Credibility and experience are keys to success.
The best way to gain experience is to start working as an employee in either a translation agency or as an in-house translator for a company in your preferred field.
In order to obtain the position, you must have experience. This can come via an internship and/or through volunteering.
Working as an in-house translator will allow you to learn your trade in a real-world environment and provide you with plenty of hands-on experience. It’s a steep learning curve; but you’ll learn a great deal and gain confidence in your abilities within the first year or two.
Don’t wait to finish University before applying for your first translation job. You could start learning about the industry, networking with people and building your portfolio while you’re still studying.
The first place you should start looking for opportunities is at university. Often universities will have employment schemes to help you gain some experience. These schemes can provide you with your first opportunity to enter the industry and to see first hand how translation agencies operate.
This will prove invaluable later on if you decide to approach translation agencies for in-house and freelance jobs.