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  • Jasmine Heesaker

Updated: May 25, 2020

4 templates I wish I knew about when I was starting out as a freelance translator

Add these free templates to your freelance translation toolkit! You can thank me later.

  1. Email Signature Template

Since freelance translators mainly communicate through email, it is a great idea to add a professional email signature to the bottom of all of your correspondence. It will make you look more professional and potential, existing and brand new clients will have easy access to the information that matters most. I know that when I started out as a freelance translator, I didn't know where to begin with email signatures. How was I supposed to create one? How do they work? I found a really easy-to-use and customizable set of email signature templates from the Microsoft Outlook website here, that you can use to get started. Remember that the most important things to include in your email signature are: your first and last name, phone number, website URL and links to your social media platforms. Below is a Word doc. with over 20 different templates to choose from.

Email Signatures
Download DOTX • 1.08MB

2. Invoice Template (that calculates totals!)

As a freelance translator, having access to a simple and easy-to-use invoice template will save you loads of time... seeing as any work that you do will need to be invoiced. The invoice template that I once again found on the Microsoft Office website here, is a great place to start. You can easily add in your personal information and then change the amounts (pricing) and client details for each job/agency/client. The invoice comes as an excel spreadsheet but once you input all of your details, you can easily save it as a PDF and send it off to get paid (promptly!). Many clients and agencies have their own specific invoice format that you can easily apply using this template. You can find the template that I first used to get my freelance translation business started below.

Customizable Invoice Template
Download XLSX • 66KB

3. Resume Template

When starting out as a freelance translator, you are going to need a clear and concise resume to send out to potential clients. As a rule of thumb, you should really try and keep your resume to 1 page and make it stand out from the crowd. Insert a photo of yourself (professional, of course), add your business logo and use colour! Try and show your personality through your resume. Many agencies and clients receive tons of resumes each and every day so make yours as attention grabbing as possible. I found a set of unique and modern 1-page resume templates on the Novoresume website here that can be downloaded for free. Tip: keep a PDF and a Word doc. version of your resume on hand at all times and only include the most important information such as: certifications, awards, memberships, education, work experience, CAT tools, specific skills and specializations. I have provided one of my favourite customizable templates for translators below.

Customizable Resume Template
Download DOCX • 49KB

4. Website/Social Media Banner Template

This may sound a little strange, but a nicely designed banner can go a long way. As a freelance translator, your online presence means a lot. I suggest creating a unique banner that you can use on your Facebook page, website, LinkedIn page, Twitter account... you name it! It really adds a professional flare to your business and allows those who you are interacting with online to know what you and your business are all about. The Canva website is great for this. There are tons of free (and paid) templates you can check out here. The website is super easy to use and you can save your work in several different formats. Below is one of my favourite simple and eye-catching banner templates to use. You can really go wild with this and change the colours, add your logo... anything goes. You just want to make sure that you include your name/business name, language combination and what it is you do—simple as that!

Banner Template
Download PDF • 43KB

I hope these templates will help save you some time when building your freelance translation business!

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  • Jasmine Heesaker

October 2019 Edition

October's language news stories were interesting and engaging. A lot of good things are happening to keep Canada's language diversity alive and well.

(Oct 9, 2019)

A Simon Fraser University professor’s decades-long journey to document and preserve British Columbia Indigenous languages and create the partnerships and tools to keep those languages alive is being honoured by Canada’s social sciences research community

(Oct 11, 2019)

A project is underway to help preserve and revitalize the languages of Yukon First Nations, entailing the production of 280 videos recorded in the territory's 14 First Nations.

(Oct 6, 2019)

Cecilia Boyd, host of Tide Gode, CBC's Tlicho-language program, says adults shouldn't be discouraged from learning their language, but it takes work.

(Oct 15, 2019)

The French Language School Board on P.E.I. says it's dealing with a deficit of more than $253,000 from the 2018-19 fiscal year. Talks are underway with the province on required funding and levels of service as enrolment continues to grow.

(Oct 12, 2019)

A school division in northern Saskatchewan is investigating after a staff member says she was told by a principal not to speak Cree.

(Oct 28, 2019)

The Commissioner of Official Languages ​​has ruled that the Canada Post Corporation is not fully respecting the linguistic rights of Francophones by using only an English-language URL for its website.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • Jasmine Heesaker

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

Why having a pet may just be one of the best things for your freelance career.

As I sit by my computer with my two cats sleeping nearby, I can't help but wonder how many other freelancers out there are joined everyday by a "furry" colleague or otherwise. And then it got me thinking about how my day would be a lot harder to get through without them...

Here are 4 reasons why having a pet just might make you a better freelancer:

1. Balance

Whether you have a dog, cat, fish, bird, hamster or snake...whatever it may be, all animals love and appreciate routine. There is nothing quite like begin woken up a 6 AM to a meowing cat or being cuddled off the bed by man's best friend. When your pets expect a certain routine from you, you have to deliver. Pets are the best alarm clocks and reminders. They wake you up every morning to feed them, bug you in the afternoon to walk them or play with them and have you looking forward to the evening when you can cuddle with them. As creatures of habit, our pets can help us fall into a steady daily routine framed by habit, helping to draw the line between when you work and when you play.

2. Excuse for a break

Pets give you an excuse to take a break. Plain and simple. The cat is hungry, the dog is restless, the bird needs playing with, the rabbit needs to be let out, the list could go on. As freelancers, we can often go hours without leaving our computer desk. Pets magically know when it’s time to get up and go out, reminding you that you need to do a little leg-stretching yourself. They give us that push for a much needed break from the computer, which can in turn, improve your overall productivity. I know I magically form new thoughts and get clearer ideas after coming back to my computer after a 30-minute break.

3. Stress relief

It is a well-known fact that animals can help with stress relief. We have all heard about animals being brought into nursing homes and hospitals to help people with numerous things. Increasing self-esteem, reducing feelings of anxiety and isolation and decreasing blood pressure and heart rate are just a few of the benefits of enjoying the companionship of a pet. As freelancers, many of us work from home day in and day out. Having a pet to help pass the day can make all the difference in staying happy and healthy.

4. Curb loneliness

Many freelancers struggle with feelings of loneliness when working from home. Interacting with people over the computer just isn't the same as having them there in person. Pets can help ease loneliness as they are perfectly happy to just hang out and share their lives with us. Having a pet can break up the cycle of the same slog day after day.

Do you have a pet? If so, let me know in the comments below!

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