Translating Applications: Do it yourself or ask the professionals?
Whether you’ve just graduated from university, completed vocational training, or have already been exploring the job market for a few years: it is becoming more and more common for people to start searching for job opportunities abroad. In order to do this, you need to attract your future employer’s attention from afar – and this means creating a flawless version of your application documents in the appropriate language. After all, your covering letter, CV, degree certificates and references come together to form your personal business card, which is the first step towards your professional future abroad.
It is hard enough putting together an application in your native language, let alone a foreign one. You need to leave behind a positive, competent and lasting impression in just a few sentences. First impressions count! Therefore, it is vital that your documents are translated perfectly.
Lara Maroccini, one of lingoking’s specialist German<>English translators, says, ‘In the wake of globalisation, the world is moving closer and closer together – it is as if we live in a global village. The job market has also become extremely internationalised. Companies are increasingly relying on foreign employees, as they know that their intercultural knowledge and linguistic capabilities are invaluable. Therefore, it is extremely important for every applicant who wishes to work abroad or for a foreign company to leave a lasting first impression.”
There are some important aspects to consider. Only those who offer an appealing, linguistically correct and interesting application are going to be the ones celebrating that invitation to a job interview.
Translating your application documents by yourself – finding help on the web
If you are a fluent speaker of the language in which you need your documents, then you are almost certainly thinking about translating them by yourself. You most likely also know somebody who is qualified and willing to lend a hand with either the translation or proofreading process. Websites like linguee.com, leo.org or dict.cc are also reliable online word references, available to help in many languages. Linguee even offers help with collocations and phrases – however, watch out for the translations marked with a yellow exclamation mark. This highlights that correctness cannot be guaranteed!
An example of creating an application in a foreign language: what to watch out for when translating into English
Do you want to translate your application documents by yourself, but you’re not sure what to look out for? Don’t panic! We have created a short guide to demonstrate what to look out for when translating your documents into a foreign language. Here are a few country-specific tips and text examples to writing an application in the English-speaking world.
- The ‘covering letter’ (UK English) or ‘cover letter’ (US English) should not ramble on, and should be no longer than one page of writing.
- Contact details: in the head of the letter, on the right or left-hand side above the text, give your contact details including address, telephone number, email address etc. On the left-hand side put the name and address of the recipient.
- Salutation: instead of some of the more formal addresses in other languages, in English use the more personal ‘Dear Mr/Mrs XY’. Try to avoid impersonal addresses like ‘Sir or Madam’. Make the effort and find out the appropriate contact partner, which demonstrates your motivation.
- There are small differences between the way dates are written in UK and US English. The date can be written on the right or left-hand side, and in UK English reads ’10 August 2016’, and in US English ‘August 10, 2016’. (For a full guide to differences between UK and US English, please see here.
- The subject of the letter follows the salutation, although this is optional.
- The standard font of choice is Arial or Times New Roman. The smallest font size that should be used is size 10, to ensure good readability.
- It is most important for the covering letter to be well-structured. English-speaking countries really focus on the main part of the letter, whereby they describe their educational and professional background. A confident, dynamic style of writing that describes your successes through key words like ‘established’, ‘launched’ or ‘acquired’ is the key to a good letter, and is something that every employer wants to read.
- Before you conclude the covering letter, make it very clear that you would like the opportunity to have a face-to-face job interview. Take an assertive approach and say that you will call them within the next few days to discuss your application further.
- The appropriate closing salutation at the end of the covering letter is ‘yours sincerely’ or ‘respectfully yours’, and a personal signature follows.
- Enclosed documents: underneath your signature, write ‘enc.’ which is short for ‘enclosure’. This indicates to the recipient that your covering letter is accompanied by a copy of your CV. Make a note that in the UK and USA, no school reports or certificates are enclosed, merely the CV.
- Make sure that you get a native speaker to proofread your translated covering letter for you! Ensure that they look out for both orthographical and grammatical mistakes.
Here is an example covering letter including a CV for you to use as reference.
For help localising your CV into English, please see our ‘Localising CVs in English-speaking Countries’ guide here.
Transcripts and Diplomas
For help translating your transcript or diploma, please see our page that covers this area specifically:
There are lots of different things to look out for in every language – make sure you thoroughly research each language’s application expectations and norms so that you’re translated application does not contain any howling errors!
Getting your application documents professionally translated.
If you want to avoid risking unnecessary mistakes in your application, or you need your documents translated ASAP to make an application deadline, then we recommend that you get your application documents translated by a professional translator.
If this is the case, then lingoking is here to help. lingoking has professional and accredited translators in over 80 language combinations that are there to lend a hand. It doesn’t matter if you just need a covering letter or your entire professional portfolio translated: we can assign you with the right person to translate your confidential documents. All lingoking language service providers sign a strict confidentiality agreement, so you can be sure that all of your documents are in safe hands.
Translating your application documents with lingoking – easy, professional and customer-friendly
If you would like to get your application documents translated by a professional translator, lingoking can make this as easy as possible for you. When discussing the advantages of a professionally translated application, Maroccini says, ‘the application portfolio acts as a kind of business card for the employer, and therefore it needs to be professionally designed. In this respect, a translation carried out by a professional and qualified translator can make a huge difference. Thanks to the translator’s mastery of both languages and their impeccable knowledge, they provide valuable support for your successful entry into the foreign labour market.’
Your advantages at a glance
- lingoking can translate your application documents no matter where you are: it doesn’t matter where you live – whether it’s London, Berlin, Paris, Rome or Stockholm – you simply send us the documents that you want translated by email or via our online marketplace. There, you can pick the appropriate order option and within a short period of time you will receive a free, tailor-made and non-binding offer. As soon as you confirm this order, one of our translators can begin translating your documents. The final translation will be sent to you via email immediately upon its completion – or if you so wish – by post. We also offer an express translation service!
- lingoking will deliver your translated application documents to the highest quality: since we exclusively assign translators who are certified native speakers and who are experts in one or more subject area, we are able to offer our customers the highest of quality standards – regardless of field or profession. With a crowd of more than 5,100 language service providers to choose from, our project managers are guaranteed to find the perfect translator to match your needs. Quality is one of lingoking’s main priorities. Therefore, we are DIN EN ISO 17100 certified, adhering to the international quality standard for translation services (Register No. 7U443).
- Applications can be translated with or without accreditation: lingoking also employs sworn translators, which means that we can offer notarised translations on request. The notarised translation will then be sent to you by post.
- Your application will be handled discreetly and privately. All translators at lingoking are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement. What does this mean for our customers? It means that everything you entrust with our employees is subject to a strict non-disclosure agreement.
At lingoking, every customer has their own personal contact partner who is always available to answer any questions and who will look after you throughout the duration of your project. ‘Today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to protect personal data and information. It happens far too often that personal information is unwillingly published or disclosed. lingoking is a reliable company that strongly values its non-disclosure agreement and the private sphere of its customers. lingoking undertakes all possible measures to professionally translate documents whilst simultaneously protecting their private contents. Whether you need your CV, a medical report or marriage certificate translated, you can always be sure that at lingoking, your documents are in good and ‘silent’ hands,’ stresses translator Maroccini.