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Should I feel uncomfortable about this?
Thread poster: Sara Senft

Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 4, 2008

I have sent emails back and forth to a contact person about phone interpreting. I just got a response saying that he found my resume very scanty. Now he is asking several questions, such as the agencies for which I've worked.

I don't feel comfortable disclosing that information. Wouldn't it violate a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

Admittedly, he was right in some ways. I didn't say exactly what kind of medical interpreting experience I have. In addition, I don't think I made it clear on my CV that I am a freelancer.

Time to revise my CV a little bit.


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Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:02
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
... Dec 4, 2008

to be honest I wouldn't give it a second thought.
These non-disclosure agreements are a waste of time for all involved.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:02
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Have you signed NDAs with any agency? Dec 5, 2008

Then, depending on how those NDAs are worded, it may not be possible even to cite the agencies concerned. (The content of any work done with them goes without saying).

To work your way around this, you might contact two or more agencies/outsourcers for whom you work and with whom you feel comfortable enough to give you references or respond for you. There's nothing strange about this.


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:02
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Checking references Dec 5, 2008

I believe he has not discarded you. Judging from my HR experience, he found your résumé "scanty" and wants to verify your experience by contacting your outsourcers, references, employers, and the like. I would do the same. If you tell me "I did this, I did that", and there is nothing in your CV to support your claims, I would need to have you prove it somehow. No references, no concrete evidence, no history = no job.

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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 21:02
English to Russian
+ ...
Good advice from Parrot Dec 5, 2008

Parrot wrote:

Then, depending on how those NDAs are worded, it may not be possible even to cite the agencies concerned. (The content of any work done with them goes without saying).

To work your way around this, you might contact two or more agencies/outsourcers for whom you work and with whom you feel comfortable enough to give you references or respond for you. There's nothing strange about this.


Absolutely: ask your current/past clients a permission to use them as references. I did it many times, both with agencies and direct clients, and never heard a no!

Another bit of advice: give more details on you resume. Have you interpreted for immigration interviews? Put it on your resume. Ditto for witness statements, attorney-client conferences, initial and follow-up medical appointments - whatever you have done, put it on your resume.

Just as with interpreting, provide specifics about your translation experience. Have you translated marriage certificates? Birth certificates? Diplomas? Contracts? Make sure you spell it out on your resume.

I would also restructure your resume. You have your experience in three different places: under Highlights, Freelance Experience, and then again Related Experience. I would put it all toghether under the heading of "experience", and then divide it under sub-headings: interpeting experience, translating experience and other relavant experience (such as tutoring). Look at other translators' resumes - not to copycat, of course, but to see how they are structured.

Good luck,Sara!


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J Chae  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:02
English to Korean
+ ...
It's the contents that matter. Dec 5, 2008

A non-disclosure agreement, as far as I'm concerned, is solely intended to protect the information shared between two parties involved - or sometimes, to protect the information one party hands to another (as assignment etc.).

There is nothing against you revealing with whom you are working with, as far as you do not divulge the details of your work - which is most of the time proprietary to the client.

Of course, if your client happens to be a top-secret agency, then it'd be a different question.

[Edited at 2008-12-05 02:12 GMT]

But please, do let me know if I'm mistaken.

[Edited at 2008-12-05 02:14 GMT]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:02
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Contact them Dec 5, 2008

Why not contact a couple of the agencies you have worked for and ask if they are willing to provide a reference.

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Sushan Harshe
India
Local time: 09:32
English to Hindi
+ ...
I don't feel comfortable disclosing that information. Wouldn't it violate a Non-Disclosure Agreement Dec 5, 2008

I think that you are looking at NDA in a different way; NDA bounds you for not to disclose or disturb clients interests. Referring client in your CV or credentials is not a breach of NDA. Mentioning projects in CV is also not breach of NDA; but explaining projects you have worked on can be a breach of NDA. I believe that you only need to mention clients and there projects you worked on and, not project details.

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:02
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ask your customers first Dec 5, 2008

Parrot wrote:
To work your way around this, you might contact two or more agencies/outsourcers for whom you work and with whom you feel comfortable enough to give you references or respond for you. There's nothing strange about this.


Exactly. If the prospect insists and it could be an important account.

However, I have had many cases like this in the past and I haven't revealed the names of my customers, precisely because I have NDAs with them and I don't want to raise any concerns. I want them to feel that my business relation with them is important and strictly confidential to me. I have explained this to new prospects and they generally accepted it and have become customers who enjoy the same strict privacy. And when some prospect did not understand, I was glad to thank them good bye!


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:02
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Depends on the NDA Dec 5, 2008

J Chae wrote:
A non-disclosure agreement, as far as I'm concerned, is solely intended to protect the information shared between two parties involved - or sometimes, to protect the information one party hands to another (as assignment etc.).

There is nothing against you revealing with whom you are working with, as far as you do not divulge the details of your work - which is most of the time proprietary to the client.


It depends on the actual NDA and its contents. The NDA we have with the bigger customers also include the lack of information about the existance of a business relationship. So it's important to read the NDA carefully in all cases.

[Edited at 2008-12-05 09:19 GMT]


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Alp Berker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:02
Turkish to English
+ ...
Good points made here Dec 5, 2008

Tina has an excellent point. You can take this an turn this into something positive for the long term by having references. That way you cna build up your career for the long run. Part of building your business up is marketing yourself too, not just translation. References are a good way of doing this.
Alp


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't disclose references Dec 5, 2008

I take three measures regarding giving references.

My CV lists most of my published translations. When the reference-demander becomes obstreperous, I tell them that my clients would simply LOVE to have people buyng their products (books, training programs, videos) just to check my translating skills.

I tell them that I uphold a firm policy of not disclosing my clients' contact information under any circumstances whatsoever. My clients are busy professional people who don't have time to spend the day giving out information on me to prospects. I wonder if the requestor - if I eventually work for them - would be the availability to do so. So I offer spare ALL them from this chore.

Finally, I tell them that once I made an exception, because one agency insisted over and over again that they had a huge job for me, but they absolutely needed three references before we got started. So I called three of my most loyal clients, asked their permission, and gave them as references. It took less than one hour before all three called me saying that they had received by e-mail: a) an arm-length questionnaire on me; and b) a message to the tune of "Whatever this jerk does for you, we can do it faster, better and cheaper!" The epilogue is that they gave me a half-concocted story about why they didn't assign that big job to me. My conclusion was that they didn't have any job whatsoever at that time, and were just trying to steal clients from anyone they could.

After this they usually go on without references. When they keep insisting, I know that is just a client-snatching scam.


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