Employers still appreciate applicants who send in a cover letter alongside their resumes. Most of them see the effort of writing the cover letter as a strong desire to work for the company.
According to a 2009 study, 56% of recruiters value applications with cover letters.
But just writing the letter isn’t enough.
How you prepare it as an interpreter tells the hiring manager how well you’ll do the job. It allows you to introduce yourself and explain why you want to join the organization.
The letter can also provide context for your qualifications and achievements.
The interpreter cover letter traditionally accompanies the resume and formally introduces you to the HR manager.
Why is the Cover Letter Important?
Reading a resume is like going through an applicant's profile while reading the cover letter is like hearing from the candidate.
The cover letter also supplements the function of the resume by to increasinge your chances of success. It does that in the following ways:
- Creates a First Impression
The cover letter is an opportunity to create a great first impression on with the recruiter. And as you know, few things capture attention as fast as a good first impression.
When your cover letter is well-written and highlights your skills and strengths as an interpreter, you're positioning yourself to stand out.
You can use it to market your skills well enough to make the hiring manager want to see more of you.
- Shows Personality
The cover letter allows you to demonstrate your personality traits in ways you can't in the resume.
This way, the hiring manager will be able to understand your motivations and get a sense of who you are.
You can talk about how your personal qualities have proved helpful throughout your professional career.
You'll become more memorable after showcasing your personality through the cover letter.
- Elaborates on Your Skills
Your resume normally restricts you to outlineing your skills in a list format. Most recruiters see those lists as mere claims that they must verify.
The letter offers you an opportunity to elaborate on your translation skills. How you communicate your motivations, skills, and goals tells the recruiter if you have the qualities to handle the job.
Executing the cover letter the right way convinces the recruiter a step further that you have the skills required for the job.
- Exhibits Your Passion for the Position
Writing a well-detailed interpreter cover letter that shows an in-depth understanding of the company tells the recruiter you mean business. Showcasing your profound understanding of the role will also let the hiring manager know how seriously you'll take the job.
You also have the opportunity to exhibit your passion by tying it directly to your success. Explaining what drives you and how the company culture meets those factors will convince the recruiter about your enthusiasm for the new role.
How to Write an Interpreter Cover Letter
Now that you understand the reasons for writing a great cover letter, let's get down to the main business.
From writing your contact information to choosing a closing salutation, there are different ways to write the letter. We'll show you the best ways to implement each section.
You’ll also get an interpreter cover letter example after every explanation.
You should add your contact address underneath your name at the top of your cover letter. It should be similar to your resume header. The contact information should include:
- Your city
- Phone number
- LinkedIn profile link
- Portfolio or website
You don’t necessarily have to add your house address to the cover letter unless the recruiters explicitly ask for it. Your city is fine.
Ensure your cover letter bears the same contact information across your resume and cover letter.
Tips on your email address:
- Use an email address that contains your first and last name and sounds professional. Don't use email addresses like email@example.com.
- Use an email from a trusted provider like Yahoo or Gmail. You can also use your business or personal domain email if you have one.
- Avoid using your current work email address. It's unprofessional and disrespectful to your potential future and current employers and may make you lose out on the job.
536, 11th Road Lane, Los Angeles, California 1313
Addressing the Hiring Manager
Underneath your header, add the date, followed by the address of the hiring manager you’re writing to.
The address should start with the person’s name or job position. Use their job title if you don’t know their name.
After that, start the letter by addressing the manager by name using a standard salutation. Ensure you use the relevant title. It could be Mr, Ms, or their professional title such as Dr.
Note: Avoid using greetings like “Dear Madam," "Dear sir," or “To whom it may concern.” These salutations are out of date.
Even if you’re tempted to use those outdated salutations because you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, don’t.
There are steps you can take to find information about the company’s hiring manager:
- Head to LinkedIn: Companies have LinkedIn profiles, with information about their staff. So, search for the company on LinkedIn and go to the “People” section.
- Company Website: You can head to the company's official website and check the "Our people" or "Meet the team" page. You can also check out the "About us" page.
- HR Department: You can contact the company's HR department to ask for the name of the hiring manager.
Using their names proves you've done your research. It also triggers an emotional response as studies have shown that some areas in the brain are activated whenever we hear our names or that of others.
You still have to do your research to confirm whether you should use their first or last name when addressing them. If you're writing to a company with a more relaxed and casual culture (their social media activity should give you an idea), then you can go with their first names. If it's a more corporate environment, however, use their last name.
If you still can't find the hiring manager's name after going through those steps, you can greet them using their job title.
For example, you can address them as:
- Dear hiring manager
- Dear recruitment head
- Dear recruitment manager
- Dear head of recruitment
Start with a Catchy Paragraph
How you start the cover letter sets the tone for the entire letter.
Your first paragraph will either invite the recruiter to continue reading or send them away.
You have to write it in a way that it hooks the hiring manager's attention and leads them to the rest of the letter.
The beginning of the cover letter should have useful information such as:
- How you learned about the opening
- The job position
- The name of the company
- Your profession
The opening paragraph should also express your interest in the position.
You should also use a direct tone and focus on the company's needs. Depending on your career position, you can base the paragraph on your passion or use it to showcase your experience and expertise.
Let's show you some examples:
Example 1 - for an experienced interpreter:
I've always dreamt of working with Giant Consultants and was excited to see your LinkedIn job listing for the position of senior Interpreter. I am fluent in written and verbal English, French, and Spanish. I have 6 years of experience as a medical interpreter and have interpreted in 700+ medical consultations. I am confident my skills and experience will boost the team's productivity at Giant.
Example 2 - for a fresh graduate looking to land their first job:
I was thrilled to hear from my college roommate about the opening for the junior interpreter role at Headstars Limited. I graduated top of my class with the highest honors in Translation Studies at Harvard University. I am fluent in French, English, and Mandarin. I interned at the French embassy where my interpretation and translation skills proved valuable in translating texts and interpreting in high-stakes meetings. I believe that, with my burning desire to excel, I'll bring a lot of value and energy to the Headstars team.
Show How Your Skills Bring Value
So, you've mentioned your skills and highlighted some of the things that make you outstanding. You've told the hiring manager you'll be a blessing to their team.
Now they're eager to know how those skills will bring the value you've promised. Your second paragraph offers you that opportunity.
This time, you'll be using your work history and skills to show them you are what they need.
You should market yourself as best as you can, using relevant information that talks about what the company needs.
This way, you'll be showing the recruiter that you're confident about the promises you've made because you've achieved similar success.
Now, let's show you the suitable second paragraphs for the examples above statements:
During my time at MirrorVoice Consulting, I trained 20 junior interpreters and successfully saw them transition to senior roles. Our goal was to expand the team to take on more clients in the medical industry. Before my promotion to the role of supervisor, I have been was the firm's lead interpreter at different institutions, across different countries for 3 years. My stellar work record earned me the promotion to supervisor.
I improved intern-level translation and interpretation accuracy by 34% during my first month at the embassy. I was also employee of the month two times in a row. My excellent work saw me gain promotion to regular staff and I was offered the assistant chief interpreter position.
Talk More About Your Success
Going further with your third paragraph, you can showcase the impact of your previous work. If you received positive feedback or any form of reward for exemplary work, you can add it to the letter.
Here are the examples:
The institutions, where I was the lead interpreter, all saw improved doctor-patient communication by at least 75%. Also, MirrorVoice was able to expand its clientele by 28% through referrals from institutions where I was placed.
In my third week at the embassy, we received 450 pages of diplomatic documents that required immediate translation. TI and the rest of the team and I had to pull overtime hours to get every word translated. We completed the translation with an error rate of 0.02%. The ambassador commended our resilience and pointed out that my research skills proved valuable to the team’s success.
State How Your Experience Makes You the Right Person for the Job
You've showcased how your skills and experience prove you're the right candidate for the position. Now's it's time to remind the recruiter that these skills are directly connected to the company's needs.
Remember that the recruiter is only willing to hire a candidate they believe will most likely fulfill the requirements of the interpreter position. So, you have to remind them that you're that candidate.
You can point back to what was mentioned in the job description and link it to the work history you've elaborated on.
Given my proven track record, leadership skills, acute attention to detail, critical thinking, and communication skills, I believe I am an ideal Giant material who'll easily integrate with the team and start producing immediate results. I can work and adapt to different environments, as traveling is one of my greatest hobbies.
Your job description mentioned you need a quick learner who can work with a team. I believe I'm the perfect fit for the role because I have shown that I work well with teams and can pick up your company's culture and work ethic fast. I am confident that my exemplary attention to detail, proven track record of fast-paced growth and improvement, interpersonal skills, and exceptional knowledge of French, English, and Mandarin will make me a long-term asset for Headstars Limited.
Close Your Letter the Right Way
Yes, the recruiter wants to hire someone who has the skills and experience to succeed in the interpreter role.
That said, they also want to employ a professional who'll be happy to work with them.
They want to see that you'll find working with the company enjoyable and rewarding. That way, they'll be confident they're hiring you long-term.
Your closing paragraph should restate your excitement to work with the firm and your passion for interpreting.
Showing your passion and enthusiasm is all the more important when writing a cover letter for a junior role or entry-level position.
So, here are the examples:
Giant Consulting's slogan, "Accuracy is truth" sums up my core values and principles. I know the company is looking to bolster its ranks with established interpreters. That is why I'm the perfect match for the position. I want to build a lasting future with a company whose visions and values align with mine.
I would be happy to hear from you regarding the next steps of my application, and I'm eager to start using my expertise to help the company meet its obligations.
I'm excited about the prospect of working with Headstars Limited. I believe the current opening is the best opportunity for me to fulfill a lifelong dream of pursuing a career as an interpreter with your organization. I admire your lead interpreters and have looked up to many of them since my college days. That's why I can't wait to join the team and begin my journey.
Thank you for reviewing my application. I look forward to your call in the near future.
Wrap Up with a Formal Salutation
Finally, end your letter with a professional closing greeting. While you can use the standard "Sincerely" closing salutation, you can go for others such as:
- Kind regards,
- Yours truly,
- Best regards,
- Best wishes,
- Thank you,
Pointers for Writing an Effective Interpreter Cover Letter
You can use the examples above to form an interpreter cover letter template to write a great cover letter. But you can add your own tweaks to make your cover letter mirror your personality even better.
However, there are certain tenets that you must follow regardless of your variation in writing style. Let's walk you through them.
- White Space is Sacred
Recruiters always scan through application documents to find what they're looking for. So, you must make sure your cover letter is scannable.
To do that, use lots of white space. That means using fewer sentences per paragraph.
This style of writing makes your text readable and helps the hiring manager locate the information they want to find.
Once they find it, they can continue reading your letter.
- Always Go Straight to the Point
You don't have the luxury of using superfluous words and over explaining because:
- Your cover letter must be one page long and you don't have a lot of space.
- Recruiters won't hesitate to toss out your application if they can't get your message after two sentences.
- Dancing around ideas and not going straight to the point isn't a good look on an interpreter.
So, use as few words as possible to convey a message. If you can remove a word or phrase from a sentence without jeopardizing the message, get rid of that word or phrase.
Going straight to the point allows you to add more skills and details about your experience.
- Use Only Relevant Information
Never add any message or story that doesn't add value to your application.
Since you're talking about your history as an interpreter, there's no point narrating how you saved a web design business in the past.
So stick to accounts and details that show the recruiter you're the right applicant for the role.
As the example above showed, if the recruiter is looking for a promising young interpreter, tell them how you've grown in a short time.
- Your Cover Letter Must Complement Your Resume
Most times, the recruiter opens your cover letter to see how you articulate the skills and experiences that caught their eye in your resume.
They may want to see brief details about the time you spent at your previous workplace. They may also be on the lookout for practical examples about some of your listed skills.
Imagine their disappointment if they find details about completely different things.
So, ensure your cover letter elaborates on your:
- Motivation and goals
- Professional experience
- Educational background
Note that if you're an experienced professional, you don't necessarily have to talk about your educational background.
You can put your resume beside you as you whip up your cover letter. This way, you get to pick points that you can elaborate on.
- Proofread Multiple Times
Mistakes such as grammar and spelling errors on your cover letter can ruin mar your application. Since the Interpreter role demands that you be detail-oriented, having one or more errors in your letter tells the recruiter the opposite about you.
So, after completing the letter, read it again, then read it aloud. You can also tell your colleagues or peers to read the letter to you.
- Ensure You Use Verifiable Information
You're likely out of the race for the job if the recruiter realizes or suspects you're lying.
You can't blame hiring managers for wanting to hire only honest interpreters.
So, if you're narrating any story from your past work, make sure you recount the situation accurately.
This way, you won't get blindsided during an interview, especially when asked a behavioral question that requires using the STAR technique.
Conclusion and Main Takeaways
That’s how to write a cover letter that captures a recruiter’s attention. Remember to use lots of white space, elaborate on the skills on your resume, and tell the recruiter how your skills and experience fit the interpreter role at their company.
You can check out our cover letter here.
HR content specialist
Sam M. Dike
Sam is a HR content specialist. He enjoys sharing career advice and helping professionals land the right jobs. You`ll always find him conquering quests in video games when he`s not writing about human resources.