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Joined 4 December - any tips on getting job offers?
Thread poster: Nina Breebaart
Nina Breebaart
Netherlands
Local time: 11:03
Bosnian to English
+ ...
Dec 16, 2006

Hi everybody,

I am a full member of Proz. com since 04. 12 2006. from that day on I have nog got any job offers. Does anyone know why? What am I doing wrong? I am getting a kind of desperate.

Kind regards, Nina (Holland)

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-12-17 23:57]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:03
English to German
+ ...
Hi Nina, welcome! Dec 17, 2006

Glad you joined Proz.com. However, this website is not a job-machine that spews out jobs as soon as you signed up while you are sitting in front of your computer, hands hovering above the keyboard.

Did you check the job site for your language pair? I just did and the last job (Bosnian-English) posted I saw was from November 23rd, so it's definitely NOT your fault.

Also, it is getting really close to the holidays.

A hint, though: your rates are awfully low. In case an outsourcer is starting a targeted search for a Bosnian>English translator and you are offering cheap prices that are actually proofreading rates, you are losing a lot of credibility regarding quality and professionalism.

Use this free down-time for participating in KudoZ. Depending on the quality of your answers you will be amazed how many overworked colleagues might contact you, asking you for help with a surplus of work.

Best,

Nicole

PS. As an into English translator, please be careful about misspellings as your forum entries can be viewed all over the web.


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 16:03
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Hello Nina, Dec 17, 2006

With respect to your language pair, I assume that you will not find it too difficult to get a job, particularly if it is compared with my language pair. The demand for yours may be much higher than mine.

As for myself, it is honestly admitted that ProZ.com has introduced me to the promising international translation market. I got a pretty good job about one month after going platinum, and many more follow afterwards. The fact that now I am not a member does not suggest that I am dissatisfied with my membership. There are several practically personal reasons for that, nothing to do with the level of satisfaction. In the next one or two months I will come back.

Furthermore, as has been mentioned by Nicole, you had better be active in KudoZ to introduce yourself to fellow translators and to show your expertise. Unfortunately, even in my point of view as a freelancer living in a developing country, your amazingly low rate may lead any potential client to presuming a priori that you are not a professional and quality translator. The rock bottom rate can indicate bad translation and late delivery. It should be noted that in general people will work for what they deserve.

My rate is more than twice as much as yours.

Good luck.


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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 11:03
Italian to English
+ ...
Proz.com Not A Primary Source Dec 17, 2006

As mentioned, Proz.com is not a primary source for obtaining work.

There is no substitute for experience and personal contact. Cultivate these in places Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Bosnia, and use Proz.com as a complement.

Good luck!


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:03
Dutch to English
+ ...
Site has a refund policy ......... Dec 17, 2006

Nina Breebaart wrote:

Hi everybody,

I am a full member of Proz. com since 04. 12 2006. from that day on I have nog got any job offers. Does anyone know why? What am I doing wrong? I am getting a kind of desperate.

Kind regards, Nina (Holland)


If the site does not meet your expectations in any way, please note you are entitled to a pro-rata refund.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:03
Dutch to English
+ ...
I had a look at your profile Dec 17, 2006

Your user message does not grab at all.

Suggestions:
Let's build on a great partnership
High level of service at competitive rates
Your first choice for a long partnership/business relationship

I'd stay clear of the word 'cooperation'.

Your rates seem to be out of sink; i.e. your per word rate is too low and your hourly rate too high.

You may live in Holland but this is a province (or rather it can be one of two). You actually live in the Netherlands.

Please take this as constructive criticism.

I would spend some time on updating/changing your profile. Customers want someone who pays attention to detail when they seek a translator.

Nicole's advice is very good.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 11:03
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
No job offers in the 1st week since you became a member? Dec 17, 2006

Proz is not an employment agency. And jobs are only one feature of the site. I get the impression a lot of people are now joining in the hope of finding work but that shouldn't be the sole reason for joining. And you are a bit impatient-one week isn't a very long time.
I see that you also run a translation agency so perhaps you could advertize your services in Dutch trade magazines or target firms doing business with Serbia and/or Bosnia.
Do you belong to the Dutch ATA (Association of Translation Agencies)? That might help you find clients.
And a last word of advice-as a native English speaker, I'd suggest you narrow your offer to translations into/from your 2 native languages. Nearly everyone in NL translates into English and/or between English and a 3rd foreign language. You are lucky enough to have a more unusual combination. That could make you stand out from all the others.
Good luck.

[Edited at 2006-12-17 11:25]


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Chowdhury
Bangladesh
Local time: 15:03
English to Bengali
+ ...
Is Nina's rate too low? Dec 17, 2006

Dear all

I am impressed that you all gave some spontaneous suggestions to Nina.

Actually I am not a full member nor am I in a position (financially) to be a member in near future.

In fact, I did not get any job from proz. Some clients contacted me through email and asked for my rate. When I said it is 0.05 per source word, they said it is too high and I must lower the rate in order to get the job. As I refused to lower the rate, the clients did not contact me again.

As I get good amount work in my local market to support my livelihood, I still take proz as hobby.

But I got surprised to see that some of you said that 'Nina's rate is too low', whereas my clients are going away terming my rate ($0.05) as too high.

Is the problem with me or with language pair or with my country of residence?


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Nina Breebaart
Netherlands
Local time: 11:03
Bosnian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
reply to everybody Dec 17, 2006

Dear all,

Thank you so much for reacting to my question! It feels great to see that you have 'compañeros' all over the world, marvelous indeed.

What I forgot to say in my question is that I have been a proz member since 2003 but from 04. 12 2006 I am a full member. I know that Proz is not an employment agency but there is sometning I don't inderstand: The, for me, strange point is that before the 04. 12 2006. I was getting a lot proz.job e-mails but from 04. 12 2006. on I don't (almost not) get any proz.job e-mails; this is what I don't understand. If you do please let me know.

As for the price of my translation: I know it is quite low but there are just too many outsoucers who don't wont to give you any work if the price is higher. I was informed by quite some of my colleagues they work for 0,03 e.c. p.w. and otherwise they won't get the job.

Kind regards, Nina


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:03
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Work with Dutch clients Dec 17, 2006

Hi Nina!
I just want to point out that it is really an advantage that you reside in the Netherlands.
I was informed by quite some of my colleagues they work for 0,03 e.c. p.w. and otherwise they won't get the job.
Kind regards, Nina

There are a lot of translation agencies here who are willing to pay decent rates. (Keep in mind that 7 cent per word is already rather low here.)
I suppose you already know the BlueBoard. I guess that you will find some Dutch agencies there who are dealing with your language pairs. Select the ones which meet your expectations, especially regarding your expertise. Take your time.
Write them carefully (no standard mails) WHY do you want to cooperate with them and why they would BENEFIT from working with you.
Good luck!
Succes ermee!
Groetjes Steffi


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:03
Member
English to Turkish
Clarification about Proz job emails? Dec 17, 2006

Hi Nina,

Do you refer to Proz.com job notifications, or potential clients contacting you via your profile?

...strange point is that before the 04. 12 2006. I was getting a lot proz.job e-mails but from 04. 12 2006. on I don't (almost not) get any proz.job e-mails; this is what I don't understand. If you do please let me know.


If the former is the case, you may need to check your profile's Notification settings.



As for the rates issue, I can only second the advice of other colleagues in this thread. You live in a high-cost, high-tax country and work with pairs which look like 'rare' to me. The problem with charging below-the-standard rates and emphasizing your price competitiveness too much in your marketing efforts is that clients who are willing to pay decent rates for quality will skip you, because low rates will make them suspicious; as for those whose priority is low rates, they will always be seeking still lower, and not surprisingly, they will find it. Netherlands has a very active translation market full of quality-oriented agencies and you shouldn't have any difficulty at charging better rates with your language pairs. Just a little bit patience...

Best of luck!

Özden



[Edited at 2006-12-18 01:54]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 05:03
SITE FOUNDER
Three quick suggestions Dec 18, 2006

Hi Nina. Welcome!

Three quick suggestions:

1. Fill out the "about me" section of the profile with the type of information that would normally appear in a CV. You have 17 years of experience - great! Share some of that experience with potential clients (and colleagues).

2. Add keyword phrases to the "keywords" section of your profile that are representative of your areas of expertise. Include them in English, Dutch and Bosnian. This will attract search engine traffic. You need to develop your client flow.

3. Reduce your number of working pairs. I recommend a maximum of three. You may be able to do more, but by listing so many, you risk turning off potential clients.

Beyond that, I concur on the rates issue. Many of the well-established clients get scared off by rates that are too low.

Welcome to the community, and best of luck!


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Patricia Ramirez  Identity Verified
Dominican Republic
Local time: 05:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
Be patient :) Dec 18, 2006

Hi Nina!

I agree with everyone, and I also encourage you to be patient.

I became a full member a month ago too, and was getting really discouraged because I was not getting any work from this site....I even asked for a refund! But then I "slept on it" and reconsidered...

So glad I did!! I got great tips to enhance my profile from the support staff (Thanks Florencia, and Leonardo!!), and last week I finished my first project that I got through Proz!

So again, I encourage you to be patient, and start answering some Kudoz questions, it's a lot of fun, and you can show your skills and also learn as you go!

Best of luck!!

Patricia


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 11:03
French to Dutch
+ ...
I agree Dec 18, 2006

I agree on everything above. In my opinion your hourly rate is too high and your word rate far too low. This gives the impression that you can translate 1000 words per hour, which is not a indication for good quality.

I had a look on your website. The French and Dutch web pages should be written by native speakers who don't make errors and who can make the website attradtive. I suggest you to indicate clearly in which fields you are specialized.

By the way, are you an independent translator or an agency? Don't promise too much.

[Edited at 2006-12-18 10:52]


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:03
English to Polish
Too low??? Dec 18, 2006

Chowdhury wrote:

Dear all

I am impressed that you all gave some spontaneous suggestions to Nina.

Actually I am not a full member nor am I in a position (financially) to be a member in near future.

In fact, I did not get any job from proz. Some clients contacted me through email and asked for my rate. When I said it is 0.05 per source word, they said it is too high and I must lower the rate in order to get the job. As I refused to lower the rate, the clients did not contact me again.

As I get good amount work in my local market to support my livelihood, I still take proz as hobby.

But I got surprised to see that some of you said that 'Nina's rate is too low', whereas my clients are going away terming my rate ($0.05) as too high.

Is the problem with me or with language pair or with my country of residence?

Actually I was surprised by Nicole's comment too. My rates are only a little higher (Eng-Pl pair, other lang pairs are much higher), and many outsources say it's too expencive. Once I was offered a rush job for 0,03 USD (sic!) and when I wrote this is unacceptable I was never contacted again...

I would love to raise my rate, but I know I'd lose most - if not all - of my clients, as too expencive translator.


Anni


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