Question on my CV--listing working fields
Thread poster: Whitney Maslak

Whitney Maslak
United States
Local time: 13:11
Member (2010)
German to English
Aug 26, 2015

Hi everyone,

I'm updating my CV and I have a question about listing my specializations/working fields. My professional experience has mostly been in the legal and commercial fields (the majority of what I have translated is contracts). However, I am also interested in getting work translating patents (I took a patent translating class and I loved it), and I would also like to get work related to music, apparel, and theatre/film/TV. I know those fields aren't as common and probably wouldn't provide enough work for me to support myself, so I am fine with keeping legal/commercial as my main working fields.

So my question is, does it look bad on my CV if I list all of the fields I am interested in? Right now it reads like this: "Specializing in patents, legal documents, music, textiles/fashion/apparel, and theatre/film/TV." I don't want to appear as a "Jack of all trades, master of none." I have a degree in Drama as well as German, I worked as a professional seamstress (costuming) for several years, and I've been a musician for many years (singing and playing several instruments). So I would be qualified to translate in those fields if the opportunity did arise.

My other CV question regards listing my contact information. I saw on several sample CVs that people list their home address. Is that really necessary? I can't think of an instance where a client or agency would need my home address, because I only accept payments via PayPal or wire transfer. I was going to just list my email address, Skype address, phone number, link to ProZ profile and link to LinkedIn profile.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
IMHO... Aug 26, 2015

Listing specific areas in the way you did won't make you look like a Swiss-army knife.

It is pretty obvious from what you state that you are NOT a specialist in IT, medicine, automotive, and a few hundred other specialized areas. Of course, it all depends on the intended audience. If the material is directed to an average computer user, occasional patient (I hope!), or driver... like yourself, you shouldn't have much trouble doing a good translation job, albeit not being a specialist.

Regarding address, if you don't want to publish your street address, you may state city, state/province, and country, so they'll have an idea on your time zone, likely taxes, etc.


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 23:11
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Agree Aug 26, 2015

I completely agree with Jose. I would list my working fields in the way you described. That will show that you have an interest in those fields. You do not necessarily have to have a formal degree nor substantial experience in your working fields.

On my business card as an Interpreter/Translator, I only give a partial postal address, i.e. my city, my state and my zip code. That is all and enough. I do not need to give my street address. If anyone needs it, he/she can contact me.


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Whitney Maslak
United States
Local time: 13:11
Member (2010)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Jose and Atil! Aug 26, 2015

Your advice helps me quite a bit. I will keep it worded as is, then. Thanks again!

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:11
Chinese to English
Could put a word of explanation Aug 27, 2015

Given that your fields are quite disparate, I think it might be worth putting a word of explanation next to each field to show why it's a specialism. For example:

patents (trained in patent translation)
legal documents (dozens of contracts translated)
music (amateur musician)
textiles/fashion/apparel (experience in fashion industry)
theatre/film/TV (university major)

It depends on how you structure your CV, of course, but this might help clients to understand why you have this particular spread of interests.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:11
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I like Phil's suggestion Aug 27, 2015

Bare lists are so boring - just words. Phil's suggestion makes the list come alive by adding your own personal background. If a client receives your CV along with many others, yours will have just a little more impact as you've given it uniqueness.

I would strongly advise you NOT to include your postal address. It's too personal. The country gives useful info; so does the time zone (don't make the client look it up). Even the province/state/region or city is optional, IMO.


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Whitney Maslak
United States
Local time: 13:11
Member (2010)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Great idea, Phil! Aug 27, 2015

I hadn't thought of explaining each area before, but I think that would be a great idea. My biggest fear was to have someone think I was just pulling something out of thin air because it sounded good, but if I can show I have some experience in each area, that would help quite a bit.

That's good to know about not including the address, Sheila. I decided to just list my city, state and country, and then put my time zone underneath that (I'm ashamed to admit that I hadn't thought to put my time zone on there before! Whoops...).

Thanks again, everyone, for your feedback. I received a couple of requests for my CV this week which is exciting, and I wanted to make sure I was putting my best foot forward, so to speak.

I also wanted to say that I just really appreciate how kind everyone is on these forums, especially to translators who are just starting out. It is so encouraging and it's wonderful to be able to receive advice from all over the world. Have a great day, everyone!


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Question on my CV--listing working fields

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