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Mentioning company names in cv
Thread poster: Ligeti

Ligeti  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:23
English to Dutch
+ ...
Feb 7, 2015

Dear colleagues,

In order to expand my customer database I am sending my cv to some translation agencies. In my cv I mention the projects I have been working on lately and mention the name of the company that the translation was for (not the translation agency) as well. Do you think that is ok or might a translation agency - both the new one I am applying with and the one I did the project for - regard that as sharing sensitive business information?

Best regards,

Maurice


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Don't do it Feb 9, 2015

You shouldn't do this. It would be a breach of confidence.

 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 08:23
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes, it is OK. Feb 9, 2015

In my opinion, mentioning company names in a resume/cv is perfectly okay because it simply shows that you worked for that particular company. If you look at any resume/cv, one sure thing is that it gives the company name(s) the individual has worked for. If you made translations for company XYZ, it is to your advantage to mention the company name in your resume/cv.

The translation agency is only an intermediary that acts as an agent to find that company XYZ for you. In the same way, suppose you had worked full-time for company ABC in the past. You should put that in your resume/cv. Suppose you got that job with company ABC through an employment agency. Do you put the name of that employment agency on your resume/cv? Definitely not. You do put the name of the company ABC though.


[Edited at 2015-02-09 19:25 GMT]


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:23
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Why not? Feb 9, 2015

I don't see how mentioning a company for which you have translated as intermediar for a translation agency is a breach of confidence? If you accept direct work from this company, then it is another cookie, but just mentioning its name in your resumee?

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:23
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm sorry but you've got the relationships wrong Feb 9, 2015

ATIL KAYHAN wrote:
In my opinion, mentioning company names in a resume/cv is perfectly okay because it simply shows that you worked for that particular company. If you look at any resume/cv, one sure thing is that it gives the company name(s) the individual has worked for. If you made translations for company XYZ, it is to your advantage to mention the company name in your resume/cv.

The translation agency is only an intermediary that acts as an agent to find that company XYZ for you. In the same way, suppose you had worked full-time for company ABC in the past. You should put that in your resume/cv. Suppose you got that job with company ABC through an employment agency. Do you put the name of that employment agency on your resume/cv? Definitely not. You do put the name of the company ABC though.


[Edited at 2015-02-09 19:25 GMT]

A. We don't work for an end client (when we work through an agency) - we are not employees. We have no contract with the end client at all, and they don't know who on earth we are.
B. An employment agency is entirely different from a translation agency. A job-seeker has no contract with the agency - the agency doesn't pay them, does it?; we do have a contract with the agency - they are our client.


You could always put the agency names, I suppose. But there's still a downside. References for a job-seeker concern PREVIOUS relationships. Our relationships are rarely entirely over - I can't be the only one who has had a client disappear for years and then suddenly resurface. So, they are CURRENT relationships. And it's in our own best interests not to share that information with all and sundry.


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:23
German to English
There's no real point to doing this Feb 9, 2015

In all likelihood, the prestigious end customer played little part in selecting you as the translator if you translated documents via an agency. Potential clients are much more interested in your actual expertise than they are in knowing the end customers of any agency you worked for.

If, for example, I once translated documents relating to the Bugatti Veyron (which I haven't), my friends might be impressed, prospective clients, not so much. They'd be much more interested in whether I knew anything about brake systems or turbochargers.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:23
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
I wouldn't do that Feb 9, 2015

Maurice Koopman wrote:
Do you think that is ok or might a translation agency - both the new one I am applying with and the one I did the project for - regard that as sharing sensitive business information?

Many agencies won't care at all but I reckon >80% of clients would not want their name used in such a way. I just don't give names out at all.

Dan


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not employed by end-client Feb 10, 2015

ATIL KAYHAN wrote:
In my opinion, mentioning company names in a resume/cv is perfectly okay because it simply shows that you worked for that particular company. If you look at any resume/cv, one sure thing is that it gives the company name(s) the individual has worked for.


No, this is usually limited to the companies that you had an employer/employee relationship. If there was no labour contract between you and a company, I don't think you should mention them on your résumé/CV, unless there is good reason.

Maurice Koopman wrote:
In my CV I mention the projects I have been working on lately and mention the name of the company that the translation was for (not the translation agency) as well.


I would only mention end-client names if they are large, well-known, multinational companies, because only then can a competitor not deduce anything from the fact that they had had translations done in your language combination.



[Edited at 2015-02-10 08:33 GMT]


 

Rachel Braff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:23
Member (2014)
French to English
+ ...
If it's frowned on to mention names, how should a detailed resume be done? Feb 10, 2015

I can see why it would be inappropriate in certain cases to mention the company name, but is there an accepted procedure when you're doing a detailed/job-based resume? Is it better to just not list a name but have a brief description of the job? Something like "translated marketing information for an international development company" rather than listing the client and then the project description? I'm just wondering if there's a standard procedure. I feel like a potential client would find a description of an actual project done more convincing than a list of my skills with nothing to demonstrate real work I've done (although when it comes down to it, either could just be made up out of thin air by an "imaginative" translator).

 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:23
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
That's exactly what I would do Feb 10, 2015

Rachel Braff wrote:
Is it better to just not list a name but have a brief description of the job? Something like "translated marketing information for an international development company" rather than listing the client and then the project description?

Just tell them what you did without disclosing names:
"Translated 20,000 character-manual for an automatic broccoli de-stemming machine on behalf of a major listed Japanese machinery manufacturer. Manual contained addendum with detailed electrical information aimed at servicing personnel, as well as 4 pages of recipes for various broccoli based dishes, including ice cream."

That's a fictitious example of course. I describe what it is but leave sufficient ambiguity to make it impossible to know the name of the client. After all there are dozens of large listed machinery manufacturers in Japan.

Dan


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Would you accept the opposite situation? Feb 10, 2015

Consider the opposite situation where you are the client. Would you accept situations such as the following?

- A surgeon's web site mentions 'successfully operated Mr John Doe for erectile dysfunction in 2011'.

- A solicitor's web site mentions 'successfully managed to obtain custody of the children during divorce proceedings for Mr John Doe against his divorced wife Mrs Joan Doe'.

- An accountant's web site mentions 'ten years of experience optimising taxes and returns on investment for Mr John Doe's vast fortune in Switzerland'.

- The web site of a freelance translator you don't even know, because you sent the documents to be translated to an agency, mentions 'translated 100 pages of documents relating to acrimonious divorce proceedings between Mr John Doe and Mrs Joan Doe complicated by accusations of pædophilia'.

Well, you may object, in all these cases, it is very personal information that is divulged, so that cannot be compared to companies.

But who says that a company is happy about having their internal dealings published by a third party without permission? It can be essential for some companies that their competitors don't know what they are preparing, and who is an arbitrary freelance translator to decide for the company what is acceptable to publish, and what is not? That's why many agencies insist on NDAs.

If you want to mention a direct or indirect client anywhere in public, the decent thing to do is to ask for prior permission.

Your status as independent service provider is distinct from the status of employee. Information obtained from a direct or indirect client should be kept confidential unless you have permission to do otherwise, and unless it is information already in the public domain (e.g. if a client's document mentions that the Earth is round, you are not obliged to keep that fact confidential).

[Edited at 2015-02-10 18:28 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-02-11 01:18 GMT]


 

Ligeti  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:23
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bad examples Feb 10, 2015

Thomas Frost wrote:

Consider the opposite situation where you are the client. Would you accept situations such as the following?

- A surgeon's web site mentions 'successfully operated Mr John Doe for erectile dysfunction in 2011'.

- A solicitor's web site mentions 'successfully managed to obtain custody of the children during divorce proceedings for Mr John Doe against his divorced wife Mrs Joan Doe'.

- An accountant's web site mentions 'ten years of experience optimising taxes and returns on investment for Mr John Doe's vast fortune in Switzerland'.

- The web site of a freelance translator you don't even know, because you sent the documents to be translated to an agency, mentions 'translated 100 pages of documents relating to acrimonious divorce proceedings between Mr John Doe and Mrs Joan Doe complicated by accusations of pædophilia'.

Well, you may object, in all these cases, it is very personal information that is divulgated, so that cannot be compared to companies.



Then don't use these examples, because anyone understands that you cannot reveal this kind of information.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:23
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
When you CAN mention names Feb 10, 2015

I agree entirely with the posts by Dan Lucas and Thomas Frost.

Thomas really sets heaps of bells ringing for me personally. I frequently edit the marketing materials of fellow professionals, i.e. they are my direct clients and I'm privy to all sorts of information about their experience even if it doesn't all make it into the CV. What if I were to disclose those details? Clearly that would be wrong. But I don't even disclose the fact that I worked on their CV as that isn't something I've been given leave to discuss with third parties. All my own CV says is something along the lines of having helped hundreds of people with their CVs. Quite a few of those reading this may know that they are included in that number, but I'm not tellingicon_smile.gif.

The one exception is where clients have left unsolicited testimonials here (in the form of WWA entries) or on LinkedIn. Once they've "come out" as my clients, I feel able to mention names in my quotes or elsewhere, if there's some particular relevance, as well as directing all potential clients to those publicly displayed testimonials. But of course, all I would say about them is that they were clearly satisfied with my work. The most detail that I'd be prepared to reveal would be "I worked on their CV", "their CV and website", "regular blog entries over n years" etc. No mention of content, even if that is/was on-line.

Our clients MUST know that the details of our relationship will never be divulged to anyone - unless they have agreed to certain details being made common knowledge. You shouldn't have to sign an NDA with every client for that to be true for all. The same rule should apply whether it's your next door neighbour, a company the size of Microsoft, a big or small translation agency, or your own government.


 

Ligeti  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:23
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No more names Feb 10, 2015

I decided to remove the names. After reading the comments, I think this makes a better impression.

 

Rachel Braff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:23
Member (2014)
French to English
+ ...
Thanks, Dan Feb 10, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:

Just tell them what you did without disclosing names


Thanks, that reinforces what I was leaning toward. I've seen both approaches on resumes, but I always wondered whether it was really accepted to include client names.


 
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