CV advice sought
מפרסם התגובה: Chris Borgars-Smith

Chris Borgars-Smith
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 18:37
מגרמנית לאנגלית
Apr 21

Hi folks,

I've been translating part-time (mostly due to health reasons) for agencies for a couple years now, and I'm reworking my CV at the moment. I really don't feel confident that I know what makes for a good CV, and I'm looking for some more feedback.

I've uploaded a copy of my current CV and a ...
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Hi folks,

I've been translating part-time (mostly due to health reasons) for agencies for a couple years now, and I'm reworking my CV at the moment. I really don't feel confident that I know what makes for a good CV, and I'm looking for some more feedback.

I've uploaded a copy of my current CV and a copy of a redraft I've done following advice from my mentor, though I feel like I rather over-corrected on the latter.

Any feedback or advice you might have would be welcome; I'm also beginning to think I really ought to have separate versions to aim at direct clients and at agencies, if you have any advice on that.
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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
הונג קונג
Local time: 01:37
חבר
מסינית לאנגלית
+ ...
. Apr 22

1. Don't tell people you're a recent graduate and beginner, not to mention that the "recent graduate" part is factually incorrect.
2. Translation software experience belongs at the end, not at the beginning
3. Simplify the Education section. Describing your education in great detail is not a positive thing.
4. Nobody wants to know your A-Levels and GCSEs, for the same reason as 1.


Dan Lucas
Thomas T. Frost
Michele Fauble
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 18:37
חבר (2014)
מיפנית לאנגלית
Relevance Apr 22

Chris Borgars-Smith wrote:
and I'm looking for some more feedback.

Lincoln has the right of it, though you may have found his, ah, pithiness of expression disconcerting. It's always tempting to put what you have most of first, and for you that is education, but any relevant experience should come first. I would compress your entire education to half a page, just hit the highlights. Then expand on your experience as much as you can. Don't call yourself a beginner, either.

Although it is really too long for somebody with relatively short experience, I think it looks better than many I have seen, e.g. you have the contact details right out in front, and you don't have "Curriculum Vitae" at the top, and so on.

Dan


Joe France
Thomas T. Frost
 

Agneta Pallinder  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 18:37
חבר (2014)
משוודית לאנגלית
+ ...
Recommended for inspiration Apr 22

I found Marta Stelmaszak's "You need a CV that works" really helpful. Can be downloaded here: http://wantwords.co.uk/school/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/You-need-a-CV-that-works.pdf

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 18:37
חבר (2007)
אנגלית
+ ...
In addition... Apr 22

The revised CV is definitely better. At least clients know you're a German to English translator . I've seen a lot worse, but a lot better too.

It's still trying to do way too much for a freelancer's CV, which should NOT literally be your life story. I would suggest starting by taking out everything you'd see in a jobseeker's cover letter -- all that running text. Clients anyway don't need to know about your soft skil
... See more
The revised CV is definitely better. At least clients know you're a German to English translator . I've seen a lot worse, but a lot better too.

It's still trying to do way too much for a freelancer's CV, which should NOT literally be your life story. I would suggest starting by taking out everything you'd see in a jobseeker's cover letter -- all that running text. Clients anyway don't need to know about your soft skills. They damn well expect you to have them in spades!

The best idea is to imagine you're the client with a job in mind. Go through highlighting individual words and phrases that will be important and then add as few other words as possible. They need your phone no, email address and/or a website link. They do not need to send you a letter so keep your personal address to yourself, but tell them your country and time zone. They need to know your language pair(s), of course -- some proof of level is good so include a few lines about education.

But the most important thing to them is their job. So practically the first thing they need to see is proof of your relevant skills and experience in their area of operation. Fine if you've learnt about it; but even better if you've done similar jobs in the past.

I don't see any need for two CVs. Agencies and direct clients want exactly the same deliverable: a good translation. It would be different if you also provided language teaching services.
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
הולנד
Local time: 19:37
חבר (2006)
מאנגלית לאפריקאנס
+ ...
@Chris Apr 22

Chris Borgars-Smith wrote:
I'm beginning to think I really ought to have separate versions to aim at direct clients and at agencies.


Three versions, in fact: one for direct clients, one for agencies, and one for recruiters or companies where you are hoping to get employed. Agencies and direct clients don't want to hear that you're "at the beginning" of your career, but potential employers might be interested in that.

The CV for recruiters should be the most traditional of the three, and your current two-page CV is mostly okay for that purpose. That CV lacks headings, however, and I found that I was only able to figure out the structure of the CV by actually reading the text, and that is a bad thing: a reader should be able to figure out what is where by just glancing at the page. Also, you tend to put multiple short pieces of information on a single line, but long lines of text should be limited to actual sentences and paragraphs. I got the impression that you were trying to put as much content on two pages as possible. I believe that once a CV's length exceeds 1 page, you don't have to aggressively limit yourself to 2 pages. Spread the information over 3 pages.

By the way, I too, when I was fresh out of college, included descriptions of my college courses in the CV. I don't think this is a bad thing, but a reader who doesn't want to read through paragraphs of text should be able to glean the basics from your CV by a couple of glances, too.

The CVs for direct clients and agencies can be broadly similar, but the one aimed at agencies should highlight the skills that agencies are looking for. You can also consider adding pricing information in your CV for agencies. Try to make these two CVs one page only.

I took a swing at your heading:

cv heading

The heading should announce not only who you are but what you are. Put a bit of space under the main heading (e.g. a blank line). Do not assume that international readers will know which words and codes under your name constitute your address, so use the label "Address:" and write the address using standard punctuation (not dots), and add the country name. And add the country code to the phone number as a courtesy to the reader.


[Edited at 2020-04-22 10:28 GMT]


 

DZiW
אוקראינה
מאנגלית לרוסית
+ ...
WIIFM? II Apr 22

First, while “The maximum profits at the minimum costs” rule applies, unlike middlemen, direct clients seek very different priorities and qualities. (Band-aid jobbing vs. Full-fledged career)

Second, did you check your CV from the “What’s in it for me?” perspective?
If you can explain it to your prospects why DOE/DOQ matters (features => advantages => benefits; FAB) then the rate is ok; otherwise they can safely ignore such a non-businessperson, demanding infamous ‘discounts’ and more.


 

Chris Borgars-Smith
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 18:37
מגרמנית לאנגלית
TOPIC STARTER
TY Apr 28

Thanks all for your advice, it's all very helpful – very grateful to Samuel and Agneta especially!

 


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