Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
CV format
Thread poster: Franjo Varšić
Franjo Varšić
Croatia
Aug 7

What information should be on a CV?

Some people have said on Proz that agencies rarely actually read CVs and that decisions are made based on info in the cover letter, any truth to that?

In some professions people often recommend using creative colorful formats, but I think this is not appropriate for translating, this is usually done in marketing/design other such fields. What are your opinions on this?

When stating my language pair, if I want to say I work in both directions, is there some standard way of writing that or do I have to write "English->Croatian and Croatian->English?"

[Edited at 2017-08-07 20:37 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Agneta Pallinder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:02
Member (2014)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Suggested source of advice Aug 8

Have a look here: http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Creating_an_effective_CV_/_resume

Very down to earth and useful.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:02
Member
Italian to English
Some thoughts Aug 8

Franjo Varšić wrote:
What information should be on a CV?


Any information you believe will convince a client or agency to give you work.

Franjo Varšić wrote:
Some people have said on Proz that agencies rarely actually read CVs and that decisions are made based on info in the cover letter, any truth to that?


I've never written a cover letter, always preferring my CV to speak for me. And it seems to work.

Franjo Varšić wrote:
In some professions people often recommend using creative colorful formats, but I think this is not appropriate for translating, this is usually done in marketing/design other such fields. What are your opinions on this?


I think you need to use the format that best highlights your own strengths and skills - there are no hard and fast rules. Experienced recruiters will quickly see through someone who chooses a colourful format to distract from their professional shortcomings, but if you feel that a particular format helps you to show what you can do, then it can only be a positive thing, IMHO.



[Edited at 2017-08-08 09:48 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Franjo Varšić
Croatia
TOPIC STARTER
. Aug 8

If I want to state in my CV that I work in either direction with my language pair, is it customary to write it as "English Croatian" without any arrows (->)? Or do I have to write both E->C, C->E?

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

Franjo Varšić wrote:
What information should be on a CV?


Any information you believe will convince a client or agency to give you work.


What is typical?

Language pairs, CAT tools, specializations, education and experience - anything beyond this?

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:
Franjo Varšić wrote:
Some people have said on Proz that agencies rarely actually read CVs and that decisions are made based on info in the cover letter, any truth to that?


I've never written a cover letter, always preferring my CV to speak for me. And it seems to work.


When you contact agencies for work do you just send a blank email with your CV attached?

Franjo Varšić wrote:
In some professions people often recommend using creative colorful formats, but I think this is not appropriate for translating, this is usually done in marketing/design other such fields. What are your opinions on this?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It's read after the main text Aug 8

Franjo Varšić wrote:
Some people have said on Proz that agencies rarely actually read CVs and that decisions are made based on info in the cover letter, any truth to that?

It's true that they will first read the email you send them, or the text of the quote you send through the ProZ.com job interface. That's where you get to introduce yourself, give them some specific facts that will particularly interest them, and generally impress them. Only if they like everything they see there will they look at the CV. So, it follows that many CVs never get read. But it would be a shame for your text to impress them enough that they looked at your CV, only to reject you because you hadn't paid sufficient attention to your CV .

In some professions people often recommend using creative colorful formats, but I think this is not appropriate for translating, this is usually done in marketing/design other such fields. What are your opinions on this?

If you're happy with doing DTP and offer that service to clients, I see no problem with making it creative - as long as the formatting doesn't detract from the words, and as long as clients can print it (maybe in black and white). Come to that, some people send a video, although I don't know how well that works. But it's always the words that are most important. Only someone with sufficient knowledge of your own skills, experience, qualifications and general background can help you decide which are important enough to you and your clients. What is a totally irrelevant hobby to one person, and not for their CV (e.g. skiing to someone who specialises in legal translations), may be highly relevant to another's CV (e.g. a sports specialist). You certainly need to put a lot of consideration into that choice as your CV needs to be as short as possible. I've tried to give lots of hints in that Wiki that Agneta linked to, but it's a very personal choice.

When stating my language pair, if I want to say I work in both directions, is there some standard way of writing that or do I have to write "English->Croatian and Croatian->English?"

I'm assuming you want some way of displaying this on your CV, rather than explaining what you do in running text?

- You can use a double-headed arrow, as in "English Croatian", or similar.
- You can write "Between English and Croatian", which implies both directions. However, if someone is rushed they may just glance at it and mistake it for the single direction.
- You can write "English ==> Croatian ==> English". I think that's how I've seen it.


I assume you're new to translation as well as the site? You should visit the Site Guidance Centre straight away, and arrange to attend the Meeting Clients webinar (it's free!). No client will come to you unless you market your services well, here or anywhere else. Although of course you need to be able to demonstrate that you can translate as well as you can sell yourself .


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Santiago Garay  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 07:02
Member (2015)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Some ideas Aug 8

After a lot of trial and error, what seems to have worked for me is to have a one-page CV with a simple design, nothing too "flamboyant" or that distracts from the actual content. If you offer DTP or know how to use programs such as InDesign, take the opportunity to show this through the formatting of your CV. It will probably end up being something more like a brochure than a standard CV or resume, but you can still call it like that.

To indicate my working languages, I write EN>ES. In your case, it would be LANGUAGE 1 LANGUAGE 2. Also, I would suggest mentioning your specialty fields and some important projects you have worked on, rather than indicating your past positions in chronological order.

Bear in mind that, if you get past the cover letter, the agency or client will probably scan your CV very quickly, so you only have a matter of seconds to make a good impression. Think from the THEIR perspective. What is it that they would like to read? Is the client or agency looking for a specific type of service, skill or knowledge? Do you have something in particular that could catch their attention?

Once you have decided what information you should include, arrange it according to its importance. If you think your education or your experience is going to be more valuable to them, put it first. Don't waste the opportunity to stand out, because if they are not impressed right away, they might not pay a lot of attention to what comes after. You could even have a "master CV" and tweak it based on your needs.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:02
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Be careful with making your CV available Aug 9

Be careful with how you make your CV available - If you have a full and impressive CV available from your Proz profile, it can be downloaded and misused. See, for example, this forum topic:
http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/267751-suggestion_dont_post_cvs.html

Oliver


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Certainly - take care with all online content Aug 9

Oliver Walter wrote:
Be careful with how you make your CV available - If you have a full and impressive CV available from your Proz profile, it can be downloaded and misused.

As can anything we post online - people can misuse it. But there are so many things you can do to limit misuse while keeping the real marketing advantages of having it downloadable. I'm useless at IT so don't use me as an example of how to do it, but I take several steps:

- A CV should be in PDF form rather than sent as a Word document. That applies in every situation as it's simply more professional. A really nicely formatted Word document may come out looking weird on your client's computer.
- I'd never display my postal address anywhere online, nor my principal email address, nor my phone numbers. These are for clients and colleagues only. Data miners just love email addresses!
- An online CV's PDF should be a scanned one so that the text can't be lifted. Don't make it easy for them to copy your text into their CV. And bots can't access scanned data. You can also protect the PDF file - I think mine is printable but not editable.
- I add a watermark so that hopefully not even chunks of text can be copied to construct an image that looks like a CV. The one I send to potential clients as an email attachment doesn't have that, of course, and it does show my email address (not my postal address or phone numbers though), but it is still a scanned PDF. Not all clients can be trusted 100%, after all. Some agencies like to substitute a different name and submit good CVs for tenders, but of course you never get the work.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy that I've limited the risks to the point where my CV can be out there doing its job of marketing my services. But it is something you should think seriously about and decide for yourself.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
There are easy workarounds for that Aug 9

Oliver Walter wrote:

Be careful with how you make your CV available - If you have a full and impressive CV available from your Proz profile, it can be downloaded and misused. See, for example, this forum topic:
http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/267751-suggestion_dont_post_cvs.html

Oliver


I've heard (I mean, read) some horror stories about stolen, misappropriated and tampered CVs but I see easy workarounds to prevent misuse from happening. For instance, save your Word CV as a PDF file. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat (or similar program), then Save As... an image format (PGN, TIFF, JPEG, nothing too bulky).

An image CV is uneditable and it cannot be tampered with, unless the forger wants to spend a significant amount of time redacting things, matching colors, replacing information, etc.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Seek relevant samples first Aug 9

Franjo Varšić wrote:

What information should be on a CV?

Some people have said on Proz that agencies rarely actually read CVs and that decisions are made based on info in the cover letter, any truth to that?

In some professions people often recommend using creative colorful formats, but I think this is not appropriate for translating, this is usually done in marketing/design other such fields. What are your opinions on this?

When stating my language pair, if I want to say I work in both directions, is there some standard way of writing that or do I have to write "English->Croatian and Croatian->English?"

[Edited at 2017-08-07 20:37 GMT]


There are several factors to consider: Where are your clients? For instance, if you have customers in the United States, they don't care to see a photo, your VAT number, your birthday, marital status or hobbies on your CV.

Most HR (Human Resources) specialists would recommend a 2-page CV, traditional formatting (one inch margins, single space, legible and attractive fonts --no more than two different ones) and black writing on white background. That's a safe bet.

If you work in direct and reverse translation (what is called directionality), just state it simply, without carets or other silly artifacts. I would just state Translations from English to Croatian and vice versa because -> or < - > is a rather crude set of symbols anyway.

As for creative and colorful formats, I would say “stick with what you know.” As some of our colleagues have pointed out already, you don't want to make your CV into a brochure or an infographic unless you offer DTP or typesetting and you know how to do professional typesetting. I happen to do that (a second career in my case) and my 2-page CV has a 1-page infographic showing my translation & DTP experience.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
The importance of a cover letter Aug 9

Some may pooh pooh the cover letter but it actually has a purpose. Whenever I apply for a contract translator job online (via Indeed.com or Glassdoor.com, or similar engines), some companies specifically ask for a cover letter. This may be a time waster but it shouldn't be viewed as such by any candidate.

Why?, you may wonder.

Happy you asked! First, the company asking for a cover letter wants to know a few things about you:
- How well you write (in English or in the company's main language)
- Why you are asking to be considered a candidate
- What you know about the company (if the company is new to you, read up on it, go to their website, do your homework)
- Whether you actually read the job listing requirements
- What you can bring to the table (jargon phrase for What are you prepared to do for the company?
- What you have done that is relevant to the job requirements (again, state relevant things you have already done, not what you hope to do)

Second, the company wants to know if you can follow instructions. Although many online job listings may ask “Cover letter (optional)”, they don't mean it is optional but a requirement. That's been my experience.

By the way, there are companies that actually read cover letters. That's how I found two new clients this year.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
More for employees though Aug 9

Mario Chavez wrote:
Most HR (Human Resources) specialists would recommend a 2-page CV, traditional formatting (one inch margins, single space, legible and attractive fonts --no more than two different ones) and black writing on white background. That's a safe bet.

I agree that it's a safe bet for everyone, but we really don't need to abide by any of the "rules" set by HR. Their concerns are with future employees and job-seekers' CVs. We might call our marketing document a CV, but it's just a convenient term. A freelancer's CV doesn't have to abide by the same rules. In fact, I'd go as far as saying it can be unwise to appear too employee-like. That encourages unscrupulous agencies (who already like to talk of their HR staff and their "recruitment processes" to act boss-like towards us .


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:02
Serbian to English
+ ...
false sense of security Aug 9

Mario Chavez wrote:

Oliver Walter wrote:

Be careful with how you make your CV available - If you have a full and impressive CV available from your Proz profile, it can be downloaded and misused. See, for example, this forum topic:
http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/267751-suggestion_dont_post_cvs.html

Oliver

...
An image CV is uneditable and it cannot be tampered with, unless the forger wants to spend a significant amount of time redacting things, matching colors, replacing information, etc.



"An image CV is uneditable" ... not quite, that's giving yourself a false sense of security.

That trick might stop few computer illiterate potential miscreants, but will not stop any even slightly advanced Optical Recognition Software from turning this image into a nicely formatted fully editable word document.

Unfortunately, anything that shows on a screen can be copied and later manipulated - nothing can be done about that, except making it only marginally more difficult - anyone posting anything on the Web will have to live with that.


As for the CV:

Thanks to a printed directory that just lifted without asking my details from a public database, several years ago I got submerged by CV-s for weeks on.

I don't envy whoever needs to wade through CVs - I luckily didn't and read them more out of curiosity.

Main lesson from that experience: keep it as short as possible (definitely a case of "less being more"), easy to read, and make the relevant info stand out.

And -do-it-yourself- you can smell from a mile when it was done by someone else or according to some silly template ...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:02
Member
Italian to English
There is no "typical" information. Or at least very little. Aug 9

Franjo Varšić wrote:

What information is typical?
Language pairs, CAT tools, specializations, education and experience - anything beyond this?


Short of actually writing your CV for you, one place to start would be to have a look around the site, at profile pages of members whose language pair and subject areas you work in, and whose experience is similar to yours. See if they've uploaded a CV you can look at - this will help give you an idea of what information is "typically" included in a CV.

Remember that there is no "typical" CV, since there is no "typical" worker. Lots of CV types out there... chronological, functional, combination, targeted.... And probably more. The CV or resume of someone just getting started in the profession is not going to be the same as that of someone who has forty years of experience.

Here's part of a previous post of mine:
"A well-put-together CV shows potential agencies and clients that you've thought critically about what what makes you unique and why they should give you work, thus it should give them a compelling reason to do so! I started mine with my name, tagline and email address, followed by a paragraph summarising my key strengths and skills. I then list my qualifications, details of CPE done recently, any important projects, then my volunteer work that I consider relevant to my translation business. My full personal details go at the end."

You can find other useful info in that thread, which is here:
http://www.proz.com/forum/marketing_for_translators/316639-what_goes_in_your_cv.html

There is so much advice and information out there on the Internet about writing a CV, that you'd need two lifetimes to read it all. Some is tailored especially to translators - the amazing Marta Stelmaszak has created an ebook on this very subject, and it's free!! You can find it on her site, at this link:
http://wantwords.co.uk/school/lesson-57-you-need-a-cv-that-works-ebook-on-cv-writing-in-translation-2/

Franjo Varšić wrote:
When you contact agencies for work do you just send a blank email with your CV attached?


No, because that would get my CV a one-way ticket to the trash can. If an agency contacts me for work and asks for my CV, I dash off a quick couple of lines to the effect of:

"Dear Agency X,
Thank you for your email and your interest in my services. My rates start at....
Please find my CV attached.
Best regards..."

So it's not a blank email, but it's hardly what I'd call a cover letter.

The bitter pill to swallow about CVs is that writing a good one takes a LOT of work! But it's time worth spending to make you stand out.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Writing a good CV certainly takes a great deal of time Aug 9

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:
The bitter pill to swallow about CVs is that writing a good one takes a LOT of work!

So true! I ran a course for the French government's job centre for about six years, helping job-seekers to prepare their job applications in English, whether they were actually thinking of emigrating or just applying to a multinational company in France. The centre wanted me to do two consecutive days but I wouldn't. I insisted on a clear day between Day One (basically giving some dos and don'ts for the CV and cover letter) and Day Two (the review of attendees' own English CVs and letters, plus some ideas about the interview). In fact, Day Two ought to have taken two days, but the French government have a lot in common with other governments when it comes to spending money and I didn't have the right sort of friends and family to swing it . Really and truly, they needed a Monday + Wednesday + Friday course, with Tuesday to work on their CVs and Thursday to polish them and draft a specimen letter. As it was, the CV rather monopolised the course.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

CV format

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search