How to list past projects in CV?
Thread poster: Thomas Johansson

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 12:00
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Jun 4, 2009

I have never cared much for listing past projects in my CV before, but I was thinking about starting doing that now. I wanted to ask for advice on how to list such projects.

More specifically, my question is whether it is (ethically, professionally etc.) ok, when listing past projects, to name:
- end-clients
- agencies for which projects were done
- products concerned

For instance, two entries might look like this:

* Code of Conduct (XXX) - 9,500 words (May 2009) (YYY1)
* GUI for ZZZ - 15,000 words (May 2009) (YYY2)

Here, XXX would be the name of an end-client, YYY1 and YYY2 would be the names of the agencies for which these projects were done, and ZZZ would be the name of the software product whose GUI was translated in the second entry.

Well, these are my particular concerns right now. I would appreciate to hear any suggestions or comments.

(Also, if anyone has suggestions of further types of data that might or should be included in CV data about past projects, please do tell.)

Thanks,

Thomas


[Edited at 2009-06-04 21:50 GMT]


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Mark Nathan  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:00
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
Careful of naming end clients Jun 4, 2009

There should not be any problem in naming agencies that you have worked for - they are effectively your previous employers so you have every right to name them on your CV.

However, end clients are a different matter, as are products. The safest route is to talk about them generically e.g. user guide for (certain type of) software, instructions for (type of product), specification for major automobile manufacturer etc.
However, I think it's OK to mention certain categories of client such as big multinationals, national utility companies, tourist boards etc.
The issue here is not to betray any (tacit) confidentiality agreements that you have with agencies.
If you work for a direct client then again it is different, you can say that you worked for them, but they may be sensitive about where/how their products are mentioned, if there is any doubt then I would ask them if I could mention specific products.

[Edited at 2009-06-04 21:44 GMT]

Potential clients looking at your CV are likely to appreciate discretion and respect for confidentiality.

[Edited at 2009-06-04 21:55 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I'd go for a more general layout Jun 4, 2009

Thomas Johansson wrote:
I have never cared much for listing past projects in my CV before, but I was thinking about starting doing that now.


Why would you want to do that? My guess is that the only reason to do this would be to give potential clients an overview of the type of work you do. So what really counts is the volume of work, the subject field, and to a lesser extend the date of the job, right? It's not necessary to mention the end-client -- unless the end-client specifically asked for you to be the translator because of your fame in the industry.

So what I would suggest, is that you split your translation career of the past 5 years into sections of 6 months, and classify the work you did into four or five main types of subject fields. Then create a listing like this:

January-June 2008
Pharmaceutical: 80 000 words on 12 different jobs for 3 different clients.
Mining and metallurgy: 72 000 words on 3 different jobs for 1 client.
Tourism: 12 000 words on 4 different jobs for 4 different clients, including for example an environmental impact study.
...etc

So you list the broad field, and then say how many words, for how many jobs, for how many clients. If you want to highlight a specific job because it may have been interesting or noteworthy, then mention it very briefly (eg what I did in tourism above). Don't mention clients, don't mention the names of end-clients, don't mention product names, etc.

If you want to have references on your résumé, with contact details of up to 5 different clients that you've worked for, you can have that, but it is a separate heading. The above relates to your experience, not to references.

Don't be more specific than 6 months at a time. You don't want to clutter your résumé with too much information and you must also be careful that narrowing down time too closely may affect confidentiality of certain jobs, even if no names are mentioned.

What do you think?

[added]: Come to think of it, this type of information lends it self nicely to a table. I know they say you must not use tables in a résumé, but I think this may be one of those cases where a table may be simpler than paragraph format:

General subject field | # of words | # of projects | # of unique clients



[Edited at 2009-06-05 00:06 GMT]


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Andreas Nieckele  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:00
English to Portuguese
Publicly available information Jun 5, 2009

What about samples of publicly available material? Suppose you translated, through an agency, the website of a very famous product in its segment. Like a blockbuster movie for some Hollywood studio (this is just an analogy). Anyone can just go to the website and see your translation right there. Would it be ok to display such samples on your portfolio, mentioning the name of the movie (product), but not the name of the agency or the studio (end client)? Could this constitute a breach of the confidentiality agreement, even if it's publicly available information?

I know that each agreement is different, but the truth is that in this case I never signed any agreement, and I know this would definitely help me get new clients.

Sorry if I'm hijacking the post, but I feel this is pertinent to the discussion.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
On confidentiality of samples Jun 5, 2009

Andreas Nieckele wrote:
Would it be ok to display such samples on your portfolio, mentioning the name of the movie (product), but not the name of the agency or the studio (end client)? Could this constitute a breach of the confidentiality agreement, even if it's publicly available information?


If your work has been published, then you have the right to be identified as the author of that work, yes. But I still believe you need the client's permission to link him (the client) to that work, or to reveal information about your relationship with the client with regard to the work that was published.

But as you said, "portfolio". Samples would go into a portfolio, not a résumé.


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Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 12:00
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jun 12, 2009

for the good feedback.

Thomas


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