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Why bother having a resume? A different approach from Seth Godin
Thread poster: Ivana Friis Wilson

Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:00
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Jun 10, 2008

I am not sure I am allowed to post this link, but it is so good I am going to risk getting edited. If you are not familiar with Seth Godin, its about time. The man is a marketing genius.

I have seen a few posts recently asking for help with resumes and how to go about contacting agencies / direct clients. Read this, if it's the only thing you read tonight:

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/03/why-bother-havi.html

He is so right!


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kimjasper  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:00
Member (2006)
English to Danish
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Yes! Jun 10, 2008

Holy purple cow is he right!

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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:00
English to Arabic
+ ...
I don't quite agree Jun 10, 2008

I'm afraid I don't agree with that approach.
If resumes are abolished, and "self-marketing" skills become the main factor when employing people, you may end up eliminating some great, hard-working, experienced, well-educated people simply because they don't have that so called "skill" to polish themselves, to sell themselves, to explain why they're "remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular" (Godin's words).
Personally, I wouldn't get a single job that way. And those who do may just be full of b******t. (If you're in the UK or US and you've ever watched "The Apprentice" you'll know what sort of people I mean).
But I do agree with the other points he says he'd look at, like recommendations from previous employers, or sophisticated projects that were accomplished.


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 03:00
English to Russian
+ ...
Sad reality: you need to know how to sell yourself Jun 11, 2008

Nesrin wrote:

I'm afraid I don't agree with that approach.
If resumes are abolished, and "self-marketing" skills become the main factor when employing people, you may end up eliminating some great, hard-working, experienced, well-educated people simply because they don't have that so called "skill" to polish themselves, to sell themselves, to explain why they're "remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular" (Godin's words).
Personally, I wouldn't get a single job that way. And those who do may just be full of b******t. (If you're in the UK or US and you've ever watched "The Apprentice" you'll know what sort of people I mean).
But I do agree with the other points he says he'd look at, like recommendations from previous employers, or sophisticated projects that were accomplished.


Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately - this can be argued) - no matter how hard-working, experienced, well-educated you are, if you don't know how to sell yourself, you are in a big trouble.

I believe in "whatever works" approach (withing the limits of ethics, of course). If the traditional approach works, great; and if a non-traditional approach works, it's great, too.

I'm going to try some of Seth tips - thanks, Ivana!


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AniseK  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 19:00
Japanese to English
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Cover letter Jun 11, 2008

Nesrin wrote:

I'm afraid I don't agree with that approach.
If resumes are abolished, and "self-marketing" skills become the main factor when employing people, you may end up eliminating some great, hard-working, experienced, well-educated people simply because they don't have that so called "skill" to polish themselves, to sell themselves, to explain why they're "remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular" (Godin's words).
Personally, I wouldn't get a single job that way. And those who do may just be full of b******t. (If you're in the UK or US and you've ever watched "The Apprentice" you'll know what sort of people I mean).
But I do agree with the other points he says he'd look at, like recommendations from previous employers, or sophisticated projects that were accomplished.


I agree! After reading the article myself, I can't totally agree with what the article said. For me, a resume is a summary of what my skills and experiences are. And it should go together with a cover letter. In my personal experience, a resume without a cover letter is destined for rejection.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agencies Jun 11, 2008

If people try to relate that to translation agencies, from the comments I see here on that, most of the agencies should go into the wastebasket. Seems all they are looking for is the cheapest price.

Not the same league at all...


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The Misha
Local time: 06:00
Russian to English
+ ...
Nesrin, it's an elephant in the closet Jun 11, 2008

It's not a secret that tons of great professionals (hey, I'm one of them) spend their lives on the back burner just because they lack the schmoozing skills necessary to sell themselves. These days, it appears, possessing a first rate professional skill is simply not enough. So, the guy is essentially right. Look at it this way: you send a resume into a black hole and never hear from them, you send a blog, a letter of reference or whatever and never hear from them either. What's the difference? At least, if you do it your own way you have a good fighting chance to stand out.

The excruciating truth that we all have to face is that there are simply too many of us - not just translators, but people in general. The modern Western society is so competitive that it's a real puzzle how most of us manage to make any living at all. Welcome to the brave new world!


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:00
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A different approach for all parties involved Jun 11, 2008

Henry, do any of us want to work for agencies who only look at price? I don't think any of us only look at price when we agree to start a relationship with an agency. We also look at the type of projects they can offer, if the PM is polite, we are interested in their reputation, their customers and the way the run their agency etc.

If we only look at price, we might as well flip burgers! Which is how the agencies who don't pay a good price sees the translators!

Nesrin, I can see your point. I was just trying to point out that the world has changed. Maybe this article is more for those who are keen to get direct clients rather than agencies.


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Thorson
Local time: 12:00
Danish to English
I object to resumes for a different reason Jun 11, 2008

I don't send out resumes for the simple reason that I don't believe in sending out that much personal information about myself, especially to a stranger.

I send them relevant information, and will answer almost any question they may have, but I don't believe in putting my life history online, which is essentially what you're doing when you e-mail a resume.


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NR_Stedman  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:00
French to English
Don't agree with this approach Jun 11, 2008

Just to that I don't agree with or like this marketing approach and I don't think it works for translators. The worst thing for us is accepting that we are in fact just a cog (and a relatively invisible one ) in the wheel. Also I find this it discouraging to tell apprentice translators that they have to dance on the table to get a job.

My own experience (and recent experience) shows that "possessing a first rate professional skill with a good resumé IS enough"


[Edited at 2008-06-11 07:56]

[Edited at 2008-06-11 08:05]

[Edited at 2008-06-11 08:21]


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:00
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Cover letter / CV - which is the most important? Jun 11, 2008

Thorson, how much personal info is on your CV? I don't consider qualifications and skills personal, they are more like facts to me. Do you really think that sending an email is the same as putting your life history online?

NR-Steadman, I just think it's so boring sending out my CV. I'm thinking it's boring to potential employers as well.

I think my CV is boring, but I write excellent cover letters. What do you think is the most important?


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adrian_r  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:00
Swedish to English
+ ...
Cover Letter Jun 11, 2008

A cover letter is a showcase for writing and communication skills, it gives a chance to put some personality into the facts that make up a CV.

CVs truly are boring...and Seth is right if we make a goal of achieving spectacular things then we have something much more powerful than a CV, something which is still a testament to ability.


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Αlban SHPΑTΑ  Identity Verified
Albania
Partial member (2008)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Reality Jun 11, 2008

"Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for... those jobs don't get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever."

The reality is that to get these great jobs, jobs people kill for.. it all depends on who you know and who recommends you to who. This describes jobs such as CEO, CFO, etc. Fullstop. I'm sad to say that being a freelance translator is none of the above.

That's why I as a freelancer need a combination of a cover letter, recommendations, samples of my work and a nice layout for my CV.


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NR_Stedman  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:00
French to English
So are a lot of blogs boring Jun 11, 2008

[quote]Ivana Friis Wilson wrote:

NR-Steadman, I just think it's so boring sending out my CV. I'm thinking it's boring to potential employers as well.]

Probably is boring, so make it short and to the point. But do you think that agencies want to wade through 100 personal blogs??

What you have ensure is that you first work for an agency is 100 % perfect and on time and in budget.

If you can do anything Seth Godin suggests then you would already be in full-term employment and wouldn't need to send a CV anyway


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xxxelenaluke
Local time: 11:00
Agree with Seth: Writing resumes and Recruiting on their basis is a massive waste of time Jun 11, 2008

Having worked in recruitment of a worldwide big player recently, and having about 50 versions of own resume stuffed with all sorts of irresistible USP, I totally and wholeheartedly agree with Seth that the whole business is a waste of time (and paper). I think that resume as a gateway to employment is gradually becoming an anachronism. Moreover, it is a dangerous occupation adding to the global climate change. Just think of time and effort people put into making their resumes saleable, and then of time and resources that companies put into screening through millions of copies.

Ultimately employers need skills, and there are lots of other ways of their presentation/verification rather than a resume, namely summaries of skills and/or achievements, tests and knock-out questions, active references, statements of purpose, own employee referrals, on-line applications, etc. A summary of skills and achievements will do just as good as a resume before interview stage, because this is exactly what recruiters try to angle out from resumes.


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