Lesson 52: Visual CV for translation: do we need it?

Lesson 52: Visual CV for translation: do we need it?

I often get asked how to make a CV stand out from the crowd of other applications. And I always say to get some basics things right (have a look here), including the headline, profile, or some data-heavy bits. But I know sometimes it’s not enough. That’s why I think visual CV can be useful, definitely when you want to catch some direct clients.

The biggest advantage of having a visual CV for translation is that you can highlight your experience and achievements much easier. They also have the benefit of being innovative and are much more personalised. You don’t need much more to stand out! So have a look at a few options of getting a visual CV.

1. Get it designed

It’s the most expensive and time-consuming option, but hey, have a look here: http://pinterest.com/webrecruit/visual-cv-gallery/. Aren’t they just amazing? And you don’t have to be a graphic designer to use one. Copywriters and editors use them, too.

(One of our colleagues on the Facebook page, Fátima López Sevilla, brought this post – Thanks, Leon – to my attention, where a great example of a translator using a visual CV is used. In Spanish, though)


2. Turn it into an infographic

The more adventurous translators and interpreters may want to try turning their CV into an infographic. In here: http://visual.ly/nurses-how-do-they-do-it you can have a look at what I’m talking about. This one talks about nurses, but why not come up with something similar about your own translation business? If you like one of their designs, you can get in touch with the author and work on visualising your CV.

3. Vizualize.me

This tool is free and allows you to turn your LinkedIn data into a visual CV. Like mine in here: http://vizualize.me/mstelmaszak?r=mstelmaszak (and you can even add a badge to your website!). What I like about it is that I can customise the background and the colours, and I think experience looks much better, too. And the map of languages you cover is brilliant in our profession!

4. Seelio.com

This is a startup for “student builders and doers”, but I’m currently looking at its potential to showcase our experience. Seelio.com allows you to put up projects you’ve worked on online and add some details about them. I think it would be great to put some projects up there and link to them from my CV.

5. About.me

Here’s another useful tool, and you may appreciate it even more if you don’t have your own website (yet). About.me allows you to upload some details about you and keep them online. Here’s how Valeria Aliperta uses it: http://about.me/RainyLondon. Looks cool!

What do you think? Are you going to try getting some new clients with a visual CV?


  1. Lucy , on Feb 26, 2013 at 15:53 Reply

    Hi Marta,
    Thank you very much for your great post about translators’ CVs (another one). I was actually planning to redesign and refresh my CV to start and explore new marketing leads so it gives interesting ideas. I especially love the visualize.me tool. I think it is important for us (translators) to be innovative to stand out.

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Mar 1, 2013 at 21:24 Reply

      Hi Lucy,
      Thank you very much for your comment. Exactly! Coming up with new ideas is something that makes us stand out.

  2. Carolyn Yohn , on Feb 26, 2013 at 19:14 Reply

    The map of languages covered is amazing! I work with French, but some of my favorite projects have come from African sources—Cameroon, Morocco, etc. Will definitely have to work on adding this to my own web presence… Thanks!

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Mar 1, 2013 at 21:24 Reply

      You’re welcome, Carolyn! I think it’s quite a good idea, too.

  3. Hi Marta,
    This was a great read! I never would have thought to use a visual CV! The closest I’ve gotten to having something like that in my own experience is a well designed personal website so I do see how a visual CV would give an applicant a HUGE edge over the competition. One thing to remember, however, is to make sure the writing is clean and legible – after all that is what the employer is looking at at the end of the day.

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Mar 1, 2013 at 21:23 Reply

      Thanks for your comment! Spot on – the text is what matters above all, right?

  4. Sarah , on Feb 26, 2013 at 21:21 Reply

    Thanks for this unique post, Marta. You have some very interesting ideas. However, I don’t think translators need a visual CV. I could see it being important in other professions, such as graphic design, but as translators our words should speak for themselves. Unless, of course, we are planning on marketing our desk-top publishing and design services as well.

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Mar 1, 2013 at 21:22 Reply

      Hi Sarah,
      Some time after you commented, I added an example of how translators can do it – it’s in the main body now. What do you think?

  5. Foteini , on Feb 27, 2013 at 08:53 Reply

    Great ideas, I will definitely check them out and choose one of them -or more 🙂
    A visual cv is a great way to distinguish yourself from the crowd or even just remind your clients and/or contacts about you and your work…

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Mar 1, 2013 at 21:21 Reply

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad that you found some new ideas here 🙂

  6. Diana Coada , on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:01 Reply

    I love the visualise.me tool. Can it be ”integrated” with our websites so our CVs get the same colours and feel? Or does it only connect to LinkedIn?

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Mar 1, 2013 at 21:21 Reply

      You can certainly change the colours and backgrounds, so I guess you can personalise it!

  7. Muhammad Salman Riaz , on Feb 27, 2013 at 22:02 Reply

    A useful and informative piece of writing! Thank you for sharing!!!

    Innovative and distinctive measures are key to success. This post certainly has given me some good ideas as to how to be innovative in my field and thus improve my online professional visibility.

    Thanks again!

  8. TransAndLoc , on Feb 28, 2013 at 10:28 Reply

    We love this post. When we select new providers we pay attention to this:
    1. professional experience in the field.
    2. well-written resume.
    3. the resume looks great.

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Mar 1, 2013 at 21:19 Reply

      Thanks for your insights! It’s good to know you pay attention to the design as well.

  9. Sarah , on Mar 1, 2013 at 18:00 Reply

    Hi Marta,
    Thanks a lot for the lessons, they are great!
    When I saw the following article I couldn’t help thinking of your article.
    I think it provides some more illustrations to your words:

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Mar 1, 2013 at 21:18 Reply

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying our lessons. Great inspiration in the article.

  10. Patricia , on Mar 2, 2013 at 10:54 Reply

    Hi Marta, this post is so great! My CV is certainly a bore… I will definetely take a look. Another good option for a “micro-web” is flavors.me.
    Regars from Madrid

  11. Gio Lester , on Mar 4, 2013 at 22:18 Reply

    Great pointers. Now I have to update my marketing presentation some more :o)

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Mar 11, 2013 at 11:52 Reply

      There’s always something we can update.. Never-ending story!

  12. ILIYANA GEORGIEVA PINKNEY , on Apr 19, 2015 at 19:43 Reply

    Hi Marta,
    Thank you very much for your interesting ideas. I think your idea is amazing. I liked the map of languages, different font and design of your link! However, I think that everyone professional need visual CV. Also translators need a visual CV too. My CV is very colourful and attractive. Every year I redesign my CV, because every year I have new achievements.
    Kind regards,

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on May 14, 2015 at 17:15 Reply

      Thank you for commenting, I’m sure your CV is great 🙂

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