For the freelance translators: Getting a side job as a translator/possible certifications
I do a decent amount of translation work in my community, generally through word of mouth and by chance referrals.
Being a professional translator is not like being a dentist or a lawyer where you go to school, get a license, and then your "certified" and able to work professionally. Rather, it's more like being an actor, model, musician, chef, or consultant: have some ability and then get someone to start paying you for it. If you and some buddies play instruments, you'd be jamming in your garage until you play for a bit in some bar somewhere, then someone hears you start playing every Thursday night, then one day you play a wedding, etc.
In your case, get some business cards printed up, choose an email address, and (if you want) get a simple website together. Boom, you're a "translator." However, until someone pays you, you are the linguistic equivalent of the garage band, the actor waiting tables, or the girl that's a "model" on Instgram. At this point it's just about convincing someone to pay you for your time and skill, however, limited they may be. As part of this, put together a little resume or elevator speech about what makes you a translator people should pay for: your college major, years of study, knowledge of the field you'll be specializing in for translating (if any), your time abroad, academic or professional language/translator organizations you belong to, etc.
Bear in mind that some fields DO have certifications in the sense that you might have to be "certified" by certain organizations to be a "medical translator" or a "police translator" or "court translator." Or maybe as an "interpreter" in those fields. That will be field specific and can also vary state to state. They can have testing associated with them and an actual credential. However, if you're just looking to help some company translate some signs or a website; or someone's documents for immigration, you won't need that.
In fact, finding a job is a very difficult undertaking. But don't panic. There are many ways to ease this issue. For example, you can use a cover letter to get a job - https://www.getcoverletter.com/cover-letter-examples/project-manager/ . Here is an example of a cover letter for the project Manager but on the site you can find examples for other specialties.
many employers ask for letters of recommendation. you have to be prepared for that.
You know what they say? Come to work and you will be taught everything. This is how a friend of mine works. He has no specialized education as a linguist and translator. But he translates the texts. More on experience than on knowledge.