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Advice on CV and covering letter
Thread poster: JulietteC
Local time: 23:15
English to French
Nov 1, 2006

Hi there,

I'm French and I recently became an English to French translator. I have a few contacts with translation agencies from my previous internships, but I would like to send my CV to new companies, especially subtitling companies, in order to find new clients.

The thing is, English is not my mother tongue, and I would like to be sure that there is no obvious mistakes in my CV and the "covering letter" (see bewlo) I am going to send to these companies.

So if a English speaker could have a quick look on my CV (it is on my profile) and the short text below, it would be fantastic...

thanks in advance for your help !


Dear Mr XXX,

I am writing to you because I would be interested in working for you as an English to French subtitler.

As you will see in my CV, I am now an established translator/subtitler. I passed my masters in applied languages specializing in translation with first class honours.

I've also spent 6 months in London, including 3 months as a trainee subtitler at the subtitling company XXX, which allowed me to gain some valuable experience in subtitling feature films and bonus materials for DVD.

I'm now available for any subtitling project.

Of course, I can make a short subtitling test for you if you wish so.

Best regards,

PS: please note that I'm not doing the cueing step, but only the translation of subtitles.

PS: please find enclosed my updated CV.

[Edited at 2006-11-01 14:21]

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lexical  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Portuguese to English
really good Nov 1, 2006


I think it's really good, and gets your key points across clearly and concisely.

Only two tiny quibbles: we would say "you can see FROM my CV" and "DO a short subtitling test" (rather than "make").

I hope it works out well for you.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:15
English to German
+ ...
Two cents Nov 1, 2006

First cent: There is no need to mention that your CV has been updated. That your CV is up-to-date should be standard.

Second cent: I would avoid contractions such as "I've". It is a letter of application after all.

Oh, one more: if you really need two "PSs" (instead of ending your letter with "Please find attached my CV", it is "PS" for the first one and "PPS" for the second one.

Sounds really nice, though!



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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:15
English to Arabic
+ ...
I would avoid the PSs Nov 1, 2006

I'm not a native English speaker, but my comment has nothing to do with the language anyway.

I don't know what everybody else thinks, but personally, I find the PS inappropriate in a professional letter. I would definitely try to integrate the PS statements in the letter.

[Edited at 2006-11-01 21:28]

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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:15
English to Arabic
+ ...
Ok, maybe one comment on the language... Nov 1, 2006

"I'm not doing the cueing step" sounds strange to my (non-native) ears. I'm not sure what "cueing step" is, so I can't suggest an alternative. But I believe "I'm not doing" should be "I don't do".

But let's hear what the native English speakers have to say about this...

I'm sorry - and one more thing: if this is to be sent by email, I would say "my CV attached" rather than "my CV enclosed".

[Edited at 2006-11-01 21:27]

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Vito Smolej
Local time: 23:15
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Permis, svp? Nov 1, 2006

Instead of:

Of course, I can make a short subtitling test for you if you wish so.

say something like:

I would be glad to make a subtitling test .....


Please feel free to contact me for a short ...............

Bonne chance


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Marius Reika  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
Partial member (2006)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
What regards a CV... Nov 1, 2006

I never attach a CV when sending a cover letter. If the addressee is interested in you, s/he will contact you and ask for a CV herself/himself.

Been doing such "e-mail sending" campaign for some time now, and usually the ones who replied asked for the CV themselves.

You can't expect that those who don't even bother to answer your e-mail, will read your CV. You could insert a short line, sth like "If you would like to receive my CV blablabla".

Would suggest to polish your introductory e-mail as much as possible, then observe the results of the first cycle and polish the c. letter again, if the results are unsatisfying.

My 2 Lt cents

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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:15
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Cover letter Nov 2, 2006

And make sure that, if you mention it at all, you say "cover" letter, not covering letter.
Good advice from everyone.
Good luck.

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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
covering/cover letter Nov 2, 2006

Hello Juliette.
The expression "covering letter" is perfectly correct.
Perhaps our colleagues are US English users and they might prefer "cover letter", but I woud deem that incorrect!
So, perhaps we could be a little less adamant on that point. After all, Juilette has just spent six months in London .... and it does depend who your target reader is.

See below:

Your CV should rarely leave your desktop unless accompanied by a covering letter as they can be a major determinant of an applicant’s success. ...!efXakl

Always send a covering letter with any CV or application. ... See our sample covering letter for more details on how to it for real, or check out the next ...

cover letter / covering letter - Bradley CVs UKFREE CV / resume, job searching, interview & careers advice. Links to 100000+ UK job vacancies. Professional CV writing service.

The covering letter is an important part of any application that you make... ... It is sometimes necessary to send a covering letter to accompany an ...

Manpower - Job Seekers - Career Advice - Covering LettersA covering letter is your opportunity to really persuade the employer that you are the perfect person for the job.

How would I tackle the "flow" of your covering note? Like this:

Dear Mr XXX,
I am writing to you and attaching a CV for your attention since I am interested in working for XXXX as an English to French subtitler.
As you will see from my CV, I am an established translator/subtitler, having obtained a first class honours Masters in Applied Languages, with a translation specialisation, and spent three months as a trainee subtitler at the subtitling company XXX in London, during a six-month stay there. This allowed me to gain some valuable experience in the subtitling of feature films and DVD bonus materials.
Currently I am available to start on subtitling projects in my language combination, although I have no experience in cueing steps, only the actual translation of subtitles.
If you require a short subtitling test so you can assess my skills, I would be happy to do that for you.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best regards,

HTH and good luck ... I don't do the cueing step either!

[Edited at 2006-11-02 06:10]

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Local time: 23:15
English to French
thank you! Nov 2, 2006

Many thanks for your helpful advice !

I read everything carefully and made a few changes.

Thanks again,

have a nice day,


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:15
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Re: cueing step Nov 6, 2006

The cueing step is called time-cueing, so you should say (based on Angela's text) "I'm not experienced in time-cueing".
Actually I would leave the time-cueing bit out of your letter alltogether. You are offering translation, period.

There are many other processes to subtitling, and admittedly time-cueing is one of the most important one, but there is no point to single it out as something you don't do.

The subtitling companies interested in you as a translator might ask sometimes if you could do time-cueing, but that wouldn't be of prime importance. Time-cueing is usually done in the source language, in this case in English, and they have people doing just that. Subtitling for DVDs is seldom done into just one or two languages, more likely to be a dozen or more, and that makes time-cueing a separate job, usually done by native speakers.

On the other hand there is an issue you didn't mention and that is software. If you have one, you should mention it, if not, don't, of course. Wait and see if they ask you, and then you have to ask them, what software they are using.

Some companies are using in-house developed software, and if they are willing to give you work, they would provide you with the software as well. The use of this software would be strictly limited to that company's jobs, of course.

Good luck

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