Why do we call our marketing material a CV?
Thread poster: John Fossey

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:45
Member (2008)
French to English
Jun 21, 2012

A question I've been wondering about for years - why do translators call their marketing material a CV?

When hiring any other professional, we don't ask for their CV. Somehow its hard to imagine approaching a lawyer, dentist, architect, bank manager, etc., and asking for their CV. Or even, for that matter, a plumber, electrician or carpenter.

Perhaps a better term would give the field a more professional face. What do you think?

[Edited at 2012-06-21 21:19 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely! Jun 21, 2012

I completely agree! It sounds a bit odd that we send a CV. However, when other professionals have nicely formatted, coloured brochures, we sort of solve our problem with information in a CV format.

I think we should make and give out a brochure of our services, including detailed information about our qualifications and experience.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:45
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Absolutely! Jun 21, 2012

John Fossey wrote:
Perhaps a better term would put a give the field a more professional face. What do you think?

So many freelancers have a typical job-hunter's CV: personal details, jobs (as in title, company, dates), education... then, right at the end ... LANGUAGES ! Totally inappropriate.

But CV (or resume for some) is the word that everyone uses and all the other words have disadvantages too. Still, if all the thousands of translators who have a ProZ.com presence were to agree on an alternative, maybe it would have an impact.

Sheila


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Wolfgang Vogt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:45
English to German
+ ...
totally agree Jun 21, 2012

I totally agree, John. I hope this thought gets through to those who train translators or provide resources for translators!

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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 07:45
English to Russian
+ ...
Business Proposal Jun 21, 2012

John Fossey wrote:

A question I've been wondering about for years - why do translators call their marketing material a CV?

Perhaps a better term would put a give the field a more professional face. What do you think?


I fully agree with you, John!

Though almost in all job ads we can read 'Please send us your rates and CV', I never do it (except for those rare occasions when they later specifically tell me that they want to see my CV).

I call the document I send a Business Proposal. In Wikipedia we can read the following definition of the term:

'A business proposal is a written offer from a seller to a prospective buyer. Business proposals are often a key step in the complex sales process—i.e., whenever a buyer considers more than price in a purchase.'

You can read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposal_(business)

My business proposal includes the following elements:

- very short description of my experience and educational background
- list of services I offer and basic rates
- average daily output
- payment options
- selective list of customers
- a list of relative sofware I use

That's it.

Nikita Kobrin

[Edited at 2012-06-22 06:35 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:45
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Those aren't freelancers Jun 21, 2012

John Fossey wrote:
When hiring any other professional, we don't ask for their CV. Somehow its hard to imagine approaching a lawyer, dentist, architect, bank manager, etc., and asking for their CV.


Those aren't freelancers.

Or even, for that matter, a plumber, electrician or carpenter.


Those rarely to any work via the internet.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:45
Member (2008)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Do freelancers have to have CVs? Jun 21, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

John Fossey wrote:
When hiring any other professional, we don't ask for their CV. Somehow its hard to imagine approaching a lawyer, dentist, architect, bank manager, etc., and asking for their CV.


Those aren't freelancers.

Or even, for that matter, a plumber, electrician or carpenter.


Those rarely to any work via the internet.


I haven't yet heard it a requirement that freelancers should have CVs rather than brochures or that CVs are expected for working over the internet.

An architect I call on from time to time works out of his home - I still can't quite see asking him for his CV. I have seen his portfolio of projects completed, though.

Same goes for an accountant I used to use - he worked out of his home but was mostly auditing corporate books. It never occurred to me to ask for his CV.

[Edited at 2012-06-22 02:33 GMT]


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Vikki Pendleton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:45
Member
German to English
+ ...
I know what you mean Jun 21, 2012

... and I'm all for calling it something other than a CV. It should be noted that you can (and should) ask for references for any sort of workman and/or have them recommended by word of mouth yet, as freelance translators, we are often cagey about providing references. A CV is currently the only logical alternative, although I actually have more and better information about my worth as a translator on my proz profile than on my CV.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Glass half empty Jun 22, 2012

They way I see it, if you're a freelancer then you're just a wandering wordsmith, a gun for hire. Potential clients naturally want to know your background details. Most people call this a CV. It's not an issue from where I stand - I only uploaded mine because the site asked for it, or provided a space for it. I certainly don't keep it conscientiously updated or really consider it marketing material either.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:45
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Freelancers are often asked for CVs Jun 22, 2012

John Fossey wrote:
I haven't yet heard it a requirement that freelancers should have CVs rather than brochures or that CVs are expected for working over the internet.


The reason we call them "CVs" is because that is what many clients ask for. You might not ask for a CV from the accountant, but that is not the question. The question is: what do many clients ask of you? Do they ask for your portfolio, your brochure, your leaflet, your pamflet, or... your CV (or in some cultures, your résumé)? We call our brochures CVs because they are structured very similar to CVs and because that is what many clients recognise.

You're welcome to call it something else, e.g. rate sheet, practitioner's profile, impressum, business plan, whatever. But if you don't call it a CV, then people looking for a CV won't find it.


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Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:45
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
But... Jun 22, 2012

But when lawyers send a proposal, they normally include their CVs. These are not normally in the same form as a job-seeker's CV, but they do include all the same information (education, experience, skills). I agree that our CVs should not resemble a job-seeker's CV and the language skills are our primary offer, so they should be at the top.

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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:45
Member (2008)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Supporting document Jun 22, 2012

Mark Hamlen wrote:

But when lawyers send a proposal, they normally include their CVs. These are not normally in the same form as a job-seeker's CV, but they do include all the same information (education, experience, skills). I agree that our CVs should not resemble a job-seeker's CV and the language skills are our primary offer, so they should be at the top.


That is true. Of course, the lawyer's CV is not the primary piece of marketing material. It is usually a piece included to support the rest of the proposal.


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:45
German to English
+ ...
My CV is my CV. Jun 22, 2012

My marketing material, such as it is, is my website, and my profile here on ProZ and LinkedIn.

Other marketing material includes how I speak on the phone (about 3/10 there!) and the manner in which I respond to e-mail enquiries (slightly better rating, I would say) and, possibly, any other statement made publicly.

My CV makes no attempt to market me. Having had piles of other people's CVs in my in-tray in my life before, I have tried, at least, to make it sound interesting, while keeping it accurate.

Note to self: update latest version to ProZ!


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:45
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
A rose by any other name ... Jun 22, 2012

I regularly receive requests for my CV. I send my "résumé", which is not really a résumé, but a document providing the information which is relevant to the translation services I provide.

I also receive requests for proofreading which are really requests for editing. I do the editing and send an invoice for "proofreading" (at editing rates).









[Edited at 2012-06-22 16:12 GMT]


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