Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Advice to Beginning Translators (3) - Contacting Prospects

Today I received an unsolicited message with an attached résumé from a youger colleague.

The message was written in Italian (though our company is based in the United States), was not addressed to anybody in particular (in fact it just started with "I'm an interpreter and translator...", without any salutation, and was signed with the first name only (no surname) of the sender.

I think that when we approach our prospects we should put our best foot forward, and this clearly was not the way to do it. My advice to this younger colleague was:

  1. Draft your résumé to conform to the format used in the country where it is sent. For instance, since our company is in the United States, adding such personal data as your date of birth is really inapprpriate.

  2. The text of the cover letter (or e-mail message) also should take into account the preferred format(s) for the target country; therefore, in this instance, the message should have been written in English, should have begun with a salutation, and should have been more formal (hence, no first name only as a signature).

  3. Do not send unsolicited résumés as file attachments, because, unfortunately, doing otherwise might mean that the attachment is automatically deleted by the security settings of the e-mail client or antivirus program. On the other hand, a text-only version of the résumé could be appended at the end of the message.

  4. Do not set the message to send an automatic read confirmation: in the case of unsolicited messages many people prefer not to reveal to the sender whether the message actually arrived or not (this helps preventing spam).

My previous posts on this subject are:

Advice to Beginning Translators (1) - Résumés


Advice to Beginning Translators (2) - Sending Out Your Résumé

1 comment:

  1. A typo: 'inapprpriate'
    (I'm not a stalker, I'm only reading a lot of posts because I find them very useful).


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