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Looking for an established translator to give feedback on CV/Personal Profile
Thread poster: Rachel Mu

Rachel Mu
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 17:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 9, 2017

Hi,

I am looking for an established translator to have a look at my personal profile/CV and provide feedback on areas of improvement. I am just getting started with marketing myself online so I would really appreciate some constructive criticism. I followed the wiki template here on ProZ to build my CV. I'm particularly unsure of how to document my previous translating work on the CV since this was not on the template. I've never worked for an agency and all my translation work has been through university and for NGOs. I also currently work as a subtitler, but I'm unsure as to whether I should include this. My CV can be found on my profile.

Thanks in advance,

Rachel


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some thoughts Nov 10, 2017

The first impression I get of your CV is that it looks like a Europass or similar style of job-seekers' CV (particularly with that mention of "references"). It's very dry and school-ish, IMHO .

- I'd get rid of those very black, very imposing lines.
- Delete the heading "personal details"? It seems unnecessary.
- Rather than "multilingual", maybe it would be more interesting for potential clients to know the actual languages.
- Don't those highly relevant university studies deserve a more prominent place? When you don't have much experience to offer clients, they're very important.
- I'd be wary of including rates as the CV will be filed and stored for ever in clients' databases, whereas you will want to raise them at some stage.
- Likewise for volumes, but because it's largely irrelevant (IMO anyway) as you aren't offering your services full time to any client, so the volume you can take on is always dependent on your other commitments.

Rachel Mu wrote:
I'm particularly unsure of how to document my previous translating work on the CV since this was not on the template. I've never worked for an agency and all my translation work has been through university and for NGOs.

The problem with CV templates (BTW, those were added after the Wiki had been published) is that they are never going to apply to your own situation. So I personally think you're better off just thinking about it from the potential client's point of view. Imagine one of them picking up the paper version or uploading and opening the e-version. Are they going to find answers to all their main questions in just a few seconds? And are those answers going to be convincing? Some of the text you have in your profile would add a lot to your CV: the languages studied in your first degree; the majors being studied now; your time spent in France, Spain and Brazil...

Opinion is divided on how to handle uni translations. I'd say that if they were done during placements then they were professional gigs - even if you didn't get paid in monetary terms. The same applies to pro bono work for NGOs. It would maybe be ethical to mention your capacity in each case though. Even translations done as part of your studies could be included (marked as such) if they reflect your specialisation(s).

I also currently work as a subtitler, but I'm unsure as to whether I should include this.

Definitely at the moment - when pro experience is sparse - and definitely if this CV is going to be seen by potential subtitle clients, rather than them seeing a separate one. For uploading to ProZ.com, everything needs to be on it as all types of clients are here.


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:53
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Work placement Nov 10, 2017

Maybe you can mention what type of work that work placement involved, especially if you liked the work. You might also follow it up as a speciality field for translation. Work experience helps a lot as it provides hands-on experience and you learn/t the jargon used in that field. Good luck.

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Rachel Mu
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 17:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Constructive feedback Nov 10, 2017

Good evening Sheila,

Thank you for your quick and detailed feedback. This is my first attempt at a CV for translation jobs so that's why I followed the Wiki template (which doesn't seem very useful after reading your comments). With regards to references, is it acceptable to put a university lecturer who specialises in translation?

I currently translate Spanish, French and Italian to English. I thought 'Spanish, French, Italian translator' sounded a bit heavy, which is why I opted for 'multilingual'. I can also translate PT-EN but I'm not currently working in this language combination. When I do, would 'Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese translator', sound a bit longwinded on my CV? I also speak, read and write Arabic but I also don't work in this language because I'm only at pre-intermediate level. This may sound like a silly question, but should I include this on my CV if I'm not working this language combination?

I will start working on a second draft over the weekend and I've found your feedback to be very constructive so thank you for that. Unfortunately, I often see many newbie translators being pounced on in the forums when asking for feedback so I have to admit I was a bit nervous to post this.



[Edited at 2017-11-10 14:36 GMT]


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Rachel Mu
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 17:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What about work experience not related to translation? Nov 10, 2017

Josephine Cassar wrote:

Maybe you can mention what type of work that work placement involved, especially if you liked the work. You might also follow it up as a speciality field for translation. Work experience helps a lot as it provides hands-on experience and you learn/t the jargon used in that field. Good luck.


I've been working in education for the last four years, so should I include this on my CV? At one point, I was teaching Spanish and I think it would be a good idea to include this particular job. Apart from this, the language of instruction was English and Arabic, so I actually didn't learn any jargon in the languages I work in. I just don't want it to look like I haven't been working for the last four years because I have, I just got sidetracked from my chosen career!


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:53
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Rate per hour Nov 10, 2017

You state that your rate per hour is EUR0.05. So for a forty-hour week you would earn two euros. Something wrong here, surely?

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Rachel Mu
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 17:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Typo Nov 10, 2017

Jack Doughty wrote:

You state that your rate per hour is EUR0.05. So for a forty-hour week you would earn two euros. Something wrong here, surely?


Yes, that's quite clearly a typo. It's supposed to be 'word' instead of 'hour'.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Good grief! Nov 10, 2017

Jack Doughty wrote:
You state that your rate per hour is EUR0.05. So for a forty-hour week you would earn two euros. Something wrong here, surely?

Some proofreader I turned out to be - I never noticed that .


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I, on the other hand, rather like the CV Nov 10, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:
- I'd get rid of those very black, very imposing lines.


I think those lines look artsy.

- Delete the heading "personal details"? It seems unnecessary.


It may be unnecessary, but what if some client thinks that she had forgotten to add a heading? (-:

- Rather than "multilingual", maybe it would be more interesting for potential clients to know the actual languages.


I agree. All translators are multilingual. The sub heading of your résumé should mention your language combinations.

- Don't those highly relevant university studies deserve a more prominent place? When you don't have much experience to offer clients, they're very important.


I'm fine with their current position. Placing them closer to the top might cause a client to think that this is a brand new translator for whom their university training is all they can offer in terms of experience.

I would suggest rewriting the 2018 qualification's entry so that it is clear that you're still studying for this qualification. Even if you're certain that you'll attain it in 2018, don't state the qualification as if you already have it. Personally, I would also mention the name of the university.

The fact that you spent some time at a non-British university lends a bit of credibility, so mention it... and use the foreign spelling: Université Toulouse (Jean Jaurès campus), France. The name "Liverpool" is also known outside the UK, so mention it for extra browny points.

- I'd be wary of including rates as the CV will be filed and stored for ever in clients' databases, whereas you will want to raise them at some stage.
- Likewise for volumes, but because it's largely irrelevant (IMO anyway) as you aren't offering your services full time to any client, so the volume you can take on is always dependent on your other commitments.


I, on the other hand, think that this information is relevant. While it's true that the CV may end up in some database, agency clients are not stupid and they know that rates can change.

This brings me to a thing I'm missing from the résumé: the date. There should be a date to let the client know whether he is looking at a recent or outdated version of your CV.

Rachel Mu wrote:
I'm particularly unsure of how to document my previous translating work on the CV since this was not on the template. I've never worked for an agency and all my translation work has been through university and for NGOs.


Remove the "specialisations" section and add "experience" in its place. Then briefly describe the work that you have done so far. Usually the section on experience should also state how many years of experience you have, but you have none, so don't focus on that. The fact that you were an English teacher for 1.5 years should also be mentioned somewhere.

I also currently work as a subtitler, but I'm unsure as to whether I should include this.


Yes, include it, and mention TED Talks.

Finally, w.r.t.:
* minimum 0.08 EUR / source word for translation
* minimum 0.05 EUR / hour for proofreading
* supplements may apply - please contact for a quote


Firstly, "supplements" is an odd word here. Also, don't use lowercase initials here. Also, use real bullet points (not asterisks). Also, use the € symbol instead of "EUR", and write it in the correct order. Change the subheading to "Usual rates" and remove the word "minimum" (the word is confusing, anyway).





[Edited at 2017-11-10 16:29 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The more opinions the better Nov 10, 2017

Samuel Murray wrote:
I, on the other hand, rather like the CV

The multiplicity of opinions has got to be the best reason for asking for feedback from a forum group. But nobody can come up with a perfect CV, whether it's for themself or someone else. Apart from anything else, a lot depends on the reader (as you've just made clear, Samuel)!


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
CVs come in different flavors or subgenres Nov 11, 2017

Rachel, you've already received useful advice, but here's my two cents anyway:

1) Focus on specifics you have accomplished: what project, for what kind of organization, what specialization, results achieved.
2) Focus on the languages you are proficient (reading, writing, not just speaking)
3) I'd rename 'Personal details' as "Contact" but be wary of inserting my physical address, phone number or other identifying information. Given the rate of crimes of identity theft and professional impersonations (they simply use your CV and say they're you), I'd be very wary indeed.

One thing that is confusing is the idea that one can use a universal CV template for all marketplaces. That's a mistaken idea. You may want to go beyond collecting opinions about and reactions to your CV and actually examine different CVs available in the marketplaces you want to act as a translator. Remember, you can't be all things to everybody.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:53
French to English
Full CV or edited highlights? Nov 12, 2017

Rachel Mu wrote:
I've been working in education for the last four years, so should I include this on my CV? At one point, I was teaching Spanish and I think it would be a good idea to include this particular job. Apart from this, the language of instruction was English and Arabic, so I actually didn't learn any jargon in the languages I work in. I just don't want it to look like I haven't been working for the last four years because I have, I just got sidetracked from my chosen career!


A CV generally enables a reader to trace your career history. A period of 4 years is too long to leave unexplained, particularly at the start of a career. However, you might decide it is not important to put down every student or holiday job you did, for example. Also, something you might not consider relevant may in fact be relevant to a person looking at your CV. Most importantly, showing that you have worked for 4 years counts in its own right: maturity, business skills, office skills, working with others, etc. This is an asset not to be overlooked!


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LGermoglio
Germany
Local time: 15:53
Member (2017)
English to Italian
+ ...
Have a look at mine Nov 12, 2017

Dear ladies and gentlemen,
as I read your reply to the topic, I kindly ask you if you could have a look at my profile as well and provide me some feedbacks.
Thank you for your precious collaboration


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MK2010  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:53
Member (2017)
French to English
+ ...
What's glaring to me... Nov 12, 2017

...Rachel, is the fact that you don't mention any experience whatsoever. It makes it sound like you have areas of expertise that have not, in fact, ever been used in real life. And for clients, that's one of the most important elements.

So I would add a section titled Translation Experience or Examples of Recent Projects and then make a list of some of the projects you've worked on.

-press release on human rights for XXXX
-subtitles for a TV series about XXXX
-something else that sounds really cool

I would definitely include the teaching experience too, under Other Experience.

You could also add info about where you've lived (Additional Information). If you've lived in some of your source language countries, that's always an advantage. Basically, anything that communicates that you probably know what you're doing and can likely be trusted as a translator.


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Rachel Mu
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 17:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for the feedback Nov 13, 2017

Thank you to each and every one of who took time out of their day to analyse my CV.
I have taken your comments on board and really value the constructive feedback you have provided me. Since no one commented on my ProZ profile I will assume that all is well in that area, and I will get working on the next draft as soon as I return home (I'm in the Maldives!)

Thanks again,
Rachel


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