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  • Writer's pictureAlfonso De Luca

Insights for Applying to Translation Agencies

Well. Now that you have a good resume, why don't you make use of some tips on how to look for companies on the web? In particular, we're talking about the language industry ones.


20 years or so from now, LSPs (language service providers) started popping up like mushrooms. Nowadays, there are a lot more possibilities for various professions on the Internet, and applying to as many agencies as possible as a freelance translator (within each person's specializations and skills) is the way to go.


I'll offer my point of view on the situation and tell you what works for me.



An Insight into the Agency


Some agencies are generalists. They work in a lot of different fields, language pairs, and maybe even very different levels of skills in terms of their linguist pool. Some specialize in only one or a few fields, with fewer language pairs. Or have a more 'close' approach in terms of team working.


It's no secret (no more, at least!) that some game localization agencies operate via 'unconventional' communication tools such as Discord - more on that in a future post.


Website and marketing-focused clients which prefer Slack may also encourage a focused approach to collaboration and push their own content for you to translate. They usually have internal linguists, but they might require freelancers for market expansion reasons.


Good Ol' Email... Bad Form


That said, the standard for first contact is via email, which you can typically get from their website. Just make sure to use the correct one to send your email, in case they have more than one.


Some companies might want to ease the recruiting process on their side, especially if they receive many applications, possibly in various fields, not only language-related. In that case, you'll have to fill out one of those infamous forms via the website or any wizard procedure they have in place so that they can pre-screen you. Just make sure you fill in all the information correctly and truthfully. Some forms are longer than others, some are more complex.


But I Can’t Find the Email Address!


If you're sure that the agency is still in business, and they hire translators, you can go to hunter.io and search the company email. Just copy the URL of the company page and paste it on the search bar of Hunter's Domain Search. Hit Enter and here you go - the agency email list will appear. You usually need to get in touch with the ones under 'job', 'hr', 'recruitment', or something general. So, copy-paste that email and send it using your favorite email client - I suggest Gmail.


Happy Short Story: Keeping Applying Matters


In any case, if the agency is interested and needs you, they'll get back to you, sooner or later. For instance, last month I was contacted back by an agency I applied to one year ago. And it turned out their proposal was even better than my initial one last year (when I also had less experience in terms of negotiation).


Why did they get back? The agency didn't need me at that time, but they found my application interesting, or it got stored in their linguist database. They filtered it and picked me when they received a proposal from a client for which they were lacking resources.


This teaches us that nobody is interested in wasting anyone's time. Recruiters aren't ignoring your application because they are mean or ruthless. They're human beings. Just like you and me. So don't feel discouraged when you don't receive a reply. Keep applying.

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