Looking for CV improvement advice
Thread poster: Vladimir Zakharov

Vladimir Zakharov
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:40
Russian to English
+ ...
Jun 9, 2015

Hello there,

I've been freelancing for 15 years now, and so far I've been mostly doing business with a single translation agency that was more or less fulfilling my needs through these years. Now I decided to scale up my activities a bit, so I've updated my ProZ profile and, among other things, designed my first-ever translator's CV. I've read several articles on how such a CV should look (including the advice given here on ProZ), but it would be great to receive some firsthand critique from fellow freelancers.

So, if you have five minutes to spare, I'll be very grateful for your feedback. (The CV's under my profile—don't know how/if I can post it within the forum.)

Thanks in advance!

Vlad

[Edited at 2015-06-09 03:42 GMT]


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Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:40
English to Italian
+ ...
Can't see you cv! Jun 9, 2015

Hi Vladimir (or may I say привет ? ),
sorry but I think that something went wrong during CV uploading on your Proz profile, there's no file uploaded.


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Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:40
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Get rid of rates and capacity, or be more vague Jun 9, 2015

Hi Vlad,

I think what you have is fine, and I like that we can see a bit of your personality there, too.

I would totally delete anything about your rates and your capacity. You don't want to paint yourself into a corner by being overly specific in these areas. Yes, you can do X amount of words of a technical text for your main client in that timeframe, but if someone sends you a highly technical specification outside of your field of experience, it may take you much longer and you are potentially setting your new clients' expectations too high and setting them and yourself up for disappointment.

Also, rates. Get rid of those. Any client who sees that section will not accept a quote for USD 0.08 if they know you are willing to go as low as USD 0.05. Why reduce your own salary by being so upfront about it? If you think your work is worth USD 0.08 but you know you can do it for USD 0.05 to survive if you have to, keep that information to yourself and use it in negotiations when you have to. Your bank account will thank you.

I would hesitate to offer a 30% discount across the board to all first-time orders. I suggest putting some terms and conditions on that.


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Vladimir Zakharov
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:40
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your insights, Angela! Jun 9, 2015

Angela Rimmer wrote:

I like that you like seeing a bit of personality—I was hesitating to put these words in.

As for rates and capacities, frankly I didn't put them first, but then I found this template on ProZ where it was mentioned. In the end, I see no problem with ranges for both, as I mention what they depend on (complexity, familiarity, etc.)—but I'll anyway give it another thought.

Regarding 30% discount, it's pure dumping on my side I think I can go even lower because the RUEN market is really down these days


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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:40
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Rates, capacity, areas of expertise Jun 9, 2015

Hi Vladimir,

I don't see anything to prove that you can do legal translations (such as educational background, experience in an in-house position with a law firm, etc.).

Moreover, if you can (as you claim) translate 1,500 words of complicated legal text per hour... hats off to you

Also, you state in your CV that you charge US$0.08-0.12 per source word for "General/Business" and US$0.05-0.08 for "Legal". I am a professional leagl translator, and I have always thought that legal ranslation is one of the most challenging (and well-paid) areas of specialization.


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Vladimir Zakharov
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:40
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the opinion, Vladimir Jun 9, 2015

Vladimir Pochinov wrote...

Frankly speaking, most of the legal texts I translated (business contracts etc.) were 75% standard, consisted of common cliches and tokens, and were peanuts to wrestle compared to some electrowinning process description (or the like). Probably I just never ran into real *complicated* legal texts.

Maybe we mean different things by "legal", I don't know...


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:40
German to English
Don't offer an initial discount Jun 9, 2015

Discounts to new customers, like rush jobs, tend to become fixed (and ongoing short deadlines). A small discount might be appropriate if the customer can significantly extend the deadline or if the text is highly repetitive (assuming you're using a CAT tool). In my experience and that of others, an initial price tends to become permanent with a customer.

It's difficult to set a pricing strategy: you need to have a sufficient flow of income to live on while still attracting new clients. If you set your price too low, you will be overworked with little to show for it. If your price is too high, you could face financial ruin while trying to attract high-quality customers.

One final bit of advice: don't take rush jobs from a new customer, or any rush jobs from a low-paying customer. The board is full of stories who translators who fell into the tread wheel of constant jobs with impossibly short deadlines.


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Vladimir Zakharov
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:40
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Kevin! Jun 9, 2015

Kevin Fulton wrote...

Yep, I know it's challenging to raise rates once set... But, to speak the truth, even with a 30% discount they are much bigger than what we'd get from a Russia/CIS-based agency, so... yeah...


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