Sample Curriculum Vitae
Thread poster: Estelle Demontrond-Box

Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 17:25
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Oct 8, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

I apologize if the question has been asked already but it has not come up in my search.
Could anybody give me links or tips on how to draft a GOOD translator's CV?

I have had mine for years but since I am a translator, a writer and a teacher, it is a bit busy... I realize that I should maybe draft different CVs for each skill according to whom I target and I am therefore thinking of drafting one mainly focused on my translating/proofreading experience since it happens to be my main occupation.

I basically know what to include but has any of you got good pieces of advice?

Thank you! Merci!


Estelle


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Stevenal  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:25
English to French
+ ...
CV Oct 8, 2010

Salut Estelle!

Vous faites bien d'aborder ce sujet. Comme vous, je suis aussi enseignant et j'aime bien écrire même si je n'ai encore rien publié.

Je pense qu'à l'instar de l'écriture où on choisit ses mots en fonction de l'audience, il est important de savoir à qui est destiné le CV. Moi je pense qu'un CV represente pour nous le moyen de partager nos connaissances et notre expérience professionnelle avec de potentiels employeurs. Partant de ce fait, toutes les informations qui y figurent doivent tendre à montrer, sinon démontrer, ce qui fait de vous une traductrice qualifiée. Bien entendu, si vous avez fait des études de langues, c'est un atout à signaler. Mais les années passées à enseigner, je ne pense pas qu'il faille inclure tous les détails dans votre CV. Vous pouvez juste les mentionner au passage.

J'avais affiché un CV avec toute l'expérience que j'ai acquise en vingt ans d'enseignement, mais j'ai du concocter quelque chose de plus approprié à la traduction. J'ai juste parcouru des profiles sur ce site et je suis tombé sur un CV qui m'a plût et donc j'en ai emprunté le format--voilà!

Allez, bonne chance!

[Edited at 2010-10-08 15:54 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
A necessary pain Oct 8, 2010

First, Estelle, as I'm sure you're aware, a "sample CV" is never going to be the best one for you. I wouldn't advise you to follow anyone else's format to the letter as no two people have the same set of skills and experience to sell. "Sell" being the operative word here, since your CV must sell your services.

Anyway, I'm sure you know all that already but I'm surprised you haven't found anything useful in this forum as newbies often ask for help and get a lot of good advice.

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:
I have had mine for years but since I am a translator, a writer and a teacher, it is a bit busy... I realize that I should maybe draft different CVs for each skill according to whom I target and I am therefore thinking of drafting one mainly focused on my translating/proofreading experience since it happens to be my main occupation.


I have just the same dilemma (although I don't write) and I have settled for multiple CVs:
one as a translator with a very brief résumé of my teaching experience (1-page)
one as a language trainer with a very brief résumé of my translating experience (1-page)
one as a trainer/translator giving equal emphasis to the two disciplines for those clients potentially interested in both services (2-page)
another three in French to mirror the ones above
a couple more that have been edited to remove information that I don't want to put out on the web (email address, telno, postal address)
then there's one in the awful "Euro-format" that somebody insisted on once.

Every now and again I take half a day or so to edit them so I can include latest, relevant experience whilst keeping them to sensible lengths. It's a pain, really it is - but a necessary one! A bit like having a vaccination so you can go on your holiday-of-a-lifetime - it's go to be done!


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Alain Marsol
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 08:25
Member (2006)
English to French
CV du traducteur : des informations sur mesure Jan 23, 2011

Bonjour Estelle,


Comme l’a fait remarquer Sheila, le but du CV est de vendre nos prestations. Je crois donc qu’outre les spécificités liées au métier, un CV de traducteur doit être adapté au type de client visé : agence ou client direct. Bien que les informations contenues dans l’une et l’autre version soient assez similaires, l’accent doit être mis sur les préoccupations centrales de chaque type de client. L’agencement et le développement de certains blocs d’informations sera donc différent.


Les principales questions que se pose le client direct sont :


  • le traducteur est-il qualifié pour la traduction proposée ?

  • est-il compétent ou spécialisé dans le domaine traité ?

  • a-t-il déjà traduit des textes de même nature ?

  • quelle est son expérience ?



Outre les questions du client direct, le gestionnaire de projet en agence se pose des questions telles que :


  • combien de mots le traducteur peut-il traduire chaque jour ?

  • quels logiciels utilise-t-il (traitement de texte, tableur, outils TAO…) ?

  • le traducteur est-il facile à joindre ?

  • est-il agréable de travailler avec lui ?




Votre CV aura donc pour mission de dire à chacun de vos types de clients ce qu’ils ont le plus besoin de savoir.

Pour convaincre votre interlocuteur, vous aurez également besoin de lui fournir les preuves concrètes de vos compétences : quelques références à contacter, une liste des projets récents ou importants sur lesquels vous avez travaillé ou des exemples de traduction (en ayant impérativement obtenu l’autorisation de publier de telles informations).

Selon les cas, vos preuves pourront être intégrées à votre CV ou faire l’objet de documents annexes.


Il y encore beaucoup de choses à dire. Voici quelques autres idées :


  • Pour faire écho à ce qu’écrit Sheila, il est tout à fait envisageable de ne pas indiquer toutes ses informations de contact dans un CV publiquement affiché sur le Web. Votre numéro de téléphone, de télécopie ou votre adresse postale peuvent être des informations réservées à vos seuls clients. Comme l’adresse et le numéro de téléphone sont des informations que la quasi-totalité des gens s’attendent à trouver sur un CV, il convient toutefois de confirmer leur absence, de préférence à l’endroit même où ils auraient dû se trouver.

  • Certaines informations sont à proscrire d’un CV de professionnel de la traduction. Citons entre autres votre date de naissance, votre situation matrimoniale ou le nombre de vos enfants. C’est votre expérience qui intéresse votre client potentiel. Vos informations personnelles ne le concernent pas.

  • Un CV comportant un portrait photo est plus personnel et retient mieux l’attention. Évitez les fond encombrés, ou encore mieux, investissez dans un portrait professionnel réalisé en studio.

  • Si vous êtes un prestataire à la recherche de contrats, vous pouvez incorporer à votre CV des informations qui ne figurent habituellement pas sur un CV de chercheur d’emploi : vos conditions générales par exemple (en particulier pour un CV adressé à un client direct).

  • Votre CV est la pièce maîtresse de votre arsenal commercial. C’est pourquoi le fond mais aussi la forme doivent être traités de manière professionnelle, jusqu’au dernier détail. Toutefois, l’immense majorité des CV de traducteurs souffre d’une mise en page sommaire, voire absente, ce qui a pour effet de dégrader la première impression du client potentiel. Paradoxalement, on observe que plus le traducteur est qualifié, plus la présentation de son CV laisse à désirer. Comme l’a souligné Sheila, beaucoup de traducteurs vivent la rédaction de leur CV comme un mal nécessaire. En effectuer la mise en page est une corvée tout aussi nécessaire mais très souvent insurmontable.

  • Si vous avez soigné la forme de votre CV et développé une identité visuelle qui vous est propre, pensez également à l’appliquer à vos factures et à tous vos autres documents à destination du client. Vous gagnerez ainsi en présence dans son esprit.



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Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 17:25
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Des informations précieuses Feb 1, 2011

Alain Marsol wrote:

Bonjour Estelle,


Comme l’a fait remarquer Sheila, le but du CV est de vendre nos prestations. Je crois donc qu’outre les spécificités liées au métier, un CV de traducteur doit être adapté au type de client visé : agence ou client direct. Bien que les informations contenues dans l’une et l’autre version soient assez similaires, l’accent doit être mis sur les préoccupations centrales de chaque type de client. L’agencement et le développement de certains blocs d’informations sera donc différent.


Les principales questions que se pose le client direct sont :


  • le traducteur est-il qualifié pour la traduction proposée ?

  • est-il compétent ou spécialisé dans le domaine traité ?

  • a-t-il déjà traduit des textes de même nature ?

  • quelle est son expérience ?



Outre les questions du client direct, le gestionnaire de projet en agence se pose des questions telles que :


  • combien de mots le traducteur peut-il traduire chaque jour ?

  • quels logiciels utilise-t-il (traitement de texte, tableur, outils TAO…) ?

  • le traducteur est-il facile à joindre ?

  • est-il agréable de travailler avec lui ?




Votre CV aura donc pour mission de dire à chacun de vos types de clients ce qu’ils ont le plus besoin de savoir.

Pour convaincre votre interlocuteur, vous aurez également besoin de lui fournir les preuves concrètes de vos compétences : quelques références à contacter, une liste des projets récents ou importants sur lesquels vous avez travaillé ou des exemples de traduction (en ayant impérativement obtenu l’autorisation de publier de telles informations).

Selon les cas, vos preuves pourront être intégrées à votre CV ou faire l’objet de documents annexes.


Il y encore beaucoup de choses à dire. Voici quelques autres idées :


  • Pour faire écho à ce qu’écrit Sheila, il est tout à fait envisageable de ne pas indiquer toutes ses informations de contact dans un CV publiquement affiché sur le Web. Votre numéro de téléphone, de télécopie ou votre adresse postale peuvent être des informations réservées à vos seuls clients. Comme l’adresse et le numéro de téléphone sont des informations que la quasi-totalité des gens s’attendent à trouver sur un CV, il convient toutefois de confirmer leur absence, de préférence à l’endroit même où ils auraient dû se trouver.

  • Certaines informations sont à proscrire d’un CV de professionnel de la traduction. Citons entre autres votre date de naissance, votre situation matrimoniale ou le nombre de vos enfants. C’est votre expérience qui intéresse votre client potentiel. Vos informations personnelles ne le concernent pas.

  • Un CV comportant un portrait photo est plus personnel et retient mieux l’attention. Évitez les fond encombrés, ou encore mieux, investissez dans un portrait professionnel réalisé en studio.

  • Si vous êtes un prestataire à la recherche de contrats, vous pouvez incorporer à votre CV des informations qui ne figurent habituellement pas sur un CV de chercheur d’emploi : vos conditions générales par exemple (en particulier pour un CV adressé à un client direct).

  • Votre CV est la pièce maîtresse de votre arsenal commercial. C’est pourquoi le fond mais aussi la forme doivent être traités de manière professionnelle, jusqu’au dernier détail. Toutefois, l’immense majorité des CV de traducteurs souffre d’une mise en page sommaire, voire absente, ce qui a pour effet de dégrader la première impression du client potentiel. Paradoxalement, on observe que plus le traducteur est qualifié, plus la présentation de son CV laisse à désirer. Comme l’a souligné Sheila, beaucoup de traducteurs vivent la rédaction de leur CV comme un mal nécessaire. En effectuer la mise en page est une corvée tout aussi nécessaire mais très souvent insurmontable.

  • Si vous avez soigné la forme de votre CV et développé une identité visuelle qui vous est propre, pensez également à l’appliquer à vos factures et à tous vos autres documents à destination du client. Vous gagnerez ainsi en présence dans son esprit.




Merci beaucoup Alain pour ces précieurses informations!
Cordialement

Estelle


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:25
German to Spanish
+ ...
Sample Curriculum Vitae Feb 1, 2011

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:

Dear Colleagues,

I apologize if the question has been asked already but it has not come up in my search.
Could anybody give me links or tips on how to draft a GOOD translator's CV?

I have had mine for years but since I am a translator, a writer and a teacher, it is a bit busy... I realize that I should maybe draft different CVs for each skill according to whom I target and I am therefore thinking of drafting one mainly focused on my translating/proofreading experience since it happens to be my main occupation.

I basically know what to include but has any of you got good pieces of advice?

Thank you! Merci!


Estelle


Take a look at Easyjob Resume Builder.
The demo software may give you an idea on how to write a CV quite correctly. It is designed to give different results acording to your personal situation... working gaps, over fifteen, etc.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
A CV, or the best CV? Feb 1, 2011

Pablo Bouvier wrote:
Take a look at Easyjob Resume Builder.
The demo software may give you an idea on how to write a CV quite correctly. It is designed to give different results acording to your personal situation... working gaps, over fifteen, etc.


I haven't downloaded anything from the site, but from what I've seen, Pablo, I have to differ.

All they have done is played about with the formatting of an absolutely typical salaried-employee reverse chronological CV, and some of the formatting is pretty poor. Even then, they are not very convincing as the people concerned seem to have led lives guaranteed to give them easy-to-write CVs. If only it were that easy!

In my monthly workshop at the French Job Agency, I've helped about 500 French job-seekers with their English CVs over the past 5 years, and I'd say that less than 50 of them presented me with a life that could be accommodated "automatically" into a CV. Either they wanted to fill it with unimportant details or they didn't think to tell me things that were crucial or they had had a chaotic selection of jobs, with the most relevant experience hidden somewhere halfway down the list.

Very few of us here are salaried employees and most of us work for different companies all the time: 100 words for this person, 5000 for that; proofreading for him and voice-overs for her; tourist brochures for this agency, a contract for that direct client; ... This type of CV just doesn't work.

You could get a CV from this "Resume Builder" site (or from many like it) but I can guarantee you won't get the best CV. For that, you would do better to spend a few hours looking at some CVs on ProZ (bearing in mind that some of them are bound to be awful and many will be only average), then deciding on what would be best for you.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:25
French to German
+ ...
How about a presentation? Feb 1, 2011

How about a presentation?

I prefer to focus on what I can offer as per translation services and hence made what I call a presentation. All the essentials are there, concentrated on one single DIN A4 page.

Of course, one cannot please all the people, all the time - and I am well aware of the fact that this presentation may be rejected as looking "unprofessional" or whatever.

But - and this has been my guideline all along - I am not applying for some in-house position, be it in the translation industry or elsewhere. And I just cannot (psychologically speaking) hide who I am and dig my actual person/personality under 3+ pages on painfully precise enumerations.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Couldn't agree more, Laurent Feb 1, 2011

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
I am not applying for some in-house position, be it in the translation industry or elsewhere.


I wish we could break away from the term "CV" but it just won't go away. Whenever you use the other terms: presentation, profile, brochure, ... you get "Oh, you mean your CV?" But it is so important to remember that if you want to call it a CV, then it's a freelancer's CV.

I think your presentation/CV is fine, although I do wonder why there's a roast chicken in the bottom-left corner. (Seriously, I doubt that's what it is but I'm at a loss to make anything else of it).


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:25
French to German
+ ...
Roast chicken Feb 1, 2011

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I think your presentation/CV is fine, although I do wonder why there's a roast chicken in the bottom-left corner. (Seriously, I doubt that's what it is but I'm at a loss to make anything else of it).


Sheila,
you are gladly invited to test my culinary talents, even with Provençal cooking although I prefer Louisiana's kitchen. But the roast chicken on the bottom left is a polished amber - I put it there because it was... orange.

PS: as per the use of the "CV" word, I guess it is because way too much PM's and other agency personnels have gone through the HR filter (hence the grandiloquence of technocratic terms such as "resources", "implementation", "externalisation" etc.)...

[Edited at 2011-02-01 14:44 GMT]


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:25
German to Spanish
+ ...
Sample Curriculum Vitae Feb 6, 2011

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Pablo Bouvier wrote:
Take a look at Easyjob Resume Builder.
The demo software may give you an idea on how to write a CV quite correctly. It is designed to give different results acording to your personal situation... working gaps, over fifteen, etc.


I haven't downloaded anything from the site, but from what I've seen, Pablo, I have to differ.

All they have done is played about with the formatting of an absolutely typical salaried-employee reverse chronological CV, and some of the formatting is pretty poor. Even then, they are not very convincing as the people concerned seem to have led lives guaranteed to give them easy-to-write CVs. If only it were that easy!

In my monthly workshop at the French Job Agency, I've helped about 500 French job-seekers with their English CVs over the past 5 years, and I'd say that less than 50 of them presented me with a life that could be accommodated "automatically" into a CV. Either they wanted to fill it with unimportant details or they didn't think to tell me things that were crucial or they had had a chaotic selection of jobs, with the most relevant experience hidden somewhere halfway down the list.

Very few of us here are salaried employees and most of us work for different companies all the time: 100 words for this person, 5000 for that; proofreading for him and voice-overs for her; tourist brochures for this agency, a contract for that direct client; ... This type of CV just doesn't work.

You could get a CV from this "Resume Builder" site (or from many like it) but I can guarantee you won't get the best CV. For that, you would do better to spend a few hours looking at some CVs on ProZ (bearing in mind that some of them are bound to be awful and many will be only average), then deciding on what would be best for you.



I do not have the habit to talk about the virtues of a car, if I did not try it. And even less if I have only seen the package. Of course, not all personal circumstances of every person can be automated, and nobody has said that. Even so, it is very different to focus on a resume from a chronological point of view as from a standpoint of accomplishments (the application allows both, between many others...).

So far, the application gives an index to follow in order not to forget something relevant, but how to fill each chapter is up to you. You say this type of CV just doesn't work. I say this type of CV with some adaptations to my own personal circumstances did work very well for me: Past week I send a personalized e-mail with this CV and a presentation letter to eight agencies. This week I got a 50% feedback, which is a quite high rate for an e-mail campaign. To speak about the «best CV» seems completely subjective too me, as you will find always people who do it far better than you or than me, or who do it far worse. Such is life...

I agree with Laurent and with you too that a presentation is a better way to present ourselves as translators or service providers. However, the remaining question here is: how many agencies that advertise jobs in ProZ or elsewhere do not simultaneously request to send a CV...?


[Edited at 2011-02-06 19:00 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
@ Pablo Feb 6, 2011

Pablo Bouvier wrote:
I do not have the habit to talk about the virtues of a car, if I did not try it. And even less if I have only seen the package.


You're right of course, Pablo. But they don't seem to offer a "test drive" so all I could do was to have a good look around the "showroom". And all I saw was a series of reverse-chronological CVs with a career path that would have slotted nicely into any format. A bit like a Renault showroom with the full range of Clios but no Meganes or Twingos.

it is very different to focus on a resume from a chronological point of view as from a standpoint of accomplishments (the application allows both, between many others...).

So far, the application gives an index to follow in order not to forget something relevant, but how to fill each chapter is up to you.


Right! If they'd shown me that, I might have been more impressed. On the other hand, if they are leaving it up to you, perhaps we're both talking about the same thing: designing your own CV to show off your own achievements, rather than using an off-the-shelf model.

Past week I send a personalized e-mail with this CV and a presentation letter to eight agencies. This week I got a 50% feedback.


As you say, that's a very good result and clearly they were impressed.

To speak about the «best CV» seems completely subjective too me, as you will find always people who do it far better than you or than me, or who do it far worse. Such is life...


Absolutely! CVs are there to be examined by people, not by machines, and people are, by definition, subjective - one will like A and hate B, the next will love B and reject A. All we can do is make sure that our CVs (or whatever we end up calling them) are written by people, too, people who have spent hours and hours trying to get the best possible result.

One thing I'd like to add here. At the end of my Day 1 presentation on the "dos and donts", I tell my workshop attendees to allow a minimum of four hours to do a first draft of their CVs. Some are downright scornful and email me their attempts in the early evening. Almost always, I find it a simple job to show them why they would have been extremely unlikely to be selected for interview. Then they understand and spend a lot more time on it and finally go away with a CV they are proud of.

I don't guarantee them a job, though.


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