Newbie translator needing feedback on my resume
Thread poster: Monica Davis

Monica Davis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:05
Spanish to English
Jan 4, 2010

Hello and Happy New Year everyone

I finally took the plunge and created my first "translation resume" - hopefully the first step to setting up my ProZ page, applying to agenices, and starting to bid for actual paying jobs. Before I consider my resume finalized, I was hoping some of you more experienced translators may be willing to offer me any feedback, advice, criticism on it. My resume is attached to my ProZ profile.

It's difficult because I don't have extensive experience, other than volunteer translation work I have done and some translation work I've done as part of full time (not solely translation related) jobs. I tried to beef the experience I do have out as much as possible. I wasn't sure the best way to highlight it, and decided to break it down by subject matter. Is this OK? In my objective page, should I limit my "specializations" to only those I have experience in? Or would it be ok to add more (like, say, legal - which I had a course in in my NYU certification program but no practical work in). Or does it look like I have too many specializations already? Is it ok I listed dates, or are those not necessary?

Any other pertinent information I seem to be missing? Could I organize it better?

Any advice would help - don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings!

Thank you in advance.

Monica


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Mohd shadab  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
Hindi to English
+ ...
This is almost fine ! Jan 4, 2010

Hi Monica,

I have seen your resume and its looks fine to me, I have only one suggestion if you can write the latest job first and the last one in the last of resume..

I also suggest that its better to write on specializations field but yes if you have done certificate course in Legal. Do highlight this in last of your resume.

Others i feel is OK.

regards
Shadab
www.troikaa.co.in


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:05
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
My comments are positive, too Jan 4, 2010

It seems to me that you have most of the right things and few of the wrong things, which is as good a place to start as any

I think you ought to reconsider putting your email address online in its normal form as I believe it can be accessed by all sorts of automatic programs - if your just replace @ with AT then people can edit it and machines can't see it. Of course, if it's just on the ProZ site then people can contact you via their message system if they like your CV, without having any idea of your email address - that's the route I've gone.

For the experience, I first got the idea that these were salaried jobs, then reading down I thought they probably weren't, except perhaps for the last one. You're right that the dates serve only to confuse, IMO.

Make sure you put working areas, specialisations etc in your ProZ profile too - searches use them.


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:05
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Just a few comments Jan 4, 2010

Dear Monica,

I like your resume, it looks clean and organized. What I will point out are just a few comments regarding details.

I like your classification for your experience. When you list your experience under International Policy & Human Rights, put AIDA experience the first, this is because of reverse chronological order rule for resumes. For the same reason, under the Other classification, put the second experience the first, and the first the second. You know the drilll. Also, put that Other classification the last because it should come after all the rest. In the future, if you like, you can shuffle these classifications such that the first one(s) are the one(s) the company is looking for. The reasoning here is that an employer has only so many seconds to look at your resume, and you want them to read the relevant items in your resume. Also, it is so easy to do with a word processor.

Another minor detail: The rightmost character in some of the lines seems to be missing. For example, the line that starts with American College of Physicians is one of them, the word recruitment seems to be missing the "t" at the end. Maybe it is my vision

Best of luck with your new resume. Keep up the good work!

Sincerely,
ATIL


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:05
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
I almost forgot Jan 4, 2010

The dates should definitely and positively be there. They are such a crucial part of any resume that they should always be there. I can never think of a resume without the dates.

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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:05
German to English
+ ...
Move degrees up and include "real job" experience? Jan 4, 2010

The length is perfect. Your email should definitely be on there. I'd like to see your degrees a bit sooner in the overall layout - I felt like I had to search for them.

You mention non-translation-related jobs. I wonder why in the world you don't include them. I realize this resume is specific for translation work, but any "real life" work experience you can show is definitely a plus. Otherwise it looks a bit thin between graduating in 2005 and now, especially since the human rights stuff was volunteer.

And how interesting that you graduated from the American University in Italy! It doesn't quite raise a red flag, but it doesn't necessarily seem to jive with the rest. You must have spent 4 years in Rome getting that degree, yet you translate from Spanish into English and only mention travel/living in Mexico, Spain, etc.? Maybe you want to at least mention a basic working knowledge of Italian?


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Monika Elisabeth Sieger  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:05
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Looks fine to me! Jan 4, 2010

Your resume is fine.
If you would like to attract some clients from Europe I suggest that you put the dates at the front and not at the back of each of your entries. This makes it more readable. Europeans are used to this kind of format. Furthermore, it would be better to start with your latest job first.
If you want to do more work as a legal translator you should emphasize this point more clearly!
Perhaps you might consider to put more information on your interests as a translator as well.

Hope this helps a little bit.


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Peter Riccomini  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Minor point Jan 4, 2010

In your 'Translation experience' section, youdon't need to keep saying 'translated' for every document. It's obvious, repetitive and (excuse me) annoying.

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Sabita  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
WHAT A GREAT IDEA Jan 4, 2010

Hello Monica,

I am also naïve at this and at the moment I have not managed to get a paying job through PROZ. Maybe I need to create a resume in order to have real possibilities. In that way to read your resume and follow your path will be very helpful. Thanks a lot!!!

Sabita


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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:05
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Some suggestions Jan 4, 2010

I would edit out: "Computer software: Windows Vista, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point), Broadband Internet."
This is basic equipment, so it's obvious you must have this kind of stuff in order to carry out translation jobs. You should indicate software programs only if you have something specific like CAT tools, FrameMaker, PageMaker, etc.

"Campbell & Levine, LLC, 2007 – translated a Mexican death certificate for legal purposes.": you either put "death certificates" (plural) or it sounds weird to write you translated ONE death certificate.

I also find "commercial, humanitarian, literary, marketing, medical, and general documents (including birth and death certificates, marriage certificates, academic transcripts, etc.)" a bit vague: what exactly are you specialized in/want really to translate? there are too many fields here.


Laura


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:05
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Is a resume even necessary? Jan 4, 2010

Is a resume still necessary anymore? I have not used one for over 12 years. Instead I use on-line profiles, websites, brochures and business cards. In addition, most agencies now have their own on-line applications. Besides, I am not applying for a job, but offering to perform a service.

The best advice I can give you, especially in a crowded language pair such as Spanish > English (where many are unfortunately paralyzed by a lack of self-worth and refuse to believe that they are worthy of more than .03-.04 a word, resulting in systemic and perpetual poverty for all) is to stop thinking like an employee and start thinking like a businesswoman.

Employees send out resumes; businesses advertise.

[Edited at 2010-01-05 00:21 GMT]


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Good question, Jeff Jan 4, 2010

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Is a resume still necessary anymore? I have not used one for over 12 years. Instead I use on-line profiles, websites, brochures and business cards. In addition, most agencies now have their own on-line applications. Besides, I am not applying for a job, but offering to perform a service.

Employees send out resumes; businesses advertise.

[Edited at 2010-01-04 22:45 GMT]


I think the résumé is as outdated as the typewriter in our line of business. I went without one for a long time and referred people to my website, but in the end I got so tired of people asking for it that I put one on my site.

In translation, the only information that really matters is how much experience you have, how good you are, what you specialise in, and how much you charge.

Note to Proz staff: Maybe there should be a separate forum where people could post their résumés simply to garner others' opinions. It would be very popular. You could call it Am I Hot or Not? We could even rate translators by their physical appearance. No, on second thoughts...:)


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Monica Davis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:05
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your great feedback! Jan 5, 2010

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I thought about including my "full time" jobs as such, since many of them did include aspects of translation, but I didn't know if listing them would take away from what I was trying to convey since other aspects of them are non-related. I guess it would make more sense to list them, perhaps under another section listed "other professional experience"? Then my resume would be 2 pages long, but I guess that is ok. Any other input on this?

I know it seems weird I went to college in Italy and don't mention Italian. My university classes were taught in English, but I did pick up a relative fluency of the language while I lived there - but I haven't kept up with it to the level I have with Spanish (which, in the US anyway, is much more useful and easy to practice), so I don't translate from Italian. I could mention it on the resume, but I am unsure if it would detract from what I want to do - Spanish to English work. All my translation experience is with Spanish to English documents. What do others think?

I'll eliminate the "translated" and list the dates chronologically, and eliminate the computer stuff, since it is pretty basic. I will also try to concentrate my specialties to a few I really want to do. Atil - thanks for noticing some of the words cut off..I think some of my margins on Word were a little off and I didn't notice.

It is interesting to hear some of you say that resumes aren't necessary anymore. This may be true, but i thought it would be good to have one anyway - even if just to use as a base to myself to create a page, profile, etc. I do know that some agencies request them. It would be a great idea if there was a forum dedicated to people being able to get advice on theirs. It has been so helpful!

Does anyone post their rates on a resume? In general no, right?

Thanks again, all.


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