Advice on what I should add to my CV (J>E Translator)
Thread poster: Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington
United States
Local time: 05:48
Member (May 2019)
Japanese to English
Jun 5

Hello,

I am a recent graduate from university who is looking to become a full-time freelance J>E translator. My main fields of interest are in gaming localization, film, and literature (specifically fantasy and sci-fi).

I recently added my CV to my profile, and I was wondering if I could get some critiques on how to make my CV more competitive (because I believe that in its current state, it might be harming my application process).

I have taken a course i
... See more
Hello,

I am a recent graduate from university who is looking to become a full-time freelance J>E translator. My main fields of interest are in gaming localization, film, and literature (specifically fantasy and sci-fi).

I recently added my CV to my profile, and I was wondering if I could get some critiques on how to make my CV more competitive (because I believe that in its current state, it might be harming my application process).

I have taken a course in translation at my university, and I have also taken a course in Bungo (Classical Japanese, primarily focused on translating classical text), but I was unsure how to add that to my CV. I want to add this information, as it shows that I at least have some training in translation (and thus have more experience than the 3 months that I have been slugging it out in the freelance industry).

Any and all critique is welcome.

Thank you in advanced!
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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
A CV is a specialized tool for job-seeking purposes Jun 5

Hello Michael--How about starting with a MS Word template, checking the internet for recomendations?

Ok, unlike middlemen, a real/direct client wants to have his job done (1) properly, (2) timely, and (3) as agreed. That’s right, just three reasonable requirements.

In a (A) relevant, (B) personalized, and (C) sell-points positive CV one has got some ten seconds to (1) grab a reader’s attention, (2) give a brief overview, (3) highlight the main skills/exp, (4) commun
... See more
Hello Michael--How about starting with a MS Word template, checking the internet for recomendations?

Ok, unlike middlemen, a real/direct client wants to have his job done (1) properly, (2) timely, and (3) as agreed. That’s right, just three reasonable requirements.

In a (A) relevant, (B) personalized, and (C) sell-points positive CV one has got some ten seconds to (1) grab a reader’s attention, (2) give a brief overview, (3) highlight the main skills/exp, (4) communicate personal attributes, and (5) motivate the intended reader to contact you, inviting to the interview.
Have you really?

As a freshman, you did mistakenly focus on your titles, not relevant (hard&soft) skills. For instance, the CV tells me nothing about (A) what exactly you have done, (B) achieving what results, and (C) developing what skills, (D) your goals, or (E) what sets you apart from many others, alas.

No references (a principal, a lecturer, a tutor, or anyone not too ashamed to share a few good words about you?), no relevant A/O levels/Hons/GCSEs, no portfolio (a couple of your best translation pieces in the field), no cover letter, no clear objectives?.. Too little info, not enough data.


Furthermore, without a zest and a personal brand (good name), it is rather difficult at agencies-oriented platforms/aggregated lists to get to the TOP amongst namely thousand of competitors colleagues with the same specialization and language pairs.

Cheers

P.S. Your current "CV" is but a dull draft.
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Michael Harrington
 

Michael Harrington
United States
Local time: 05:48
Member (May 2019)
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Great feedback. I have a lot of work to do. Jun 6

DZiW wrote:

Hello Michael--How about starting with a MS Word template, checking the internet for recomendations?

Ok, unlike middlemen, a real/direct client wants to have his job done (1) properly, (2) timely, and (3) as agreed. That’s right, just three reasonable requirements.

In a (A) relevant, (B) personalized, and (C) sell-points positive CV one has got some ten seconds to (1) grab a reader’s attention, (2) give a brief overview, (3) highlight the main skills/exp, (4) communicate personal attributes, and (5) motivate the intended reader to contact you, inviting to the interview.
Have you really?

As a freshman, you did mistakenly focus on your titles, not relevant (hard&soft) skills. For instance, the CV tells me nothing about (A) what exactly you have done, (B) achieving what results, and (C) developing what skills, (D) your goals, or (E) what sets you apart from many others, alas.

No references (a principal, a lecturer, a tutor, or anyone not too ashamed to share a few good words about you?), no relevant A/O levels/Hons/GCSEs, no portfolio (a couple of your best translation pieces in the field), no cover letter, no clear objectives?.. Too little info, not enough data.


Furthermore, without a zest and a personal brand (good name), it is rather difficult at agencies-oriented platforms/aggregated lists to get to the TOP amongst namely thousand of competitors colleagues with the same specialization and language pairs.

Cheers

P.S. Your current "CV" is but a dull draft.


Wow, as I thought, I have a lot of work to do. To be honest, I had never even heard of the term "curriculum vitae" until a couple months ago. Websites had been giving conflicting information on how I should go about making one, and most of them were not directly related to translation. Although, I suppose the fault lies on me for not optimizing my search correctly.

I would like to note that the CV that I used was a template, actually. I did some minor modifications to it (e.g., changing "research interests" into "fields of translation"), but I will look for a better one.

Thank you for taking the time to read through it and for the honest feedback!


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
also Jun 6

Michael, in the modern marketing life they globally try to commercialize/monetize everything, so consider your CV as an advertisement/business proposal and your keywords as SEO/assets.
 I thought that self/re/presentation skills are taught since middle school in the USA, yet still--reading your CV,
Would you really accept such an offer from an applicant as an employer?

Lacking exp and special skills, most 'recent graduate' CVs/resumes focus on soft (people-related) skills, highlighting "promising young specialist" and so on. Don't care much about habitual Too young and inexperienced! Very old and overqualified! Rather middle and mediocre! Funny email! and other test points or excuses for bargaining.
Specialist = professional skills + people skills + exp*attitude

* Do your people and mentors know about your plans?
* Did you ask at least your supervising professor for a reference?
* Have you checked related local and nearby offices/websites?
* The CV doesn't read it, yet are you familiar with localizing software like TsiLang, DKLang, EMS Advanced Localizer, POEditor, i18n Package, Delphi Localizer, JVCL, TLang, Multilizer, SDL Passolo, Radialix, or any others?
* How about a sample--a tiny game/software localized by you?
* Taking into account the competition, why an intended employer should consider you full time, not a bottom-feeder freelancer/part-timer/outsourcer?


Although many would argue "pure translators" in the Language industry are very important, I still believe there should be only specialists in a field (engineers, lawyers, doctors, mentors, consultants...) with decent foreign language skills--using foreign languages to complement their biz. Just IMO though.

Cheers


Michael Harrington
 

Michael Harrington
United States
Local time: 05:48
Member (May 2019)
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again for the follow-up. Jun 7

DZiW wrote:

Michael, in the modern marketing life they globally try to commercialize/monetize everything, so consider your CV as an advertisement/business proposal and your keywords as SEO/assets.
 I thought that self/re/presentation skills are taught since middle school in the USA, yet still--reading your CV,
Would you really accept such an offer from an applicant as an employer?

Lacking exp and special skills, most 'recent graduate' CVs/resumes focus on soft (people-related) skills, highlighting "promising young specialist" and so on. Don't care much about habitual Too young and inexperienced! Very old and overqualified! Rather middle and mediocre! Funny email! and other test points or excuses for bargaining.
Specialist = professional skills + people skills + exp*attitude

* Do your people and mentors know about your plans?
* Did you ask at least your supervising professor for a reference?
* Have you checked related local and nearby offices/websites?
* The CV doesn't read it, yet are you familiar with localizing software like TsiLang, DKLang, EMS Advanced Localizer, POEditor, i18n Package, Delphi Localizer, JVCL, TLang, Multilizer, SDL Passolo, Radialix, or any others?
* How about a sample--a tiny game/software localized by you?
* Taking into account the competition, why an intended employer should consider you full time, not a bottom-feeder freelancer/part-timer/outsourcer?


Although many would argue "pure translators" in the Language industry are very important, I still believe there should be only specialists in a field (engineers, lawyers, doctors, mentors, consultants...) with decent foreign language skills--using foreign languages to complement their biz. Just IMO though.

Cheers


You really went above and beyond with your advice. I have so much more information to pick from, and I think that with this I can work on making a more focused, tight CV. Right now, I am currently in the process of gathering my references.

Thanks again!


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:48
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You don't want a jobseeker's CV Jun 8

You can't use a jobseeker's CV to interest potential clients. They want different things: an employer is investing in YOU, week in and week out, whereas a client is investing in a translation, which can be as short as a few hundred words.

A client wants to know what your languages are first, and your main subject areas second. And they want that backed up with anything that points to you being able to actually do the job, so experience, qualifications, etc.

Have a look
... See more
You can't use a jobseeker's CV to interest potential clients. They want different things: an employer is investing in YOU, week in and week out, whereas a client is investing in a translation, which can be as short as a few hundred words.

A client wants to know what your languages are first, and your main subject areas second. And they want that backed up with anything that points to you being able to actually do the job, so experience, qualifications, etc.

Have a look at the Wiki on this site on how to write a CV. (I wrote it ).
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Michele Fauble
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Chief cook and bottlewasher Jun 10

Don't independent contractors, as self-employed, need jobs/contracts to do their b2b/b2p business and co-op? No real difference.

All the clients just want to have their problem solved profitably, yet middlemen--by hook or by crook--often abuse buying as cheap as possible while charging top dollar. No big difference.

While most agencies prefer having a bunch of volunteers*, free-testers, and bottom-feeders to paying fair a decent specialist, neither trans
... See more
Don't independent contractors, as self-employed, need jobs/contracts to do their b2b/b2p business and co-op? No real difference.

All the clients just want to have their problem solved profitably, yet middlemen--by hook or by crook--often abuse buying as cheap as possible while charging top dollar. No big difference.

While most agencies prefer having a bunch of volunteers*, free-testers, and bottom-feeders to paying fair a decent specialist, neither translators nor agencies can do without loyal and long-term ultimate clients The ProZ wiki definition
Freelance translator. Also known as "freelancer", an independent translator who sells his or her services to a client on a job-to-job basis without a long-term commitment to any one employer not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term.
is rather awkward. No difference either.

I sufficiently agree with the comments--especially considering the 'employer mentality', yet being specific and notable is the same as "Is he no-problem and competent?" boiling down to "Is it really worth it?" (risks).


The target, the purpose, and real intentions...
@Michael, in your* biz only you decide between hundreds of fickle agencies offering cherished $0.02-$0.05/word with fuzzy/internal/repetition "discounts" (often totaling under $0.0125/w) and treating you like a cannon fodder or a few but stable direct clients offering $0.25+/w on your terms, treating you as an equal party.
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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:48
Member (2018)
French to English
. Jun 10

DZiW wrote:

most agencies prefer having a bunch of volunteers*, free-testers, and bottom-feeders to paying fair a decent specialist


I don't know about that. The biggest ones do give that impression, and I do know of an agency that tries to get former employees to translate whole books for free, and that outsources to a bored diplomat's wife who doesn't even remember to bill her measly 0.02€ rate. However most of the agencies I work for seem to need top-quality work and are willing to pay above average rates for it.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
:. Jun 10

@Kay, I cannot tell for all the agencies for sure, but most middlemen charge $0.25-0.50+/word while 'fairly' paying their translators under $0.05/word and shyly hiding behind imposed mass-market "standards". I believe it's a very conspicuous fact even having more to do with negotiation/biz skills.

Anyway, I think there're no major* distinctions between offers/CVs to (A) a real/direct client and (B) an agency, but conditions (margins).

[Edited at 2019-06-11 10:50 GMT]


 


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