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Your clients need you to interpret others, but the best way you can get a job as an interpreter is making sure hiring managers don't need anyone to interpret your resume for them.
In this guide, we'll show you tips and examples to write a great interpreter resume.
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Interpreter Resume Sample
Sara Kizil, Interpreter
Efficient and accurate medical interpreter with 2+ years of experience. Skilled in Spanish, Mandarin, Farsi, and medical terminology. Seeking to improve communication and care at Clinica San Juan. At BronxCare Hospital, served 7,000+ patients in Spanish, Farsi, and Mandarin in two years with zero language barrier issues. Commended by hospital administrator for professionalism and efficiency.
Feb 2017–May 2019
- Served as medical interpreter to 7,000+ patients in busy emergency room.
- Interpreted for patients in Spanish, Farsi, and Mandarin.
- Maintained zero language-barrier rate, thanks to native-speaker-level grasp of all three languages and deep cultural competency.
- Commended by hospital administrator for efficiency and professionalism.
Jan 2016–Feb 2017
- Worked as freelance interpreter for 30+ clients in Mandarin, Farsi, and Spanish.
- Grew client list from 3 to over 30 through robust word-of-mouth.
2008–2012 Clarkson University
BA in Liberal Arts
- Pursued a passion for Spanish and Farsi.
- Vice President, Student International Club.
- CMI Certified in Spanish and Mandarin—NBCMI
- Technical Skills: Spanish, Mandarin, Farsi, medical terminology, cultural competency
- Soft Skills: Interpersonal skills, active listening, communication, accuracy, memory
- Volunteer interpreter 1x per week, Coalition for the Homeless
- Participate in weekly sea kayaking group as self-care and fitness.
Here’s how to write an interpreter resume that gets jobs:
1. Start With the Best Interpreter Resume Format
Interpreters translate speech and written text from one language to another and back again. They work in hospitals, courtrooms, legal firms, businesses, and government agencies. Interpreter resumes must list languages with native-speaker skill level, then prove them with examples of their use.
Garbled resumes for interpreter jobs say almost nothing.
Don’t fudge the layout of your resume.
- Add the right sections on your resume: A. header, B. summary, C. work history, D. education, E. certification, F. skills, G. added sections (more on that in a bit).
- The best header for resumes puts your name in large-point font up top, then title (interpreter). Last, list all your contact details like phone or email and social media.
- You don’t need a full street address on your resume, but do list your city.
- What are the right fonts for resume use? Recruiters like Calibri, Verdana, and Garamond.
Pro Tip: What kind of resume file should you send? MS Word can lose a lot in translation. Stick with PDF interpreter resumes unless the employer warns against them in the ad.
2. Write an Interpreter Resume Objective or Resume Summary
You already know this:
Brevity is the key to effective communication.
It’s the same with business or medical interpreter resumes.
You must convey the 30,000-foot view of your talents in an eyeblink.
Create it with:
- A couple adjectives (efficient, accurate)
- Title (Interpreter)
- Years of experience (2+, 8+)
- Goal (improve communication and care)
- Skills proof & metrics (served 7,000+ patients in 2 years)
An entry-level interpreter should write a career objective in a resume. That’s also an elevator speech, but it goes heavy on goals, skills, and accomplishments from other jobs.
For instance, you worked as a fast food cook and interpreted frequently for patrons and waitstaff.
Pro Tip: How long should a resume be for interpreter positions? A single sheet is perfect. If you’ve been at it eight years or more, you can stretch the point.
3. Translate Your Resume to the Interpreter Job Description
“Let’s definitely interview her.”
Your goal is to get the hiring team to say those words.
You can do it if you know how to write experience in a resume for interpreter jobs.
Here’s how to tailor your resume to a specific job so they realize you’re a match:
- Pick the right job title for your work history. If they’re looking for a “Medical Interpreter” and you were a “Hospital Interpreter,” it’s okay to reword it.
- Choose some achievements for your resume that show your skills. Example: they need Mandarin and you write, “interpreted for 2,000+ patients in Mandarin.”
Pro Tip: Words are you canvas, so don’t skimp. Write with resume verbs that prove your mettle, like served, interpreted, maintained, commended, worked, grew.
4. Fine-Tune Your Interpreter Resume Education Section
There’s one little-known way to get the job.
It’s in your education resume section.
Most interpreters have a bachelor’s degree.
So—list your school name, then degree & dates.
But here’s the part that gets attention:
Put some interpreter skills proof in your education, too.
Example: They need someone with cultural competence in Cantonese and you spent a semester in Hong Kong.
Pro Tip: You don’t need GPA in a medical interpreter resume. If it’s high, it helps to show it. If it’s recent, you sort of have to show it. If not, cut it free.
5. List Interpreter Skills in Your Resume
Use these resume skills for interpreter jobs.
Interpreter Resume Skills
Show your technical ability with these skills:
- Languages (Spanish, Farsi, French, German, Mandarin, Arabic, Hindi, etc.)
- Computer skills
- Medical terminology
- Industry-specific terminology
- Cultural competency
- Note taking
- Phone skills
...then add soft skills:
- Interpersonal skills
- Active listening
- Spoken and written communication
- Memory retention
- Clear speech
- Organizational skills
- Stress management
- Time management
Pro Tip: What are soft vs hard skills in a resume for interpreter jobs? Soft skills are part of who you are. Hard skills are technical abilities you’ve learned that help you do the job.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.
6. Add “Other” Sections to Your Interpreter Resume
They want to hire a person—not use Google Translate.
That means you need to show your depth.
Do it with “bonus” sections in your interpreter resume.
Pick a couple from this list:
- Freelance work
- Associations like NAI
- Volunteer experience
- Personal projects
- Certifications like a CMI from NBCMI
- Honors, awards
- Conferences, particularly if you spoke at them
- Continuing education classes
- Commendations from superiors
- Interests and hobbies
Pro Tip: You know to list languages on a resume for interpreter jobs. But make sure you clearly
7. Send a Cover Letter With Your Interpreter Resume
“Should i write a cover letter for my interpreter resume?”
Every single time.
But a covering letter can’t be like all the rest.
- Write in the proper job cover letter format. (That’s the 3-paragraph style.)
- Make your cover letter opening lines pop. Put something in them that will impress recruiters. Example: “I’ve wanted to work at BronxCare since I was nine...”
- In your cover letter’s 2nd paragraph, show some ways you match the role.
- How to finish a cover letter: request an interview, and show they’ll get something out of it. Example: “I’d be glad to discuss how I maintained a zero-misunderstanding rate.”
How long should a cover letter be? Half a page works best.
Write a follow up email after each job application. Once a week is the right frequency.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
That’s how to write an interpreter resume for court, medical and many other interpreting jobs.
What’s the most eye-catching thing about your resume for interpreter jobs? What do you love most about interpreter work? Give us a shout in the comments. We’d love to talk!
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