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Article: To win jobs online--specialize!
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 02:13
Jun 27, 2005

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "To win jobs online--specialize!".

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Elena Matei
Local time: 12:13
English to Romanian
+ ...
Jobs online Jun 28, 2005

"Follow these guidelines and you will find that the reach of the Internet is your friend; clients worldwide who truly need your unique expertise and are willing to pay for it (and not a commodity service) are now just a mouseclick away from you. This has never in the past been possible". This is a great advantage of our times....and I chose the paragraph because it is very true...and I like how you said "clients are now just a mouseclick away...." If I can add we are the cats who want to catch the mice ..... But the cat must follow all the guidelines and still waiting for the big chase...well of course that it is not a fight as between cats and mice ... although the mouse may not know which road to meet the cat....
Let's get serious ...I think we need a training in what concerns winning jobs online ...and this is done well by ...still need more details about difficulties in gaining a job online ....

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Mark Walter
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
French to English
How are you supposed to specialize when you start out as a translator ? Jul 2, 2007

Dear Henry,
Thank you for your article. I agree that every translator should specialise. However I am just beginning my career as a freelance translator and am not yet specialised in any field. How can I apply on Proz with chances of getting work ? I have got a degree in politics and international relations, but I think that would be too specialised in the translation world, and there would certainly not be enough work in that field alone.
My most likely specialisations would be business, finance and maybe legal. But I need experience in these before I can say I am specialised in these areas. And since it is unlikely I will attract assignments in these areas due to my lack of experience...I am in chicken and egg country !
You also advised Prozians to search for non-specialised work outside Proz. Can you please name some leads as to where to look for general translation work.
Thank you

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Gyulnara Rude
United States
Local time: 04:13
English to Russian
+ ...
It is useful Jul 2, 2009

Me personally, I like structure. I found it in this article. I even copied the tips. They are useful for me. I am also starting my career. I am sure the guy knows what he is talking about. Thanks Henry.

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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:13
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Specialisation Issue Sep 10, 2012

I have just read your article and found it very interesting indeed.
However there is a point I would like to raise. I am an all-round translator and feel I am unable to specialise as my academic areas (Mathematics and School Administration) are in low demand. Would it be better to study a new area (medical, for example) to be able to specialise or continue as an all-round translator?

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Lucia Leszinsky
"If you are looking to pick up jobs online, you need to market yourself as a specialist" Sep 10, 2012

Hello Paul,

As Henry explains in his article, if you are looking to pick up jobs online, you need to market yourself as a specialist. If 'Mathematics' and 'School Administration' are in low demand, then consider specializing in a third area (no need to leave those two aside though).

I see from your profile that you also reported 'Mining & Minerals / Gems' and 'Telecom(munications)' as fields of expertise. So, if you have knowledge in these two other areas, go for them! Keep answering KudoZ questions in these 2 fields and in your top language pair, mention these fields in your tagline, start building online glossaries with terms in each of these fields, and try the other tips for becoming--and standing out as--a specialist that Henry mentions in his article.

And if you need any help with this, just ask site guides or site staff for help.

Happy translating!


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Trisha F  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, specialisation is good but not enough May 16, 2013

I hate being cynical. I do not think that people who cannot get jobs necessarily lack specialisation, there are too many people who are not even properly bilingual, let alone trained in translation who can actually make a living from rogue translating whilst very well-educated and specialised people struggle a lot to show what they can offer.

Buying a Proz membership has its advantages but I wouldn't say that it will help you get more jobs. I for one have never won a job bid in this site. I am thinking of renewing my membership some time soon but it will not be with the purpose of getting freelance work, it's just that I would like to use all of the features of the site again.

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Lucia Leszinsky
That's right, Trisha May 16, 2013

Specializing in a few fields is not enough, specially if such specialization and the services offered are not advertised appropriately.

As regards meeting clients at, you are also right in that membership will not get you more jobs. There are other approaches to meeting new clients in the site besides membership:

  • A strong, professional profile
  • Collaboration and participation in term help (KudoZ PRO points)
  • Specialization
  • Taking part in the Certified PRO Network

    There is actually a free webinar today that explains how to apply these strategies to get the most out of the site. You can register from here:

    In the meantime, I suggest you take some time to add some information to your profile to start attracting potential clients. Get some Willingness to Work Again feedback, enter some projects into your Project History, get your credentials verified and report your availability to let clients know when you are available to work (by not setting your availability and hiding your calendar, clients may think you are unavailable).

    Please let me know if you need any help with these.

    Hope to see you at today's webinar!

    Kind regards,


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  • Ahmad Ridwan Munib  Identity Verified
    Local time: 16:13
    Member (2012)
    English to Indonesian
    + ...
    Yes, spealization ... Dec 22, 2013

    Specialization is important for our service to clients. Clients will be looking for translator that has special knowledge about what will be translated. So that, this article has guided us to be good translator

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