
Some clients will settle for reviewing your profile and maybe will make you take a test, but others will want to meet and talk to you. It’s normal to be nervous, but don’t let that get the better of you.
Prepare the answers to the possible questions they will ask you, why do you want to be a translator, why would you like to get that job, what are your skills, among others.
Rehearse these answers with the different languages you speak and you will be prepared to impress employers.
14. Aim To Be An Expert
Make an effort to learn as much as you can about the industry and the job position you are seeking.
This will help you prepare for your career and also connect with other colleagues in your niche.
Using forums and interacting on platforms related to the translation business will help you master your field and become an expert.
Being a fully informed freelancer will help you stand out from the competition and it will help you to distinguish between which job offers are good and which ones are better.
15. Work In Your Network Of Contacts
A good way to get a job is to be recommended by someone or meet a friend of a friend.
For this to happen, you have to create a network of contacts and cultivate it, both online and offline: make sure people know that you are developing a specific career, tell them that you are looking for work and what types of jobs interest you.
You don’t lose anything by letting your acquaintances know what your goals are.
You can also write directly to freelancers who work in your niche to find out if they know of any vacancy, although it is better to work on the relationship before approaching them cold.
16. Promote Your Work Through Social Media
Nowadays, the use of social networks to promote your work and to offer your freelance services is key.
The commercial potential of social platforms to help you find and get clients is excellent, whatever the niche you work in, and even more so when it comes to freelance translation.
If you want to find and get new clients, you must be active on social networks; although it does not mean that you must have a profile in all of them.
To find out which social networks are the most convenient to promote yourself, study the style of customer you want to attract and evaluate on which platforms they are.
Once you decide on the social network, create a fabulous and attractive profile that reflects your personality, show your previous work, post interesting material related to translation or languages, and start to build a name and a reputation on these networks.
With perseverance and some patience, you will see how the first customers will begin to arrive.
17. Connect With People Who Work
The college has a wealth of tools and possibilities that propel you into the world of work.
During your career, for example, you will meet many people who can help you get the jobs you are looking for.
It is important that you try to connect with classmates who already work in a company, as they can guide you to find professional opportunities.
When someone from one of your classes tells you that they work as a translator, don’t be afraid to ask.
You can ask them for advice so that you too can find a job. Besides, you must show yourself as a responsible, proactive, and dedicated person in your studies.
That way you will transmit confidence to other students and teachers, and maybe they can recommend you to their companies.
18. Offer Competitive Prices
You must give clients a reason to hire you, and while your talents are a very good reason, many will be even more encouraged if you offer them prices lower than the competition or the average.
Remember that as a student you do not transmit the same confidence that a professional would, and between hiring a professional and a student who handles the same price, the client will likely decide on the professional.
On the other hand, being a student they can see you as an alternative that should be more economical, so don’t miss that opportunity.
Remember that you not only work for the money but for the experience.
19. Be Persistent
It will likely take many interviews or applications until you finally find a job, so do not be discouraged if the results are not what you expect at the beginning.
The more vacancies you apply to, the more likely you are to find a job. You must be persistent, keep an eye on the progress of the vacancies to which you apply, and refine your proposals or job interviews.
20. Attend Job Fairs Or Networking Events
These job fairs are events where companies get in touch with many students interested in working.
In them, you will be able to present yourself to many employers and also learn about new companies, offers, and job options that you did not know.
There are also other types of encounters that, although they do not specifically address employment, can help you meet people and expand your network of contacts.
Make it your goal to go to all the events you can and so you will benefit a lot, you will not only find out about job offers, but you will make very useful contacts.
21. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the number one social network to find work. Using this platform will take you into the professional world since thousands of people use it to find work and to publish vacancies.
LinkedIn is a perfect place to stay on top of new networking opportunities and events.
Having an active profile on this platform will make potential clients and employers notice your existence, as well as other translators who may sometimes look for a colleague to do joint work.
Besides, here you will find excellent companies and recognized personalities with whom it would be excellent to work.
Keep an Active Search
The job search is something that everyone goes through in their life, but if you learn how to optimize that search, the results will be better.
You must take advantage of all the tools and opportunities that are at your fingertips, work platforms, contacts, social networks, friends, and even your teachers.
Freelance translation is a job niche with high demand and many opportunities, so if you persevere and stay patient, you are on the track to see satisfactory results that will make you grow professionally.