How Do You Become a Translator After Military Service?

TranslatorMany military translators often wonder if they can become a translator after military service. While serving your country through military service is a noble sacrifice, the transition to a civilian career can be challenging. Below explains how to successfully become a translator after completing military service.

Military Translation

Every military branch needs translators. For example, the Army utilizes translators to perform nontechnical translations in the field. They help military contractors with local purchases and work at traffic control points. Army translators provide linguistic support to different operations, such as medical support, VIP escorts, negotiations and training. On the other hand, military translators also serve in command and administration centers to analyze foreign military intelligence. For example, a Cryptologic Language Analyst (CLA) decodes foreign language messages and submits the intelligence up the chain of command. They use voice and graphic communications equipment to conduct frequency search projects and intercept foreign communications.

Resume Adjustments

Even though military service members have excellent experience, their skills and competencies often do not translate well into a normal civilian resume. That is, many veterans often use a military style resume with unfamiliar terminology and content. Therefore, veterans must adapt their resume to reflect current business employment standards. They can accomplish this through translating their marketable skills and expertise into a business format. For instance, an ex military translator, who had worked overseas in a hostile area, could document that they successfully worked in a stressful and demanding work environment while maintaining accuracy, quality and professionalism. For veterans who worked in intelligence, they should take advantage of the fact that their linguistic training, technical background and work experience are superior to any corresponding civilian position, according to Military.com. Veterans can translate their military linguistic skills to the civilian equivalent on their Website.

Application Adjustments

When filling out applications, candidates are expected to answer open ended questions concerning their skills, experience and background. For example, applications often ask candidates to explain their understanding of diversity, experience with computers and communication skills. Military veterans have all of these experiences and much more. Regarding diversity, veterans have worked with individuals from every possible background and often have international experience. Most veterans will have experience with advanced software, computers and equipment that have civilian counterparts. The military subculture is full of many different types of personalities and structures. Veterans have excellent experience dealing with “office politics” and using their interpersonal skills to overcome military bureaucracy.

Create a Portfolio

Civilian translators often work as freelancers, so they must have an effective portfolio. A veteran should be no different and create an impressive linguistic portfolio that highlights their unique competencies and knowledge. Therefore, veterans should create a general portfolio that showcases their documented abilities and experiences by categories. For example, the veteran can group translations according to source language, which is good for target language jobs, and services, such as subtitling or translating. Another possible category is specializations, such as logistics, contracts or negotiations. Veterans can also create different portfolios according to their target job or industry. Regardless of choice, customized portfolios will enable the veteran to easily apply to different jobs. Veterans can find more helpful career tips at the Department of Labor’s (DOL) website.

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In short, veterans can easily become a translator after military service through following three simple steps. They should revise and de-militarize their resume content and format. They should also carefully translate their experiences and core competencies when completing applications. Finally, they should create multiple translator portfolios. Following these three tips will help any veteran become a translator after military service.