Resume - Can we name final clients
Thread poster: Nathalie Suteau
Nathalie Suteau
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:32
English to French
Jun 13

Hello,

I'm revamping my resume and I've not done so in 10 years.

I've always been a freelance translator working for agencies.

I know I cannot name the agencies I've worked for but can I name the final clients?

It's close to impossible to do a proper resume without showing my final clients knowing I've worked for some for more than 10 years.

Any suggestions welcomed!

Thanks!


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 07:32
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
It depends Jun 14

I mention a number of agencies and final clients.
I asked them permission and they understand my objective.
In case job records cannot have client names, it is difficult for freelance translators and interpreters to attain effective job orders.

Dr. Soonthon Lupkitaro
Bangkok, Thailand


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:32
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
NDAs Jun 14

Nathalie Suteau wrote:

Hello,

I'm revamping my resume and I've not done so in 10 years.

I've always been a freelance translator working for agencies.

I know I cannot name the agencies I've worked for but can I name the final clients?

It's close to impossible to do a proper resume without showing my final clients knowing I've worked for some for more than 10 years.


The reply is in the NDAs you signed with those agencies. However, unfortunately end clients are usually covered by most NDAs I've seen.


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Nathalie Suteau
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:32
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
I've checked my NDA Jun 14

Hello,

Thanks for your answers.

I have checked the SLA I've signed with my agencies and I can name final clients but not agencies.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:32
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
On the contrary Jun 14

Nathalie Suteau wrote:
I know I cannot name the agencies I've worked for but can I name the final clients?

It is possible to name the agencies, if those agencies are happy to be named. You have contracts with all of them. Whether or not you ever signed anything, they commissioned work for pay, and you did the work - that constitutes a contractual relationship. If a service contract/NDA or their T&C (which you implicitly/explicitly agreed to) covers the point and forbids naming them, then there's nothing you can do. Otherwise, they may well be happy for you to put their name out there as, presumably, you think they are a good agency. I'm not sure I can see any sense in promoting them that way, personally. Let's face it, agencies might be our clients but they are also very much our competitors as far as the end client is concerned. Sending that CV to a potential direct client could be rather fruitless.

You've signed no contract with the end client, and quite probably have had no contact with them. Do they have any idea who you are? Are you even 100% sure who they are? You certainly don't have any right to use their name in any way for your own promotion.

[quote]It's close to impossible to do a proper resume without showing my final clients knowing I've worked for some for more than 10 years.
Welcome to the club! But you can say that you've translated nnn words for one of the leaders in the XYZ industry over the last 10+ years.


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Nathalie Suteau
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:32
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Sheila Jun 14

It's close to impossible to do a proper resume without showing my final clients knowing I've worked for some for more than 10 years.
Welcome to the club! But you can say that you've translated nnn words for one of the leaders in the XYZ industry over the last 10+ years.


I'm not going to name the agencies but the final clients.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:32
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I find that absolutely amazing Jun 14

Nathalie Suteau wrote:
I have checked the SLA I've signed with my agencies and I can name final clients but not agencies.

What on earth gives the agency the authority to authorise you to divulge that information? It seems quite bizarre. Even more so as you aren't allowed to disclose their own name. Are you sure that's the real intention of the SLA wording? But if it is, then I guess that's fine.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ah, those NDAs Jun 14

Bon jour, Nathalie,

You've received some very good advice. A resume is not a soliciting tool, but a presentation tool, just like a brochure or flyer is not the same as a business card. Different format, different texts, different objectives.

I can only say what is going on here in the United States: although many translation agencies force a non-compete clause into their nondisclosure agreements or contract agreements with independent translators, the courts have ruled that those non-compete clauses are unenforceable. In other words, a translator cannot be liable for contacting an agency's client down the road.

An example: let's say Agency A hired me to do a job for PNC Bank. The agency's agreement states that I am not allowed to contact or solicit services from PNC Bank for a minimum of two (2) years, an example. Although I'm ethically committed to follow that clause, I am not legally bound to do so.

Now, NDAs or nondisclosure agreements are different and should be carefully read. I personally strive to avoid naming product names, brands or company names that I am bound by a NDA not to divulge. That's both ethical and legal. However, I can freely show a translation sample (on my website, in print, etc.) with the confidential names redacted (suppressed, stricken out, etc.) and that's legally okay because I'm not divulging confidential information.

This is as far as naming final clients. However, one should exercise judgment beyond the legal language of an NDA or contract. Is Agency A going to check my resume to see if I'm mentioning that I've done translations for PNC Bank? I doubt it; they don't have the resources or the time to do that, and it's impractical and uneconomical. Finally, even if Agency A finds out, I have no legal liability because nobody has suffered any damages.

As long as the names you name are relevant to the work you have done, you should be okay.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 14

For once I agree with Mario. What harm can it do?

Unless you've agreed specifically not to.

The fact is, you've worked for them, so why shouldn't you broadcast it?

On the other hand, prospective clients might want to know what you actually translated. One bank statement for PNC Bank is not the same as their entire website.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Statement vs. website Jun 14

Chris S wrote:

For once I agree with Mario. What harm can it do?

Unless you've agreed specifically not to.

The fact is, you've worked for them, so why shouldn't you broadcast it?

On the other hand, prospective clients might want to know what you actually translated. One bank statement for PNC Bank is not the same as their entire website.


True, Chris. That's why showing (off) a representative portfolio (preferably online) is a sensible step in the right direction.

And I'm curious about the use of the verb revamp in “revamping my resume,” Nathalie. According to most dictionaries, it means an act of improving the form, structure, or appearance of something. I'd rather focus on rewriting, reviewing, rephrasing, reconstructing if I were you.



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Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:32
French to German
+ ...
I would not Jun 14

The final customer is not your customer unless it's a direct one.

So I'd say no.

As an outsourcer I would not like a translator to do that.

As Sheila did mention you should write in my opinion "a big company in the XYZ field" or " a luxury hotel in France" or something like that.

[Modifié le 2017-06-14 20:31 GMT]


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:32
English to Russian
+ ...
It's not resume material at all Jun 14

In my opinion, a list of clients (whether agencies or end clients) does not belong in a resume of an independent contractor (as opposed to an employee). It may possibly be included in a cover letter if the prospective client explicitly requested it, otherwise it's only to be disclosed AFTER your resume and cover letter have attracted the client's interest.

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Nathalie Suteau
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:32
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Final clients Jun 14

Anton Konashenok wrote:

In my opinion, a list of clients (whether agencies or end clients) does not belong in a resume of an independent contractor (as opposed to an employee). It may possibly be included in a cover letter if the prospective client explicitly requested it, otherwise it's only to be disclosed AFTER your resume and cover letter have attracted the client's interest.


Then except my skills and area of expertise, I don't what to put in it: I've worked for dozens of final clients in 20 years through only 3 agencies. Not mentioning the agencies, I agree. But I checked the various contracts I signed 20 to 15 years ago and nothing mentions I don't have the right to mention my final clients in a resume/brochure.

I don't have the right to use the materials of the client, to contact them directly but that's all.


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:32
English to Russian
+ ...
Nathalie, you almost answered your own question Jun 16

Then except my skills and area of expertise, I don't what to put in it: I've worked for dozens of final clients in 20 years through only 3 agencies.

That's exactly what you need to put there in addition to your contact information and other basics. In 20 years of professional work, you must have accumulated enough skills, subject fields and other distinguishing attributes. For example, my own resume includes, from top to bottom:
- my contact information
- a list of my strongest points (essentially, a catch line)
- a list of my languages mentioning what I can do in each of them and where I was exposed to them
- a list of principal subject fields
- a description of my computer environment
- a brief summary of my work experience in translation and in each of my subject fields, a couple of lines for each ("X years of practical experience as YYY, including Z years in the TTT subfield, progressed to VVV, authorised to perform WWW")
- a list of other related skills (e.g. technical writing, desktop publishing)
- my educational background
- my business standing (e.g. a VAT-registered limited company)
- other relevant information (e.g. open to travel on a short notice)


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:32
English to German
+ ...
Resumes/ CVs Jun 16

I understand if someone submits their resume/CV to apply for full-time employment but if you work as a freelancer and hope for good projects from good agencies, I don't recommend "applying" for it with resumes. I know it's a common practice on this portal but it adds to the dependency problem many have with agencies and to agencies treating translators as if they were actual employees - without any of the benefits that usually come with it.
I recommend building a website instead and networking with colleagues and working with agencies who see you as an independent service provider/business, not an individual that sits in a room hoping to impress with their resume to get some cheaply paid project. So if you feel like mentioning any of your clients on your website, you should get their permission. It then becomes a verified fact. Otherwise, anyone can claim and post anything.


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