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Thread poster: Stephanie Davies

Stephanie Davies
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Spanish to English
Nov 25, 2008

Hi everyone!

I am currently studying an MA Translation Studies and I don't finish it until 2010. I need to update my CV so I can send it out to agencies to try and get a little work and experience. I don't want to finish my MA and then start to gain professional experience I want to start asap. I do have some experience as I have translated for Non Profit Organisations and documents for university. So, my questions are:

* Will agencies give me any work as I have hardly any experience (no real professional experience)?
* What do I need to do include in my CV? At the moment it is just a regular CV and I need to transfirm it into a Translators CV.
* How much should I be charging? I am assuming it will be lower than average until I gain my qualification.

Thanks in anticipation

Stephanie Davies


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Don't charge less Nov 25, 2008

In answer to your third question: No, I do not think you should charge less for your services, at least if you are convinced you deliver good work. If this is not the case, you should do your best to make it happen, e.g. by investing in a proofreader (which is always a good idea).

Your low price tag sticks with you, it is hard to convince your clients to pay higher prices after a year or so.


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Stephanie Davies
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
CV Help Nov 25, 2008

Thank you for your reply.

I do believe in myself, however I think I would like to invest in a proofreader. Can anyone suggest one? I am only just finding out about translation software.

Also, what are the average rates?

Thanks
Steph


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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Member (2003)
French to English
Experience, specialisms, memberships Nov 25, 2008

Hi Stephanie,

It's a bit hard to comment as you haven't uploaded your current CV to the site, but you might want to think about:

- details of the translation experience you do have (not everything, just particular projects)

- whether you're a member of either of the professional bodies in the UK (the Chartered Institute of Linguists www.iol.org.uk and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting www.iti.org.uk - both accept student members and if you're serious about translation as a career I think you'd find the help and advice available invaluable - and it would provide evidence that you're serious about this to potential work providers)

- specialisms. I think it's important not to spread yourself too thin when you start out. If you can focus on a couple of areas and really build up your expertise in those then you'll have more credibility.

- experience with software, especially if you're offering something a bit out of the ordinary

- your daily output and availability

Hope that's of some help.

Karen


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Stephanie Davies
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Nov 25, 2008

Thanks Karen

Very helpful indeed. I am actually a member of ITI but the forum's aren't as busy as this one. I did post the same question about 2 weeks ago. They do a course for beginners it runs from October (I just mised it) and it helps you with your CV. I don't want to wait until Oct 2009 (although I will probably do it anyway).

I didn't upload my CV as I wanted to change it before I did so. When I add all my extra information it is going to be 3 pages long. I hope this is ok!

As far as software goes, I am learning at the moment on my MA. I have just been introduced to MetaTexis and WordFast...so it is work in progress!

I do appreciate all of your feedback so thanks again

Steph


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Human proofreader Nov 25, 2008

Stephanie Davies wrote:

I do believe in myself, however I think I would like to invest in a proofreader. Can anyone suggest one? I am only just finding out about translation software.



Try Human Brain 2008 SP11 !.
Seriously, find someone with good writing skills. Does not always have to be a linguist. Personally, I work with a journalist from time to time.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:13
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
That's not productive Nov 25, 2008

Stephanie Davies wrote:
I didn't upload my CV as I wanted to change it before I did so. When I add all my extra information it is going to be 3 pages long. I hope this is ok!


Forget the three pages. Yes, I know I'm a hypocrite, because I have an inappropriate CV at least that long that should have been pruned brutally 20 years ago. Do not take my CV as an example of the best approach.

Unless you are looking at an in-house job somewhere, I think you'll do better and look more professional if you prepare a one-page profile sheet listing important qualifications, equipment, specialties, etc. Maybe include a ecstatic quote or two from a satisfied customer. Think of how your local tax consultant or an attorney might advertise services, not how someone aspiring to a staff position would. I saw some great examples of CVs/profiles done this way at a seminar earlier this year; unfortunately I buried the examples in a box when I moved house a few months ago and haven't found them or I'd send them to you if you can read German. I'm sure, however, that with a bit of research you can find excellent examples and templates on the Internet.

Make a 1 page PDF to use as an attachment and keep a text version around for e-mail and pasting into "resume fields" for online profiles. You might want to put a nice picture in the PDF version to give it a personal touch. Pictures are strictly verboten in job-seeking CVs for the US market, but for an independent service provider they are valuable I think. I know, for example, that I feel much more comfortable exchanging comments in the forums with colleagues who use a reasonable picture; silly baby pictures, fancy icons or distracting animations really put me off and make me feel less confident about a possible business relationship. It's just a perception - I'm sure most of these people are as good as gold - but perceptions are often worth more than gold in business. Create a brand for yourself and you can go far.


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:13
English to German
+ ...
Exactly what I think! Nov 25, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:

Unless you are looking at an in-house job somewhere, I think you'll do better and look more professional if you prepare a one-page profile sheet listing important qualifications, equipment, specialties, etc. Maybe include a ecstatic quote or two from a satisfied customer.


Thanks for this, Kevin!
I am surprised that many freelance translators are not aware of how important professional perception is.


Silly baby pictures, fancy icons or distracting animations really put me off and make me feel less confident about a possible business relationship. It's just a perception - I'm sure most of these people are as good as gold - but perceptions are often worth more than gold in business. Create a brand for yourself and you can go far.


While I fully agree on what you say, it would be a professional move by ProZ.com not to allow silly pictures etc. (see XING.com, for example). It sheds a negative light on our profession. That is, by the way, one of the reasons why many translators do not earn what they deserve. Perception is a key success factor!

My 2 cents
Aniello


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xxxhazmatgerman
Local time: 11:13
English to German
Job or profession? Nov 26, 2008

Agree with Lossner & Scognamiglio.
Applying for a position in a firm one submits a CV; advertising one's services (translation is a service industry not commodity resale) requires basically a factsheet with matching sales pitch.


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Stephanie Davies
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 30, 2008

Thank you everyone

I think I will do a one page profile. It sounds like a good idea. Thanks for all of your help. Wish me luck!

Steph


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