Curriculum Vitae - Feedback
Thread poster: Florian Wollenschein

Florian Wollenschein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:48
Member (2013)
English to German
+ ...
Dec 9, 2013

Hi all,

would someone please have a look at my CV and give me feedback on it? I have not created a translation related CV before, so I hope, you will find all the mistakes (or at least *some* of them).icon_smile.gif

You can find the CV in PDF format here: http://wollenschein-translation.com/CURRICULUM_VITAE_Florian_Wollenschein.pdf

Thank you very much!

All the best,
Florian


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:48
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Hello Florian, my 2c Dec 9, 2013

On the whole, it's quite good, IMO. It's short and to the point, and the text itself seems fine after a quick scan - I didn't notice any howlers, although there is an "if" in place of an "of".

Still, there are things that I think could be improved, as always, but they are all quite small:

"CV" is almost never written in full in English (and it sounds pompous when it is), and it doesn't need to appear on the CV at all. It's like a book cover saying "BOOK"!
The title of your CV should be that you're a translator, whereas you've hidden that in your address section.
Is your fax number really that long?
I wouldn't personally recommend making your email address so accessible to robots. My online version doesn't have it all; other people replace the "@" with " AT " so that human readers can still use it; many don't put their CVs online at all nowadays, but that's another question.
I understand why you've put "Mr."; it isn't nice but some foreign readers may think it's a woman's CV from your name. It depends how awful that would be.icon_smile.gif
Perhaps there should be some more info about your level of English.
The CV implies that, although you've been busy these last 3 months, there hasn't been much to fill your time since 2007.

What does surprise me is the lack of 100% coherence between your specialisations as listed on the CV and those on your ProZ.com profile. That would doubtless confuse readers who have both in front of them.


 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:48
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Comments Dec 9, 2013

Dear Florian,

Here are my comments on it. Do not hesitate to comment if anything is not clear.

1. Remove the very first line that says "CURRICULUM VITAE" because it is completely redundant.

2. Replace all of the text that says "Translation of" with "Translated" because you want to use action verbs to describe what you have done so far. What you have over there is neutral. You want to make them active using an action verb (translate).

3. I would remove ":" that you use at the end of the headings.

4. A one-page CV is always good, never exceed one-page.

5. "Author of two books in German" is excellent. I would try to give slightly more details about the books here, e.g. date (year) of their publication.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:48
English to Polish
+ ...
... Dec 9, 2013

Hi, Florian. It looks good and professional. Here are some tweaks I'd use:

– Sort specialisations thematically.
– Avoid repeating 'translation of' –> 'recent translation projects' perhaps, or even 'recent translations'?


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
My comments Dec 9, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:
"CV" is almost never written in full in English (and it sounds pompous when it is), and it doesn't need to appear on the CV at all. It's like a book cover saying "BOOK"!


ATIL KAYHAN wrote:
1. Remove the very first line that says "CURRICULUM VITAE" because it is completely redundant.


I disagree with these sentiments. If you don't write "CV" or "curriculum vitae" at the top of the doument, it will not be recognised as such. It is fairly standard to write those words at the top of a CV or résumé. Also, I don't agree with the idea that "curriculum vitae" is never written out in English or that it sounds pompous. It may sound pompous if you write an e-mail, but this is the official document itself, and it can do with the full title written out in full.

Sheila wrote:
The title of your CV should be that you're a translator, whereas you've hidden that in your address section.


I agree -- put your name at the top of the document, e.g. above or below the words "curriculum vitae". Anyone picking up this document from the table must know instantly what it is (it's a CV) and whose CV it is.

I wouldn't personally recommend making your email address so accessible to robots. My online version doesn't have it all; other people replace the "@" with " AT " so that human readers can still use it; many don't put their CVs online at all nowadays, but that's another question.


On the other hand, making it clickable and copy/pasteable makes it more likely that people will contact you. It's your decision -- do you want to risk spam, or do you want to risk people not writing you an e-mail?

I understand why you've put "Mr."; it isn't nice but some foreign readers may think it's a woman's CV from your name. It depends how awful that would be.icon_smile.gif


Yes, but it took me a few seconds to figure out that "Mr" is meant to mean "mister" and is not some foreign credential that I'm simply not aware of. Isn't there another way you can tell people that you're male? A photo, perhaps?

The CV implies that, although you've been busy these last 3 months, there hasn't been much to fill your time since 2007.


I also got that impression. And, it took me a while to realise that the top three items referred to the past three months, not the past three years. Yes, it is clear when you actually look at the dates, but one tends to skimread a CV and make assumptions about what you see.


 

Florian Wollenschein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:48
Member (2013)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your comments Dec 9, 2013

Dear Sheila, dear Atil,

thank you so much for your comments. They are really helpful and I will update my CV as recommended by you asap.

Sheila, in my CV I added the specializations that I *want* to work in, whereas in my Proz.com profile I used the ones that I *have been* working in. In fact, I would like to specialize even further, but time will show, when it is possible for me.

Well, thanks again.

All the best,
Florian


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:48
English to Polish
+ ...
Yeah, a photo Dec 10, 2013

Yeah, get a photo or try to find some other way to disclose your sex if possible. English is somewhat tolerant of self-referential misters and mistresses, but they still may be associated with exotic cultures and even Nigerian scam.

This said, I think it's perfectly clear that your Mr is simply there to make it clear you're male.


 

Tiffany Hardy  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:48
Spanish to English
whether to include CV as a title Dec 11, 2013

...depends on whether what you are presenting is a true curriculum vitae or not. A true curriculum vitae is typical of academia, architecture and other professions where an entire list of projects, publications, etc. is expected and can be pages and pages in length. In these cases it is quite common and correct to include "Curriculum Vitae" at the top.

I don't think this is the best approach in the translation industry as you don't want to list specific projects you've done since many may be confidential, and in some cases people don't want to list specific clients so that their competitors don't go knocking on their door. Besides no potential client has the time to peruse an entire list of projects to determine what your areas of specialization are. What you want to do is summarize your experience and therefore this is not a CV in its truest sense (in US English we distinguish between a resume and a CV and I find that distinction helpful here). In this case it is not recommended to put a title on your CV. People will know it is your CV (presumably because if you send it as part of an attachment email, you will include some kind of message indicating that you have attached it! Naming the file CV_Florian Wollenschein will also help indicate what the document is).

ATIL KAYHAN wrote:
4. A one-page CV is always good, never exceed one-page.


As with most rules to CV writing, the answer to whether or not a one page CV is a must is...it depends! Are you able to transmit all of your qualifications which will make you attractive to a client on just one page? Will you have to make major omissions of qualifications or use a font size that is uncomfortable to read? That a CV must be one page is sort of old hat. That said, your CV should always be as tight and trim as possible. If you can say it in four words instead of eight, do so! Look for every opportunity to be brief, while still transmitting the same idea. The visual layout is also important to consider. A CV that is one and one quarter page is visually off-putting. In those cases I would make every effort to try to fit it onto one page, experimenting with the formatting and design as well as trimming the content.

As to indicating sex in cases where the name may be ambiguous, I think either approach is good - photo or title. However, I would be sensitive to your target audience when using a photo. In the US for example it is quite strange to use a photo on a CV, whereas in Europe this is common practice. I have two versions of my CV - one in Spanish which I use mostly in Spain where a photo is expected. On my English version I do not include a photo. Using Mr. is an acceptable approach and I agree that it will be obvious why you chose to include the title and will make potential clients feel comfortable about approaching you.

Best of luck.




[Edited at 2013-12-11 05:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-12-11 05:10 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:48
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
American vs British English Dec 11, 2013

Tiffany Hardy wrote:
What you want to do is summarize your experience and therefore this is not a CV in its truest sense (in US English we distinguish between a resume and a CV and I find that distinction helpful here).

I agree with absolutely everything you say in your post, Tiffany - your thoughts on this mirror mine. But this confusion of terms can be a real problem. It's clear that if the OP was writing in American English he should have used the term resume. However, as we don't have that distinction in British English, it's perfectly correct to use CV for his document in that variant of English. It's just a "short CV" as opposed to a "long CV"icon_wink.gif.

What we really need to do is convince our clients to accept another term altogether, that all variants of English would use. A traditional CV/resume (with its reverse-chronological list of positions held, and language skills tucked away near the bottom) really isn't suitable for a freelancer; it's something for a potential employer to read, not a client. But what to call our marketing texts? Brochure? Bio? Presentation? I don't know, and I'm willing to bet we're stuck with CV/resume for the foreseeable future.


 

JH Trads  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:48
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
Hello Dec 11, 2013

Instead of 'Miscellaneous", I would suggest using "Publications" or similar heading regarding the books you authored. Writing books is not an ordinary thing, and writing skills are essential for translators, whereas "Miscellaneous" could have a connotation of 'less relevant', 'less important'.

 

Tiffany Hardy  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:48
Spanish to English
Publications are highly relevant Dec 12, 2013

Hugo wrote:

Instead of 'Miscellaneous", I would suggest using "Publications" or similar heading regarding the books you authored. Writing books is not an ordinary thing, and writing skills are essential for translators, whereas "Miscellaneous" could have a connotation of 'less relevant', 'less important'.


I couldn't agree more.

In fact, I would include a summary section at the top of the CV, indicating your language pair and any other top selling points, one of them being of course that you are a published author. This would also be the appropriate place to mention that you are a Trados user and are an ATA member, whereas at the moment those items are in different places throughout your CV. Some agencies consider your software to be the most important thing when choosing a translator, so I would not hide that at the bottom of the CV under miscellaneous.


 

Florian Wollenschein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:48
Member (2013)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Dec 12, 2013

Thank you very much, guys!

I will edit my CV according to your suggestions.

I have deleted it from my website, because I don't want it to be public.

Thanks again.icon_smile.gif

All the best,
Florian


 


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