Is there an e-slush-pile for translator CVs?
Thread poster: José Henrique Lamensdorf

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:59
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Oct 14, 2007

I guess now and then every translator goes visiting a few (or a lot of) translation agencies' web sites to make contact. There are two types of possible interaction:

a) An online application form where the translator applying for jobs will enter an extremely variable quantity of information on his/her self, capabilities, and experience. I assume such data is automatically fed into a database, to be queried as needed.

b) "Send your CV to [e-mail address]. Don't call us, we'll call when we have a job requiring your skills."


I'm wondering about the second option.

When I was trying to get my book published, I came across the term slush pile. Both publishers and literary agents define it as the final destination for unsolicited manuscripts. Few people/organizations in the book industry accept electronic submissions. So I envisioned each of them - regardless of being established in Manhattan or a similar neighborhood - having a large barn, feeding it through a top window. When it became full, a truck would take all that paper away for recycling.

I assume that no busy translation agency would have staff with time available to browse all the unsolicited translator CVs they received. So my best guess is that these might be saved as they come, unsorted, to a hard disk in one machine linked to their network. When that disk got full, it would be formatted, thus recycling its megabytes.

Has anyone ever been personally contacted - I mean otherwise than an automatic e-mail answer - by a translation agency after having simply e-mailed an unsolicited CV there?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ms.Straus  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 06:59
Member (2007)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Sometimes you do get contacted after sending a CV Oct 14, 2007

I sent two (yes, only 2) unsolicited CVs several years ago when I was trying to get some new clients.

I got called back by both agencies (both of them Slovenian); the first one wanted me to manage their projects (they didn't need any new translators at the time) and the second one gave me their first job some days later. As you can see - it happens.

I never sent any unsolicited CVs since because now I prefer clients looking me up first and then asking for references and stuff. This way at least I know the are looking for someone with my skills before bombarding them with anything.

However I do believe slush piles exist. Huge, mouldy ones Totally outdated. Never sorted.

[Edited at 2007-10-14 17:30]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:59
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I receive a fair number of unsolicited CVs... Oct 14, 2007

... and I am not even an agency yet, only a translator who sometimes outsources work.

What baffles me entirely is that the people who send them often do not seem to pay attention to the language pair/pairs that I deal in (actually, personally I only do DE-EN, but sometimes outsource work that is EN-DE). They offer all kinds of interesting combinations, that often do not even include one of those languages. It would be useful if translators sending out unsolicited CVs would at least send them in a sensible direction.

That apart, I work mostly, in those pairs, with "tried and tested" colleagues, and only infrequently look for somebody new to assist.

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
It happens Oct 14, 2007

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Has anyone ever been personally contacted - I mean otherwise than an automatic e-mail answer - by a translation agency after having simply e-mailed an unsolicited CV there?


I have, although when they contacted me I didn't even remember ever having sent them my CV. They never acknowledged having received it after it was sent.

When they did write me, they said something like, "We received your CV a few months ago and we're wondering if you're available."

I answered affirmatively and they're sporadic but continuous clients now.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 16:59
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
it depends Oct 14, 2007

I think it depends to the language pairs. There are not so much demands in my language pairs, so hardly I received jobs through agencies that they have my CV. I get more jobs through my other contacts or mostly local and few from outside.
This is a good question. Do we need to bombard the agencies with our CVs or do we let them to find us?
Cheers
Atena


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:59
French to English
My statistics ! Oct 14, 2007

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
Has anyone ever been personally contacted - I mean otherwise than an automatic e-mail answer - by a translation agency after having simply e-mailed an unsolicited CV there?


My spreadsheet tells me that when I started out, I investigated just over 250 agencies.
Of those, I contacted 120.
(I ruled out ones that seemed to specialise in fields I didn't know, or concentrated on oriental languages, had dubious blueboard ratings, and that kind of thing).

Out of those, I only got any kind of response at all, automated or otherwise, from about 20.

However, out of those, I have worked for 4, and 2 of them are 2 of my best clients.

Make of that what you will


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ms.Straus  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 06:59
Member (2007)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Rare language pairs: Contact outsorcers. Oct 14, 2007

Atena Hensch wrote:

Do we need to bombard the agencies with our CVs or do we let them to find us?
Cheers
Atena


My advice to you would be yes, contact outsourcers if you desire more work. Contact a lot of them.

Send a short e-mail stating your name, language pairs, fields of expertise and rates. They'll call you back if they need anything else.

Try it, can't hurt.



[Edited at 2007-10-14 20:27]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenni Jelse  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:59
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
It worked for me Oct 14, 2007

When I first started out with a brand new degree in translation I sent out loads of cvs to agencies everywhere. I think my timing must have been good, because I got plenty of good replies. Some of the agencies that got back to me (some within a week, others a year later) are still my preferred clients.

Perhaps it's more difficult today. When I worked part-time for a technical translation agency as a project manager we did seem to get more and more cvs. We put them all in a special folder in Outlook and replied to them all when we had time. We always tried to get back to everyone quickly, even if it was just to say "thanks - we'll get back to you" or "thanks - but we only need specialised technical translators".

So, it's definitely worth a try, but it's time-consuming and it's getting harder to stand out as there are so many cvs sent out these days.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:59
English to German
+ ...
Yes Oct 15, 2007

I contacted 2 of my best agency clients this way.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I never send my CV unsolicited Oct 15, 2007

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
Has anyone ever been personally contacted ... by a translation agency after having simply e-mailed an unsolicited CV there?


I don't send my CV unsolicited. But I do contact agencies unsolicited, and in it I offer to send my CV if they require it (I also give a link to it on my web site). Some of them have contacted me, and in a few cases I later got jobs from them.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxNMR
France
Local time: 06:59
French to Dutch
+ ...
I worked in an agency Oct 15, 2007

All translators who sent unsolicited cv's were asked to fill in a form. All these forms went in a drawer. If my boss needed a new translator (for a big project or a specialized subject) he went through all these forms and chose one. This happened from time to time*. Cv's without forms went into the wastepaper basket after a month or so.

* the main criterion was: translators' diploma or other (for instance a young lawyer), but without experience. As soon as the translator had some experience, he became too expensive.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Nadejda Vega Cespedes  Identity Verified

Local time: 06:59
Spanish to Russian
+ ...
Of course Oct 15, 2007

From my experience , you stand an incommensurably better chance of getting a meaningful reply followed by actual jobs when you send your CV (containing all the information you would like to share, demonstrating your ability to present yourself and enabling you to immediately attract attention) rather than just register in an impersonal database where you are unlikely to ever be spotted in a huge crowd of colleagues with apparently similar qualifications.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:59
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This explains a lot! Oct 16, 2007

NMR wrote:
I worked in an agency
All translators who sent unsolicited cv's were asked to fill in a form. All these forms went in a drawer. If my boss needed a new translator (for a big project or a specialized subject) he went through all these forms and chose one. This happened from time to time*. Cv's without forms went into the wastepaper basket after a month or so.
* the main criterion was: translators' diploma or other (for instance a young lawyer), but without experience. As soon as the translator had some experience, he became too expensive.


Several agencies invite translators to send their CVs, and specifically request them to put the language pair and rate per word in the message subject. They must have developed a system that will automatically send a DE-EN USD 0.02 to the top of the e-slush pile, while a PT-ES USD 0.18 will be deleted pronto.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:59
English to German
+ ...
oh yes Oct 16, 2007


* the main criterion was: translators' diploma or other (for instance a young lawyer), but without experience. As soon as the translator had some experience, he became too expensive.


I forgot to mention: I did this years ago and most agencies will drop you as soon as you raise your price. Actually I haven't worked for agencies for quite a while now but I do get requests.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Is there an e-slush-pile for translator CVs?

Advanced search







Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs