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Do you list your experience with charitable translations on your CV?
Thread poster: Sarah McDowell

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:12
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
Mar 12, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I have quite a bit of experience helping charities by doing translations for them. So would you list this on your CV or leave it off? I was going to list it but I was wondering if it makes it look like I have very low rates (which I don't). The organization that I help is definitely a legitimate charity and I like to help out with their work. Do you think it will make agencies think that I work for low rates? I don't want to give the wrong message here.

Thanks,
Sarah


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:12
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Say it is "charity" Mar 12, 2013

Sarah McDowell wrote:
I have quite a bit of experience helping charities by doing translations for them. So would you list this on your CV or leave it off?


If you have no other experience to mention, and these charities are well-known, then I would encourage you to mention it on your résumé. If you're concerned that agencies will get the wrong message, place them under a special heading called "Charitable work" or suchlike.

But to be honest with you I don't think an agency will make any judgments about your rates based on whether you had done work for charities. Your rate is your rate, and you say it when the agency contacts you. Even if you have done cheaper work for charities, that does not mean that you are willing to work for lower rates when it comes to non-charitable businsses... and agencies know this.


 

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:12
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It's only part of my experience Mar 12, 2013

Dear Samuel,

I think you must have misunderstood me. Of course it's not the only experience that I have. Actually I have a lot of experience in a range of different projects. The charity work is just something that I do once in a while to help out.

I was just wondering if I should include it on my CV because I included it on my LinkedIn profile. I notice that some translators have a "translators without borders" bade on their proz.com profiles and it looks good. However, the charity that I help is not translators without borders and I don't think it's possible to add a badge from the charity I do work for to my profile. So this is why I was thinking of adding it to my CV.

That's all, thanks.

Sarah


 

George May  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:12
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
It's not about rates Mar 12, 2013

It's not a rates issue - it's saying something about you as a person. Reliable, thoughtful, forward-looking.... all good characteristics.

I work free for a couple of charities but never mention the rates. It's no-one's business.


 

The Misha
Local time: 03:12
Russian to English
+ ...
I do not work for free. Period Mar 12, 2013

Mixing your business and charitable giving is a bad idea all along.

 

Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Include them Mar 12, 2013

I would just include them in the same list with any other clients being mentioned -- not set them apart in any way.

 

Bruna Maira Ferreira (X)
Brazil
Local time: 06:12
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes!!! Mar 13, 2013

I think it's important to add this information on your CV. And include it like any other job you've done.


Bruna


 

Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:12
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Personally, no... Mar 13, 2013

My name appears in the annual reports of some of the NGOs I volunteer for which are registered charities, however I do not list or mention the names of any of my direct or agency clients publicly, or my rates, free or otherwise. I don't consider this professional.
As a freelancer, and hence your own boss, you're technically free to set your own rates and work for whoever you want and on whatever (lawful) terms you agree to, the rest is no one else's concern.
Aisha


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:12
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Experience is experience Mar 13, 2013

As long as it is a registered charity, then you aren't working "for free", you're doing "pro bono" work. Maybe it sounds pompous, but that's what a freelancer should be calling it. Many lawyers, accountants, website designers etc do pro bono work.

It certainly should have no impact on what a "for profit" client needs to pay for your services. If you suspect a client is thinking along those lines, either educate them of dump them, or maybe both.icon_smile.gif


 

Mailand  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:12
Italian to German
+ ...
Exactly "pro bono" work - for other professions it's a plus Mar 13, 2013

@ Sheila - I think you are so right: it is not some work for a friend you just do "for free", it's pro bono and - as you so rightly point out - a lot of professionals do it. I think that it's much better to do pro bono (= free of charge) rather than lowering ones rates: it's psychological, I think: low rates make you feel like working a lot for little, pro bono makes you feel "good", especially if it's for a good cause you care about.

 

John Holland  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:12
Member (2012)
French to English
Pro bono Mar 13, 2013

I agree with Sheila and Mailand. This is the most professional way I know to indicate that you've donated your time and labor for the public good.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro_bono (emphasis added):

"Pro bono publico (English: for the public good; usually shortened to pro bono) is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service. It is common in the legal profession and is increasingly seen in architecture, marketing, technology, and strategy consulting firms. Pro bono service, unlike traditional volunteerism, uses the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them."


 

Jane Proctor  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:12
French to English
be proud to support (worthwhile) causes Mar 13, 2013

The Misha wrote:

I do not work for free. Period.

Mixing your business and charitable giving is a bad idea all along.


Shame! Fortunately, for the billions less fortunate than you in life "The Misha", Bill Gates and many other highly successful entrepreneurs and businesses do not share your view!

I'm with George May on this one. In any case, listing philanphropic work also suggests that you may actually charge a high rate to compensate for the time spent doing worthwhile stuff!


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:12
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I think you misunderstood, Jane Mar 13, 2013

The Misha doesn't say that he doesn't ever do anything for charity. He just says he doesn't translate for free.
He might then give 50% of his earnings away for all we know!

(And I won't get started on how Bill Gates' "charity work" actually roots for big business and pushes a western agenda in countries that have their own because that would be OT)


 

Jane Proctor  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:12
French to English
Let's hope so! Mar 13, 2013

Yet, there seems to be a recent trend to declare oneself proud not to give to charity for all the usual suspect reasons.. Last week, I was the ONLY person on a packed Gatwick to Geneva plane who put ANYTHING in the charity donation envelope when it came round! Pourtant, there were no lack of takers for duty free and the drinks trolley!!!

 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not personally Mar 13, 2013

Personally, I wouldn't mix pro bono and paid work.

I don't do pro bono translations but I have occasionally done pro bono interpretations, but it was simply to gain experience, in other words, I didn't do it out of the goodness of my heart.

If I was happy with my client base and the rate I commanded for my translations, then I may include pro bono translation work on my CV. If this wasn't the case, then I wouldn't, as it could undermine my bargaining power. The company or agency may think that they don't have to pay you much because you sometimes do it for free anyway. Otherwise, they might think that you do pro bono work as a way of getting experience, so it makes you look unprofessional. Or you do it because you have time on your hands, probably because you don't get many translation assignments coming your way.

But if you are already an established translation, and do pro bono work because you want to help, then include it.


 
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