Category Archives: Translation Tips

Tips and tricks I have picked up over 20 years of translating and running a translation agency.

Create a Comfortable Working Environment

Set up Your Computer Monitor

If you are one of the fortunate many who can work at home or in some other favourable environment of your choice (at the cottage, on the beach by the ocean, while travelling), it is important to modify your settings to make your work as comfortable as possible.

The first thing to consider is your monitor. If you plan to spend five or more hours a day staring at a computer monitor, you should set it up to go easy on your eyes. Your fingers, eyes and brain are your livelihood, and you would want to avoid any lasting damage, which is possible. The first thing I like to do is to adjust the colours of the monitor so that the background is a dark olive green and the text is a not so bright yellow.

windows-colouring

By default everyone seems to have or choose a white background with black text, because that’s how they are used to looking at printed documents. But it is very impractical, difficult and expensive to print light text on coloured paper, which is why it is as the way it is. So there is no reason why you should have the same on your monitor. I find that the white background glares radiation at me and makes my eyes sore, even leading to a headache, after many hours of working in front of the computer. So go to Start > Control Panel > Display, and play around with the settings until you find something you are comfortable with. And as with anything you accomplish on the computer, make sure you save your settings (called Themes in XP) once finished, in case Windows decides to go berserk, as it occasionally like to, and you find you have to set up everything all over again, and not even find the settings you accomplished before and have grown fondly accustomed to. There will be an advanced tab where you can fine tune the exact colours, creating your own colour pallet. I like to change almost everything, from the size of the icons, the text in boxes, the size of menu bars, and all sorts of things. If you plan to spend countless hours in front of the computer, why not invest a few now to set up your environment so that all those countless hours in the future will be as comfortable as possible? For main text which you stare at while translating, I like to make that fairly large, like size 14 font. In Word you can go to your Normal.dot template file and change the settings so that all new files you create will automatically be formatted in a certain way (page margins, size and type of font etc). The last thing you want to do is squint your eyes staring at a small font, with your neck straining forward while your head is buried in a blaring white screen. If so you will run into back and eye problems, and get a headache. So make sure you set everything up for the greatest comfort, and feel free to improve on this over time.

I also like to make different settings for when I take my laptop to work outside, choosing a light grey background with black text. Just save your settings with different names, so that it is easy to switch back and forth.

And once everything is set up, don’t forget to play around with the monitor’s brightness and contrast settings. At night I like to turn these down. Always keep it at a minimum, so that you can work for longer hours without causing your eyes to hurt or to get a headache.

If you have one of those old, heavy, large and clunky monitors, I’d suggest buying a filter for it. Not super expensive but the amount of time you lose by not being able to stare at the screen anymore could eventually make up for the investment. Ideally, an flat screen LCD panel is good, instead of those old light tube kind, blaring radiation at you. I find an lcd screen much much more friendly to your eyes than those old monitors, even with a filter. You don’t need a big screen, because you can make your text large. But a big screen can come in handy if you are ever translating from the monitor, such as when a customer sends you a .pdf file, as opposed to translating from a printed out document. Heck, you can even get fancy and attach two screens to your computer: one for viewing the original document and the other to translate into.

If translating from a printed document, it is a good idea to have it hanging next to your computer monitor, so that you do not have to strain your neck by looking down on a table next to your hand, for example. You can usually get such a cheap plastic holder which attaches to your computer monitor.

If translating from an electronic document, you can divide up your computer monitor.

And don’t forget to have a nice desktop picture about your dog, favourite loved one, or some beautiful nature scene. Unless this will slow down your computer too much, in which case you should go through our computer tips to make your computer as fast as possible.

And speaking of beautiful nature scenes, I always like to position my desk next to the window so that I can occasionally gaze out into an open field or green forest, day dreaming. It is good to let your mind rest once in a while, and I find that staring at nature’s green somehow rests my eyes and make it possible to stare at the computer for a longer period of time. And it is supposed to be good for your eyes as well to occasionally focus into the distance. If you keep the lenses of your eyes constantly focused at a medium short distance, you can logically assume that by bending your lenses for this shorter range constantly, they will eventually stay like that and you will become short sited. So make your font big, try to keep your monitor a comfortable distance away, and look out into the distance occasionally, to stretch your lenses to a farther distance. In fact, this is another reason why lcd panels are much better, because the screen on which the text is is very flat. On the older monitors, it seemed hard to focus on exactly where the text was, and after staring at the screen for a longer period of time, I’d look up into the distance and everything was blurry, and I found it difficult to focus for a while. Your eyes are one of your most precious bodily organs and allows you to appreciate the beauty around you, so take care of them!

Set up your Translation WorkStation

comp-ergonomics

So now that you have set up your computer monitor and your line of vision, lets look around your immediate settings. The next obviously important thing to think about is your seat and your ergonomic working position. There is much to be found on this subject on the internet, such as here. You might consider getting a split keyboard so that your wrists are more straight when typing. Your fingers are complex tools, having tendons which slide underneath rings and lubricated, and a lot of typing can lead to tendonitis. So you want your hands to be in a natural and comfortable position while typing. You might consider getting some foam or cushion to place under your palms. Work on this as well.

And make sure that your back and neck is in an ergonomic position. One person mentioned to me that when they went to the hospital to the section where people have back problems, it was mostly filled with people around the age of 45. Not old people like one might expect. This is because we have entered the information age and everyone is stagnant in front of the computer. For millions of years we have been running around hunting, or hanging from a tree, or farming our land, or off to war, constantly moving and exercising all our muscles. But sitting stagnant in front of a computer all the time will make your back weak, your spine will start to sag, pinch your spinal nerves, lead to migraines, and lead to all sorts of problems in a few years. So be very careful about this, select a perfect ergonomic position, and exercise occasionally to keep your spinal muscles strong. Personally, one of my favourite positions is lying in bed with my laptop on my lap or stomach. Get creative and comfortable, but study this matter and save your back. The problems build up over time, unnoticeably, can lead to many problem, and take a long time to reverse. On a side note, ancient Chinese medicine talks a lot about chi, the energy of your body (your spinal nerves are a highway of electrical impulses between your brain and every nerve in your body) which flows through your spinal column. According to their medicine, disrupting this highway and flow of energy can lead to problems with various organs, and problems you would never think could relate to your posture while working. So definitely heed this matter with due gravity.

Set up Your Translation Surroundings

translation surroundings

Once you have positioned yourself properly, now look around you at your immediate settings. I like to have pleasant pictures on the walls, classical music drifting in the background, lots of plants all around me, and one of my favourite… an aquarium!

Some people call it electro smog, but between the fan of a desktop computer, your handy mobile phone with the bluetooth running, printer clicking in the background, all your various electrical appliances and the radiation blaring at you from the screen you are staring at, our bodies are bombarded by all sorts of electrical waves of different frequencies. For this I find it is good to get away for the weekend, into nature, and away from all this. I was surprised to notice the difference once I cam back into the city. You need to rest your body from all this constant radiation, but to me it seemed that a large aquarium would suck up a lot of the radiation in the office. Between the classical music, plants and the aquarium next to me, there seemed to be a marked difference from when the office was empty and humming away to the sound of appliances alone. And besides, staring at fish in their placid little universe is a nice break from the drone of hours of reading boring legal contract.

I find a nice big aquarium sucks up a lot of electrosmog and makes for a pleasant, peaceful working environment. And heck, why not cheer up your workstation even more? I got a two litre plastic bottle, cut a horizontal slash near the bottom, pushed that inwards above the cut, cut a short section of the inner cardboard cylinder of the fax paper roll, cut a wedge into it and mounted that onto the bottom part of my cut into the plastic bottle.

What on earth for, you might ask? Well, with the cardboard roll mounted onto the plastic cut, it keeps the plastic above the cut bent inwards, and the other end of the roll jutting out horizontally from the plastic bottle offers a nice little stand for a tweety bird. Yes, fill up your bottle with some cheap sun flower seeds with shell, hang your bottle on a string next to your window, and give the birdies time to discover it. I once lived in a house next to a large forest, and within about four months I must have had 200 birdies tweeting away in my garden, one visiting every five seconds, swooping in to land on my little bird feeder and sending it spinning around and around. It would give us some cheery chirps before flying away, giving room for the next birdy. Between that and the aquarium, truly made the translations a much more cheery and joyful experience. Some documents can get truly boring, trust me.

For those with a laptop, you may like to take advantage of its mobility to occasionally change your environment, translating at your cottage, your friend’s cottage, the local park, or a beach. Tips for translating outside you will find here.

OCR: How to Convert PDF and Image Files to Text

As the translation industry continues to grow, with expanding global trade and what not, some useful tools come around that can make our work a lot easier. Such as translation memory (TM) / CAT tools<, or OCR, which stands for Optical Character Recognition.

OCR_optical-character-recognition

The character would be the letters in words, so basically software which Recognises the letters visually (optical), such as in PDF or image files (with extension .tiff or .jpg and so forth), converting such image files into text documents, such as Microsoft Word, which is predominantly used by customers in the industry.

OCR-process-1

Sometimes a customer will create their documents in Word and send that to the translator to translate, while many times they will send the translator a PDF file.

If they send a Word file, it is easy to write the translation over the text as per these instructions. If not, then one way is to create a Word document from scratch and format as per these instructions. But since creating the formatting can be rather time consuming, and because time is money, using effective OCR software is definitely the way to go.

If the customer sends an image file, such as a photo of some documents, Finereader is a good reliable program for that.

If your customer faxes you the document to translate, keep in mind that, if you receive the fax through a modem connected to your computer (often cheaper than a fax machine), instead of printing out the fax (waste of paper), note that the incoming fax has already been converted to an image file on your computer. It may take some tinkering and research, but you should be able to find this image (such as a multi-page .tiff file) and convert that to a text document through OCR, which will save you tons of time in manual formatting.

ocr_scanners

The same applies with printed documents. One option is to take a picture of each page and feed that to the software to convert for you (assuming it is worthwhile, such as with complex formatting or a lot of figures and names which do not get translated), but having received a lot of such work in the past, I figured out how to plug my physical fax machine directly into my computer modem and use the fax machine as a scanner to quickly convert all the pages into a multi-page image file (which can then be OCRed). As they say, there are many ways to skin a cat, so be creative in your problem solving, meditate on solutions, and I am sure you will find lots of ways to save time. The more time you save, the more money you can make, or spend more time doing what you enjoy.

Abby PDF Transformer

OCR-PDFs-with-Abby-PDF-TransformerI started off with version 2.0, which I was quite happy with, but after upgrading to a new computer a few times, it eventually would not let me install the software using my existing licence. I downloaded and purchased their latest software, Abby PDF Transformer +, but I was highly unsatisfied with the new setup, wrote to them if they could transfer my licence to 2.0, but because they did not respond, I went ahead and downloaded 3.0 from The Pirate Bay and use that now. These instructions are for that.

The trick is not to let the software run in automatic mode but to go manual and designate certain areas as either text or table (or picture) and make other adjustments.

I usually have my PDFs automatically open in Nitro Reader (also free), because I find it faster and less problematic than Adobe Reader. When you right mouse click on a file, you will see the Open With option from the popup menu, as shown below. This shows you the type of software installed on your system with which you can open the file you are clicking on. You can select Choose Default Program if you want to add something to this menu or change the default setting. PDFill PDF Editor is good software if you need to make changes to a PDF file, such as fill in a form and add a picture of your signature, instead of printing and sending by post (such as confidentiality agreements with the customer).

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image003

Since I don’t use this software so often, I Open With whenever I need it.
Below is a screenshot of how I set up a sample page (you can click to enlarge).

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image001

In the middle along the top, to the left of the hand icon, you will find three icons with which you can designate a section as either Text, Table or Picture.

Areas 1, 2 and 5, in green, I chose for text, while areas 3 and 4, in blue, I chose for table. Choosing 3 and 4 for text instead would not yield the nice boxes.

In the left panel, under PDF document languages, I always keep the three languages shown (Czech, Slovak and English), because those are the only languages I translate from and some of my documents contain English/bilingual text, like this one.

Under that I usually use Original Layout instead of Text Flow. This though may result in some paragraphs being broken up with paragraph marks (hard returns), like this example below:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image005

As suggested in my instructions on how to Format in Word, you should have yours set to always show the Backwards P / Paragraph Mark.

Such cases are easily remedied by dragging the mouse across the paragraph to select all the paragraph marks you want to get rid of, like so:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image007

and then run a macro< to replace the paragraph marks (^p) with spaces, and then double spaces by single spaces a few times, as a precaution (more detailed search and replace instructions<). This pieces the paragraph together. If it ends up stretched out across the entire page width but you would rather have short as above, simply drag the right indent to the left (figure X in the Ruler Bar instructions). When delivering a project to a customer, not only do they often want your translation to appear just like the source file, but leaving in paragraphs broken up in this way is quite unprofessional.

If choosing Original Layout, most of the time the paragraphs are not broken up this way. If you plan to use the exported Word file in a translation memory software<, it is especially important to go through the document first to look for such cases of broken up paragraphs, otherwise they will be considered as individual sentences by the software, which will reduce the potency of the translation memory.

If your customer wants to keep in the document pictures, logos, graphs and so forth, simply check the Keep Pictures box and make sure to select the pictures with the picture icon, as you had done with the text and table sections. Otherwise the picture will be interpreted as text and it won’t look pretty.

If you want to remove a part of a section, click on it once so that the + and – icons appear, as such:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image013

Click on the – (minus) icon in the top right and then drag across the area you want to remove, such as:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image015This may seem like an unimportant, extra step, but it may cost you more time later deleting the interpretation of the signature when working in the exported Word file.

Similarly, for tables, click inside the selection for six icons to appear across the top right of the table selection, as shown below. Hold the mouse still over each of the icons to see what they do. In this case, the mouse was held over the fourth icon for Show Table Structure. Clicking on this icon will draw blue lines across where the software presumes the table borders (column and row separators) should be. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can use any of the other icons to:

  • add vertical separator
  • add horizontal separator
  • delete separator
  • split cells, or
  • merge cells

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image013b

Inevitably any of these operations can also be performed in Word, but sometimes the vertical separators are not aligned exactly and it becomes difficult to fix it in Word later, so experimenting with the various options can lead to better and more efficient results.

Notice that the three, far right columns were not selected for the creation of this table, because I find that the signatures often muddle things up and it is easier, later in the exported Word file, to select from the menu

Table > Insert > Columns to the Right

and fill it in later. Or if there is a lot of text in the header column, to select the entire table but consider copying the text in the header, deleting the three columns, adding them back in manually, then paste back in the header text.

As with anything on the computer, try to always reserve some free space in your mind to search for alternative and better ways to do things. Do not quickly get into some easy routine and always repeat yourself, without constantly seeking out better ways. Just remember, the moment you find a better way to do anything, if it saves you x seconds every time you perform that same operation, these seconds will add up moving forward and represent incrementally higher income into the future. Every little savings in time adds up, with every way you learn to work faster.

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image015bOn the far right of the PDF Transformer window you will see images of the various pages, such as the image to the left.

If you right click on one of the pages you will see the popout menu as shown, which is useful if you only want to convert some of the pages to Word. If you want to convert several pages, simply select several of them by holding down either the shift or ctrl key while left clicking on them. Otherwise just press the large Convert icon at the top left hand corner of the software to convert all the pages.

Under this icon, note that you can also choose a different format to convert the PDF file into, such as:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image017

Now, for a second sample page:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image019

Note that I have only selected the first two columns of the table, because it would just be a mess to deal with the converted signatures. Once exported into Word, it is an easy matter to add a column to the right and type (paste) in “[signature]”, or whatever the customer’s instructions are regarding this.

Now, in Area 3 of our first sample page above, which we chose to convert into a table, it turned out that it converted this section:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-shot

to look like this in Word, meaning that the text in the blocks was broken up into many rows:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image021

Fortunately, that is easily resolved in Word by simply selecting the cells you want to merge and then pressing the Merge Table Cells icon, which you should have permanently placed on your main toolbar.

It would look more professional to merge the cells so that the final output more reflects the source file. Or, it can happen that a customer does not want you to use OCR software at all. Not merging these cells would raise suspicion that you indeed are. The reason why some customers are against the use of OCR software is because, if not used properly, it can lead to formatting migraines when making changes later. But if you use it properly, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Once you have preliminarily prepared the document, you can commence translation by writing over top of the source text, applying Search and Replace< (such as the titles MUDr. becomes Dr.) or Autotext (such the expansion and translation of abbreviations for institutions) when possible.

Always think and be on the lookout for ways to save yourself time and get your job done faster. Perhaps you do a lot of similar text and it is worthwhile to pump the Word files through translation memory software.

For both of the sample pages above, I will show you one nifty trick. A lot of the material is bilingual, with the source text in normal font, followed by the translation in English. Some parts of the document are only source, which I am meant to translate, but the customer wants the end result to show only English and no source text. In the expanded Search and Replace window< , click on the Format icon at the bottom, and then Font from the list to get this window:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image023

Select Latin text > Font style > Not Italic, as shown above. That would give you the resulting window:

OCR-convert-image-files-to-text-image025

This essentially instructs Word to replace all text that is not italic (the source text in our sample project) with nothing – meaning it gets erased. You can either press the Find Next icon and go through the entire document, pressing Replace for every case that applies, or select entire sections and press Replace All.

This is just to show you some examples how you can use your creativity to greatly speed up your work. Where most translators might take the traditional route and force the agencies to pay a higher price for the time required, I get a lot of these documents and, after coming up with all sorts of tricks and shortcuts, I find myself earning a hundred bucks an hour for rather simple work!

How to make a webpage with WordPress

If you would like to use our WordPress installation to make a webpage to send for your campaign to 10,000+ translation agencies, as explained in point 3 in How to Prepare your Cover Letter, this page explains how to do it.

First we will set up an Author’s account for you, at which point an email will be automatically sent to you with the login details.

translation-jobs-work-create-new-wordpress-pageOnce you login, you will want to create your Page, in either of these ways.

This should give you the following window, some explanations provided below:

translation-jobs-work-fill-in-info

  1. Write in the name of your page. It can be anything you want, but it will become the Title of your page. If you want to maintain privacy, do not write your own name here.
  2. How you can upload your own images, explained further below.
  3. Click on this icon to expand the toolbar into two rows, for more functionality.
  4. Press Publish whenever you are ready to preview your changes.
  5. The default is Paragraph (normal text), but you can change this to different Headings to highlight sections and text.

The rest of the items on the toolbar should be pretty intuitive and feel free to play around with them. Like working in a Word document (the numbered bullets 1-5 above can be found in the toolbar menu). Note that you can also copypaste text from a Word document while maintaining most of the formatting (images would need to be uploaded separately, and tables created separately).

Once you press Publish (item 4), your screen should look like this:

translation-jobs-work-edit-page-once-published

To view your new page, you can right mouse click the View Page link (top left red arrow) and choose Open Link in New Tab. This will open the page in a new tab in your browser. Usually you can jump tabs in your browser with either ctrl+tab or ctrl+shift+tab. You can press Update (bottom right red arrow) any time while in this edit window, and once it shows it has updated, jump to the next tab, refresh the window (usually F5 for Windows browsers or Command+R for Mac browsers) to see the changes.

Note that this new tab has become the web address of your knew page and what you will need to send to us once you are ready for testing. In our case above, the output page would look like:

translation-jobs-work-output-page

As explained in point 3 of the How to Prepare your Cover Letter page, each campaign using this method uses the above header to help the recipients know that your mail was sent from our service, so that they know it is not spam. The header may not look right on the webpage but gets fixed once sent by the software, as shown in some previews on the How to Prepare your Cover Letter page.

Inserting Images

I used Heading 2 for this title above. Nice how it separates sections, eh? Feel free to do the same in your cover letter.

To insert an image, press the Add Media button (point 2 above), after which you should see the following window:

translation-jobs-work-upload-images-to-wordspress

Press the Upload Files tab to get the above window, then Select Files to choose an image from your computer.

HOWEVER, note that the maximum image size is 2mb, in which case you may want to resize your image beforehand. It is better to resize and crop your image before uploading to get it to the size you want, otherwise it may make your campaign email unnecessarily large. Many recipients do not like receiving large emails, and resizing your image afterwards can be cumbersome.

You should notice an Uploading progress bar. Once it has been successfully uploaded, you should see the following window:

translation-jobs-work-insert-image-into-wordpress-post

You will notice that your image has a check mark and is selected as the top left of the images.

translation-jobs-work-choose-alignmentIn the bottom right of this screen, before you press the Insert Into Post button, you can set the Alignment. For this webpage I chose to align left, as you can see to the left of this text, but this feature does not work with the email software, so it is better to keep as either Center or None. If you want to create this same left or right alignment feature, you will need to use a table, as explained below.

Use “Link To” if you want the recipient to be taken to a special webpage when they click on the picture in your email.

“Size” is better kept at full.

Tables

If you really wish to use this alignment feature, such as in this email campaign:

translation-work-jobs-email-sample-fancy-html-smaller

you will need to use a table. But I’m warning you, it’s going to be more complicated!

First upload/insert your image near to the text where you want to align it left or right. In my example above, you will see the picture of me in Prague aligned to the right of two paragraphs. In hindsight I realised I should have put the text “Dear Translation Agency” also within the table, to remove some of the space above and below the two paragraphs. I will use the Joe Translator example at the top of this page to help explain it:

Screen-Shot-2016-06-06-at-1.14.01-PM

I have added a bit of text for the alignment (the second paragraph). If this all seems intimidating to you, if you prepare the text and images with instructions, I can take care of the rest for you for around $20 (depending on how many images).

Press the Text tab (red arrow at the top right) to show the source code:

translation-jobs-work-source-code-wordpress

Now copy the following text somewhere in this area:

<table style=”width: 100%”> <tr>
<td style=”width: 350px”>LEFT COLUMN</td>
<td style=”text-align:center”>RIGHT COLUMN</td>
</tr> </table>

Now “simply” move the text and pictures to replace the LEFT COLUMN and RIGHT COLUMN. Since I want my picture to the right of the text, the final outcome will look like:

<table style=”width: 100%”>
<tr>
<td style=”width: 350px”>
Put your text here. You can add images and play with the toolbar just above.

I will now put a picture just below these two paragraphs so that I can later move it to the right of them.
</td>
<td style=”text-align:center”>
<a href=”http://homeworktranslationjobs.com/cover-letters-cvs-resumes/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/me_CV.jpg”><img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-16″ src=”http://homeworktranslationjobs.com/cover-letters-cvs-resumes/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/me_CV.jpg” alt=”me_CV” width=”200″ height=”230″ /></a>
</td>
</tr>
</table>

I colour coded it for you to show how simple it really is, and here is the explanation. The code for the table is coloured in orange. <tr> refers to “table row”, while <td> refers to a cell or column in a row. </td> means end of a column.
So <tr><td></td><td></td></tr> means two columns within one row.

For the first column I added style=”width: 350px”, which means that the width of the first column will be 350px. You can adjust the number 350 to get the effect you want.

For the second column I added style=”text-align:center”, because I wanted my picture aligned in the center of that cell. 

The final outcome should look like:

translation-jobs-work-final-preview

Okay, not perfect, but like I said before, the email software will fix it all and we can test it before launching.

Links

If you want to create weblinks (will work in the email too) from text in your campaign, simply select the text you want to link from and press ctrl+k (or command+k in Mac) and fill or copy in the necessary information. You can also use the Link icon in the toolbar.

Conclusion

The simple template explained in point 1 of the How to Prepare your Cover Letter page may suffice plenty for you, but if you want to go a step further, since better impressions can sometimes make the difference, you can try this approach. Even if you just put your picture aligned in the center of a section, without the use of the fancy tables, combined with formatted text (bold, coloured etc.), it will make your campaign look much more impressive.

Back to Translation Tips

How to Prepare your Cover Letter

Once you have read How to Write a Cover Letter and CV, now for the technical details.

Once you have made payment, I will ask you to send me your CV and cover letter either in Word or ODT (OpenOffice) format. These are good tools because I can turn on Track Changes so that you can study my suggestions and decide if you will accept any of them. We may also discuss certain points before you come to a decision and your campaign material is finalised.

Once the review stage is complete, there are three ways you can prepare your cover letter (your CV or resume will be automatically attached to your cover letter):

1)  Simple template

translation-work-jobs-email-sample-simple-template-small

If you choose this option, I will simply take your finalised/revised file, load it into the software, send a test message to myself (or to you as well, if you so wish) to check how everything looks and the spam score. Because of all the fake applications bombarding the industry, just your wording or email address alone can increase the spam score of your campaign, meaning it will be more likely that your emails will end up in the recipient’s spam box. I will help you with that if this is the case.

Note though that, with this simple template option, all special formatting, such as bold or italic text and any images, will be stripped, including tables. But bullet points copy well.

The software will use the default blue template shown above left. You can click on the image to see a larger popup version.

2)  Send a webpage

This approach will allow you to include special formatting, such as bold or italic, tables or images, in your campaign. Including a picture of yourself can make your approach much more personal and pleasant. Once you upload your webpage, simply send me the link and we can begin testing, since the outcome in different email clients can vary. If you have nowhere to upload your webpage, I can upload it to my server for an additional $20.

Another option is to design it in Word or ODT, upload that to something like google docs, make the file public, send me the link, and we go through testing again. The software is pretty good at making your campaign letter appear just like the website, but some tweaks may be necessary.

3)  Create your own website on our server

Like point 2 above, this method will allow you to use fancy formatting and include images. You would be assigned an Author’s account in our WordPress installation and provided with instructions how to go about it. Once completed, simply send us the link so we can commence with testing.

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It is set up to mimic the blue template used in point 1, since it helps the recipients discern that it is not a fake application (the subject line is also specially coded to help this further).

There is no additional charge for this, but we do ask that you leave your cover letter online so that others can use it as an example when preparing theirs. Once your campaign is complete (which typically takes a couple of days), you are welcome to remove any contact or personal information, such as your name. Keep in mind that any links within your cover letter to your own website give you good SEO value, and can lead to additional and free traffic on a permanent basis, which can lead to new customers.

Above left is a small screenshot of a campaign from a regular customer (sends out about once every three months, always tweaking the text and subject line). Again, you can click on the image to see a larger popup.

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translation CV campaign