Visibility vs. Qualifications and Ethics?

I have had a LinkedIn account for several months.  I joined because an interpreting agency has a group for cruise interpreters.  In order to be accepted into the group, the member’s profile needs to reflect interpreting experience and training.  Cruise jobs are posted as they become available.  When an interpreter wants to be placed on a job, the interpreter’s profile is also used to determine qualifications.

My husband joined the group when it was quite small and he has been on several working cruises since this agency has taken over scheduling.  I joined when there were over 600 members in the group.  Being selected out of a number that big is definitely harder.   While I am a very qualified who has worked several cruises under the old agency, I was not being selected to do work with the pool so large.  People new to the field without certification or successful interpreter training completion, those who struggle to get interpreting work locally were chosen simply because they had been members of the list longer.  It wasn’t until a cruise came available with very specific needs that I was considered.  At that point I was asked for more information about my qualifications in the specialty requested.

I also see one global interpreting agency posting daily.  That agency, while located back east has managed to gain big corporate contracts and places ASL interpreters all over the country.  I worked for the agency once and found them to be dishonest and unethical.  They sent me false information about a job and placed me without a team interpreter.  When I arrived, the customer wondered how I would do this job alone.  It was indeed a difficult job alone and not as the agency suggested.  I have billed for double my rate as my terms of service state.  I have not been paid and it has been over a month.

I am now connected to this agency through LinkedIn.  The agency has a huge presence.  The recruiter posts daily.  Every time I sign in, I have posts from them.  This is another example of unqualified people getting an edge.  I definitely need to polish my personal profile so I stand a chance based on my merits.  Apparently I will need to post something daily because now the more visibility you have, the more trustworthy you seem to be.  I wonder how one goes about promoting ethics, honesty, and skills.

I will definitely need to refine my visibility.  It seems that getting us used to tweeting daily will help me consider posting professional information daily on LinkedIn.  On another note, the tips to build a strong LinkedIn profile link is broken.  I searched the web and LinkedIn to find this webpage or a similar help topic and didn’t come up with what I thought was equivalent.  In my search I did find the following two sites that I thought were interesting.

The first Seven ways your resume and LinkedIn profile should differ.

The other is a resume builder.  Apparently it takes information from your LinkedIn profile and allows you to put the information into a professional resume template.  I can’t wait to try it.

When I came back to add the PCM#485 hashtag, I noticed related content at the bottom of the screen.  Apparently I can click on one of these topics to insert it into the blog.  Interestingly enough, the first is titled 15 Steps to a More Professional LinkedIn Profile.  Perhaps this will be similar to the originally linked reading.  I am attaching it and others below.

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About aslmedlock

Wife Adoptive/Bio Mother of 3 Sign Language Interpreter RID CI/CT Sign Language Interpretation Program, Adjunct Instructor Legal/Court Interpreter In-Training Student of Siena Heights University
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3 Responses to Visibility vs. Qualifications and Ethics?

  1. arizonamink says:

    Wow. I certainly haven’t used LinkedIn for getting work, and I never really considered it. As you say, quality and ethics can be suspect when doing business from people you’ve only ever met online. There are a lot of interpreting agencies out there that do foreign language interpreting, and think they can just add ASL as one of the languages they provide. However, as you have seen, that isn’t always the case because we are so different from spoken language interpreters.

    I’m sorry to hear that the cruise agency is using LinkedIn in this way. People that schedule interpreters should always consider a person’s experience and skills instead of basing things on some sort of random seniority or even the lowest rate. I wonder if any of these topics will be addressed at our convention this summer. They certainly are newer issues to our profession.

  2. This being my 7th class at Siena, I have been delighted to “meet” so many interpreters. I had absolutely zero knowledge regarding this field. I certainly have learned a lot about this field just through my fellow classmates. Everyone seems genuinly warm and caring!! I have high hopes you’ll start to get recruited based on what you’ve learned from this class!!! good luck:)

  3. Cruise ship interpreting sounds interesting. I am in a situation where being an interpreter presents a conflict. In most cases my nineteen year old son has myself or Deb (his favorite interpreter in the world) available. Several years ago we went on a trip to Disney and followed the park schedule for interpreted events. It was such a treat. The interpreters were having a blast – What a gig! I am ready to retire to Florida and get in on that action.

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