I receive numerous resumes from linguists around the world. I often read a little before handing them off to my Assistant for processing.
The majority impress me with their education, skill level and past performance. (Of course, we verify those before going further with them.)
But there are some that absolutely puzzle me:
Numerous errors in the cover letter or even within the resume itself. Particularly if the linguist represents herself as translating into English, this is unacceptable. Linguists who translate from English should surely be aware of a cardinal rule within our industry: Every document needs an editor. Why would we hire someone who sends a resume with errors? What does that say for their work product?
No educational credentials mentioned. Tembua is certified to ISO 17100 which requires certain education and experience levels from the people we hire. It is a simple matter to log in to our website, note the certification and look it up. If a translator can’t do that simple task, how can we expect him to do the research often necessary to complete a translation?
My favorite, however, is a list of specialties that is 3 paragraphs long. A specialty is what you do most often and best, not everything you’ve ever attempted. I play piano well. It’s one of my specialties. But I certainly wouldn’t list flute, clarinet, tympani, guitar and trap set although I have dabbled in all of them. A linguist might specialize in legal and/or medical documents, but not forestry, pastry, automotive, geology, etc. That just begs the question: what have you actually done?
I’m certain that our industry isn’t alone in this. In fact, everyone who has interviewed candidates for an open position, can relate to this example:
Some years ago a young man sat down across from me. We had reviewed his credentials and checked the validity of his credentials. He lost me, however, when the first words out of his mouth were, “So, what exactly do you guys do here?”
Do you have resume or interview stories to share?