Basic tip(s) to freelance translators applying for jobs with agencies
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Almost every day, I receive emails addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam” from freelance translators applying for a job as a freelance translator, translating into or from other languages than Swedish. This is inevitable a result of someone finding my company information in a database, among many other companies and sending out mass emails to most of them, without checking the company facts. There are many tips and advice for beginning translators out there and this tip that I will be talking about is mentioned in most places, but since I do still receive these emails it is worth repeating. If you are a freelance translator looking for more work with agencies, pay attention to this:

1. An email addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam” is addressed to no one in particular, and will most likely go directly into the trash.

2. Please check the company profile or webpage before sending out unsolicited email. If a company that is only working with certain langauge combinations receives an application for any other language combination, it will go straight to the trash, and you might even risk being labelled as spam.

3. The more you know about the company you send your email to, the better you can adapt your message and the greater the chance that someone will actually read your email.

I am a one person translation company only working with English and Swedish translations in my specialty areas. I do have a network of trusted colleagues that I know well, that I collaborate with on certain projects, but apart from that, I am not working with any other language combinations or freelance translators. This information can all be found on my website. It is no use to send out tons of emails that no one reads, so do your homework before sending them. That said, I wish you all the best in your career.

Swedish Translation Services is a company owned by Tess Whitty, a freelance translator (English-Swedish), proofreader, editor, copy writer, localizer and entrepreneur.


  1. Karen Sexton says:

    Well said! I get so many CVs from translators in language pairs other than the two I work with (English Portuguese)! They are all flagged as spam straight away, because clearly the translator has not checked my company website before sending their CV!

  2. Alina says:

    Ah, the wonderful ‘Dear Sir/Madam’…. We actually have an application form on our website and anyone really interested can easily find it, without recurring to emails beginning with the dreaded expression. How about when after an initial email exchange, where they can see my name in my email address as well as in my signature, they reply with ‘Dear Madam’ or, even worse ‘Dear Sir/Madam’?