If you have a question you would like to see answered here, please let me know.
It sounds like you keep really busy; how do you have time to take on any new work?
I do stay pretty consistently booked, but I am a good juggler for those ASAP jobs. And work does ebb and flow—when it ebbs, I am out doing something fun! When it flows, well, there was a time when I could pull an “all nighter”—too old for that now, but I still try. I hear the words “trial next week” and it is all systems go. None of my clients have ever missed a deadline because of me.
I am an attorney—what happens if I request a transcript and the opposing attorney is one of your clients?
That has happened. What I do as soon as I am aware of that fact is contact both attorneys (usually via email) stating that so-and-so requested a transcript, I do work for both attorneys, but want to ensure that there is no perceived conflict of interest by either party. I will ask that they each provide me their “yes” or “no” in writing before I proceed. It has happened a handful of times and no one had a problem with it. I am a neutral, third party who does not play favorites with any client. I treat everyone as first come, first serve. One time it became obvious that I personally knew the attorney’s client—I stopped my work immediately, contacted the attorney to return the work, and permanently erased what e-files they had provided me. I love my job too much to jeopardize my reputation for confidentiality.
I have a 60 minute audio to be transcribed—how long will it take and much will it cost?
3-4 hours depending on audibility. For my clients whose work I am familiar with, I use the average of 3.5 hours transcription time for every 1 hour of audio. People talk at a speed of approximately 150-180-220 words per minute. I type 90-100 words per minute and rewind time must be considered with multiple speakers, background noise, etc.). I charge $30.00 per hour. To help a client calculate their cost, I tell them to figure $2.25 per audio minute. I know there are online companies that advertise $.99 per audio minute—not sure how they make a living OR what kind of product the client receives. FYI—one time, just out of curiosity, I applied to a position with one of these online companies. After giving them a rundown of what I do, how long I have been doing it, and completing numerous (and ridiculous, IMO) questionnaires, they told me I was “not qualified”.
Is a Transcriptionist the same thing as a Court Reporter?
No. Both the transcriber or legal transcriptionist and the court reporter transcribe the spoken word, but court reporting requires state licensing/certification.
As a transcriptionist, I take previously recorded information and make a typewritten copy. Recorded information has usually been in the form of tape cassettes—large and micro. But today, with the advent of DSS files and audio media, the recording is more often than not done digitally. I utilize specialized equipment software in order to play, rewind, speed up, or filter audio to ensure an accurate transcript. I also have software to convert video to audio for compatible use with my transcription software. For my legal clients, I do a “certification” at the end of a transcript, like a court reporter, to verify that the parties are persons unknown and unrelated to me and that I represent the document to be a true and accurate transcript. A court reporter utilizes a wholly different and specialized software that one must be certified to obtain (I tried).
What is the difference between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Resume?
A CV (Curriculum Vitae, which means course of life in Latin) is an in-depth document and contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography. The CV covers your education as well as any other accomplishments like publications, awards, honors, etc. Professionals who utilize a CV would be doctors, lawyers, professors, etc. The rest of us would use a resume, which is a concise document typically not longer than one page (maybe two). Research indicates it only takes 8 seconds for an employer to maintain/lose interest. The goal is to stand out from the competition. The resume should be adapted to the positions sought and tailored to the needs of the specific job opening. While there are guidelines to preparing a resume, there is no one “rule” to them. When we meet to discuss your past, present and future career objectives, I will be able to discern which style will be right for you.
Should I prepare a cover letter if the employer is not requesting one?
Yes! Think of it as a marketing tool in which you have a chance to sell yourself and highlight your most attractive features as an employee. In this modern age of online resume submission, even if a cover letter is not required but there is a place to attach or upload it, then do it. Research indicates that companies not requiring a cover letter will separate applicants—those who provided cover letters and those who did not. The employer will start their selection process with those who took the time and effort to write a cover letter.
Do you do bookkeeping?
No, not good at it, do not like it—am right brain dominant. But I can refer you to a service that does contract bookkeeping.
Are you on social media?
Yes, I have a facebook page for Secretarial Services. I have personal social media accounts but you probably will not be able to find me. Even if you do, I am extremely selective (think blood relative) before I will accept your friend or follow request. Please do not be offended. Besides, it is a crazy world out there and you might not want people to know you know me.
How did you get started in your business?
It was a total fluke! While I have an independent nature, a “go-getter” attitude, and am fearless when I get an idea, a lot of it was timing, coincidence and positive reinforcement from others.
First “official” job was with a business acquisition firm where I learned all things real estate. Then went to work for Attorneys Lawrence S. Cole and Michael G. Majerus—both now retired. When they parted ways, each of them, and other legal offices I networked with, wanted me to do work for them “as needed” and or temp from time to time. So I set up a home office and worked in and out of that until the building manager for where I am now in Transwestern I asked me to take a space in their building. And since I sit in a lobby area and direct visitors to other offices, I do not have to pay rent!
I am never bored with my job, am always learning something new, and my knowledge and skills are always growing and adapting to the ever-changing business environment.