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How can I mention, in my résumé, companies that were not my direct clients?
Thread poster: Gerardo Bensi

Gerardo Bensi  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 19, 2005

Hello everybody. I was wondering if you could help me with a doubt I have about my résumé.

I have been translating professionally for five years now. I have translated technical texts for Shell, Citibank, SAP, and some literary texts for publishing houses. The problem is that none of these were my direct clients. All of those jobs came from an Argentine translation agency or from other translators who outsourced jobs.

I would like to mention these companies in my résumé, since I think that would make it more interesting, but not as my "clients", since, strictly speaking, they were not "mine".

I have considered mentioning these companies under headings like "Translations for Agency X" and "Translations for other outsourcers", so that this point should be clear. It would be the most honest solution, but I don't know how relevant this information is for a potential client.

The second alternative is to simply include all translations under a heading like "Past Translation Projects" (with separate subsections for technical and literary translations).

I would like to know which of these two alternatives you would recommend, or if you can suggest anything else.

Thank you very much in advance.

Regards from Argentina,
Gerardo


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:45
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Ask the agencies Dec 19, 2005

First, you should probably ask the agencies, if you are allowed to mention the clients at all.

But if you get the permission, I would recommend to use the way you mentioned first.


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 06:45
German to English
Can't really list indirect clients Dec 19, 2005

The best way to handle this, in my opinion is to indicate
"Training documents for major financial services company" (or bank) or "Projects dealing with logistics for a large energy company." You're not really violating any non-disclosure requirements, since you're not listing the company or a specific product.

SAP is a different story. You can say "Translated SAP-related texts for major wholesale distributor" since you're talking about the software, and SAP-related translation is really a subspecialty. If the end client is SAP, however, then you have to state something along the lines of "Documents pertaining to a leading enterprise resource management software firm."

If you word things cleverly, the intelligent reader will be able to guess the type of client. It really doesn't matter whether you've translated for JP Morgan Chase or Citicorp, Shell or BP. The type of business and general subject matter are the critical factors.

When it comes to direct clients, you will find a diversity of opinion. I don't think you'd be violating an NDA by stating that you've translated documents relating to tire production for Bridgestone, since everyone knows that's their line of business. This has to be worked out with the individual client, however.


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Sherey Gould  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:45
German to English
one possibility Dec 19, 2005

Hi, Gerardo -

I handled it by stating:
various COMPANY A & COMPANY B jobs
(through translation agencies)

If the specific translation agency was important enough for me to want to list it separately among my list of direct clients, I then listed it separately by name.


I do like your second alternative of

I have previously read in various posts that some companies don't even want you to list them as a reference, let alone the actual or even type of job you did for them, and some jobs issued through thranslation agencies might very well have such restrictions. But if not, and you feel they are important enough, I feel they are worth at least a mention!

Good luck,
Sherey


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:45
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Be discrete Dec 19, 2005

Sherey Gould wrote:

Hi, Gerardo -

I handled it by stating:
various COMPANY A & COMPANY B jobs
(through translation agencies)

If the specific translation agency was important enough for me to want to list it separately among my list of direct clients, I then listed it separately by name.


I do like your second alternative of

I have previously read in various posts that some companies don't even want you to list them as a reference, let alone the actual or even type of job you did for them, and some jobs issued through thranslation agencies might very well have such restrictions. But if not, and you feel they are important enough, I feel they are worth at least a mention!

Good luck,
Sherey


Hi Gerardo,

As Sherey senses, there are two or more schools on this subject. Personally I'm utterly disrete about past projects, be it on behalf of direct customer or of agencies.

If you can get away with it without being specific, go for it. The last five or so agencies that approached me never asked for references. I think discretion is becoming a trend.

Regards,
Gerard


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Gerardo Bensi  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Dec 19, 2005

Hello, Sherey!
Thank you very much for your reply. I found it very useful. I guess I can clarify that I translated for some companies through translation agencies/outsourcers (but I don't think this agency is well-known enough to be mentioned). I think I'll also mention some relevant jobs, since I was never told of any restrictions in that respect.

Thanks again!
Regards,
Gerardo


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Gerardo Bensi  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Gerard Dec 19, 2005

Gerard de Noord wrote:

Sherey Gould wrote:

Hi, Gerardo -

I handled it by stating:
various COMPANY A & COMPANY B jobs
(through translation agencies)

If the specific translation agency was important enough for me to want to list it separately among my list of direct clients, I then listed it separately by name.


I do like your second alternative of

I have previously read in various posts that some companies don't even want you to list them as a reference, let alone the actual or even type of job you did for them, and some jobs issued through thranslation agencies might very well have such restrictions. But if not, and you feel they are important enough, I feel they are worth at least a mention!

Good luck,
Sherey


Hi Gerardo,

As Sherey senses, there are two or more schools on this subject. Personally I'm utterly disrete about past projects, be it on behalf of direct customer or of agencies.

If you can get away with it without being specific, go for it. The last five or so agencies that approached me never asked for references. I think discretion is becoming a trend.

Regards,
Gerard


Gerard:
Thanks for your advice. I will consider this possibility and see if I can make the résumé informtive enough without being too specific.

Kind regards,
Gerardo


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Luis Arri Cibils  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:45
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
ATA's Code of Ethics Dec 20, 2005

Estimado Gerardo,

This subject has been discussed in the past on these fora. You may search for it. However, I would like to add to whatever was said on those postings that the ATA's Code of Professional Conduct and Business Practices states, among many other things, the following:

“E. I [Translator or Interpreter] will use a client as a reference only if I am prepared to name a person to attest to the quality of my work.”
http://www.atanet.org/bin/view.pl/13653.html

Since the companies you are interested in were not your direct client, it is likely that you don't even know any person that can do that for you (other than the agency's PM … and if you have the agency’s authorization to identify the end-clients you have no problem at all). Thus, while you are NOT bound by this Code of Ethics, since you are not an ATA member, it can be said that a professional association of some significance in the translation world would consider mentioning any names to be unethical.

What can you do? I would advise doing the same I do when I have to prepare my CV re my attorney’s experience: I describe the client and what I did for them in broad terms that do not identify the client. In your case, you could say, for example: ”I translated a 250-page (100,000 words) operating Manual on “Operation of Offshore Platforms” for one of the world’s largest international oil companies.” Does it really matter if the end-client is ExxonMobil, Shell or BP?

Saludos,

Luis


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Gerardo Bensi  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Dec 20, 2005

Dear Luis:
Thanks for your recommendation. I was not aware of this.

Kind regards,
Gerardo


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Gerardo Bensi  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dec 20, 2005

Hello, Nina.
Thanks for the advice!

Regards,
Gerardo


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Gerardo Bensi  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dec 20, 2005

Hello, Kevin.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I'll change the wording in my résumé.

Kind regards,
Gerardo


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