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Poll: Have you ever received jobs after filling out agencies' online application forms?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:28
SITE STAFF
Oct 27, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever received jobs after filling out agencies' online application forms?".

This poll was originally submitted by Rahi Moosavi

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 14:28
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Many? Oct 27, 2008

The problem is that it is difficult to know whether you are being contacted as a result of that online application or for another reason.

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:28
Italian to English
+ ...
Other Oct 27, 2008

I had to put "other", because I tend to work with the same agencies constantly - so while I may have got work from only one or two agencies after filling out their on-line applicaton forms, that would actually amount to "many" jobs. And TBH I can't remember how I first got in touch with most of the agencies I currently work with (or how they got in touch with me).

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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:28
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Ask! Oct 27, 2008

Dan Marasescu wrote:

The problem is that it is difficult to know whether you are being contacted as a result of that online application or for another reason.


When I get a new contact, I always ask them how they found me.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 14:28
English to French
+ ...
Other Oct 27, 2008

I file forms only after being asked to do so!

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Andrea Jarmuschewski  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:28
Member (2007)
French to German
+ ...
Not that often Oct 27, 2008

Most new contacts come directly through my profile at Proz.com. I did file a number of applications when starting out as a freelancer but it doesn't seem to yield much jobs. So now I mostly do not even bother to do so any more (except when asked for it directly by an outsourcer I'd like to work with).

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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:28
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
More often than expected Oct 28, 2008

One must do this! Just fill them!

An anecdote: around Feb 2006 I registered in an agency for a "potential job". In October (when I had already forgot about that agency) they PHONED me... to offer me a tailor-made project! A huge one! And then another. And months after that, yet another, even bigger.

Don't miss any form to be filled, you never know!


[Edited at 2008-10-28 00:51]


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:28
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
tons of agencies Oct 28, 2008

I've filled out forms for what seems like hundreds. They must get hundreds of applications of course.
Out of those I have managed to get a few good steady ones, mostly local or in my province, a few in the US. Mostly because of my language pairing I assume. In some cases I receive a test which is fine.


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Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:58
Member
German to English
Perhaps helps to improve the quality of jobs one gets as well Oct 28, 2008

Fabio Descalzi wrote:

One must do this! Just fill them!

An anecdote: around Feb 2006 I registered in an agency for a "potential job". In October (when I had already forgot about that agency) they PHONED me... to offer me a tailor-made project! A huge one! And then another. And months after that, yet another, even bigger.

Don't miss any form to be filled, you never know!


[Edited at 2008-10-28 00:51]


I've had a similar experience - even though I've been a member only for a few months. I filled in a form on a website after an outsourcer requested me to - and she came back to me after a couple of months with a fair - sized project, almost tailor made to suit my abilities. Perhaps there are agencies out there who do in fact use the forms received on line to allocate jobs to translators according to their specialisations / fortes - so if one can spare the few minutes it usually takes to fill in a (hopefully well - designed) form, maybe one ought to!
Regards,
Venkatesh


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:28
French to English
+ ...
Don't know Oct 28, 2008

At the beginning I filled in lots of forms on spec, and I don't know how many of them resulted in jobs. Now I am typically contacted by a new agency and the PM will ask me to fill in their form before I start the job.

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Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:28
English to Dutch
+ ...
Forms seem to be a new standard with agencies Oct 28, 2008

The question you have to ask yourself (in my opinion, that is) is: do you want the jobs an agency can generate for you. I have filled out a good number of on-line forms and the responses have not always been satisfactory, but if you want the jobs the agency may have on offer, there seems to be no way around it. I often find that agencies are sort of triggerhappy in demanding a more or less standard form of all the freelance translator-information and sometimes that standard seems to be based on nothing more than personal preferences of the HR department of the agency, but again, you have to ask yourself how keen you are to get that work. I do object to procedures for the sake of procedures and that includes follow-up questionnairs.
There has been one agency in China that even demanded a copy of my passport, which I thought was strange, given the fact that it would leave me right open for identity theft. Also, numerous agencies want references, as if you are applying for a permanent position, which I find odd as well, because it is, frankly, none of their business who my previous and current clients are. And, even when looking for orders, it is not a one way street qwhere you must thank the gods for every scrap thrown at you: I can say I have turned agencies down because they did not want to match my fees (again, mainly in the Far East, where the general idea seems to be that a bread in Europe is as cheap as a bread in China or India), and let's face it, if one is not willing to match your fees, what is the point in discussing collaboration?


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:28
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A few Oct 28, 2008

... and one or two of them are funny cases. They were quite reputable. I started hearing from them about jobs YEARS after I filled out the form. It gave me the sensation that the database was like a flower bed harvested only after a required number of years had elapsed and they had made sure I was still in the running (after sending in my rates revision, which had changed after so much time). Considering the jobs they send out are highly specialized, I can say they have a passable regularity (not as frequent as my everyday clients, but still regular).

I just wonder if anyone has had similar experiences.


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:28
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
not years Oct 28, 2008

but sometimes quite a while after I'd contacted them and I'd even forgotten I had! one of them was good though...netted me sizeable job that paid quite nicely! But there are so many that I never hear from...dommage.

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Diana Jiménez Vallejo  Identity Verified
Guatemala
Local time: 07:28
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes but... Oct 29, 2008

I've filled in some agency forms and I must say that I don't know if they ever have a look at them. It has happened to me that after having filled in a form, some days later I've found a job post looking for people with my language pairs! Even for a rush job! They didn't even ask me about my rates or availability or whatever. So why should I fill them in? Why, if you are in difficulty, don't have a close look at your forms and maybe you will find someone available? I think it is just a waste of time unless the agency directly asks you to fill it in in order to add you to their data base.

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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:28
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
I answered other because: Oct 29, 2008

like Angela and Interlangue, I usually fill them out after an agency contacts me for a specific job, in several cases, *after* I had already completed and passed a test translation. These have sometimes led to nicely targeted work.
Otherwise, I have filled out some forms, and some that appeared too extensive I have simply given up on.
And, like Parrot and MBlanshay, I generally forget about them. Sometimes they bear fruit and sometimes they don't. I was contacted last week by an agency for whom I filled out a form last year...or maybe the year before...
But since I have a somewhat schizoid set of specialties (historical linguistics/religion vs technical specs/patents), it seems that a lot of agencies say thanks, but no thanks.

I do work rather consistently for a lovely agency that gives me patents (membranes and artificial fibers), tech work (transport systems mainly), and personal letters from an artist. It's a great mix, and they are one of the agencies that asked me to fill out a form ticking off my specialities after I had completed a test translation. Yet I also know the mother of one of the associates there, so maybe it wasn't the form...


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