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Unsolicited applications
Thread poster: svenfrade

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:07
French to German
+ ...
Jul 2, 2010

First of all, I'm not really sure whether this is the right place to post this, but I couldn't think of a better one.

This is certainly nothing to get upset about, but I was most surprised by the fact that I received two unsolicited applications from other freelancers today. To me this seems odd, firstly because I have not knowingly published my e-mail address anywhere, yet they were sent to me directly, not through ProZ.com or any other website, secondly because the senders seem to assume that I run an agency, which I don't and I honestly don't know what may have given them that idea.

So what to do with these? Throw them into the virtual bin or be polite and send them a short reply since they are colleagues after all?


 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:07
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not unusual Jul 2, 2010

It's very common for freelancers to offer their services to other freelancers. I have a file with their contacts, information and reply every time.

 

Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:07
Member (2002)
English to German
Extra mail folder Jul 2, 2010

I used to answer these applications but they became so frequent that I gave up. So now I just archive them in case there might be a need at some point of time.

I guess somebody added you to an agency database and if that's the case you'll see many more applications soon.

Best regards

Andy
www.interlations.com

[Bearbeitet am 2010-07-02 17:17 GMT]


 

Tai Fu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:07
Chinese to English
this may be an opportunity Jul 2, 2010

Well, you could use this as an opportunity to start your own agency, or as a way to farm out excessive workload should you be given one.

 

Sandrine Ananie  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:07
Member (2009)
English to French
happened to me too Jul 2, 2010

I have received applications too, though I am a freelancer and by no way run an agency. Let's just say it has showed me what shouldn't be done when sending applications (spelling and punctuation mistakes...). Pressing the "send" button costs nothing, so they have nothing to lose.

Networking is an important part of our business; I have worked for freelancers who are not registered as outsourcers.


 

Ramon Somoza  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:07
Member (2002)
Dutch to Spanish
+ ...
Get those too Jul 2, 2010

Sometimes I also get these kind of applications. Whether I respond or simply put them in the "Spam" box forever depends both on the way they address me and the content of the message.

If they address me as an agency (I am a freelancer), or I have the slightest suspicion that they have used a mass e-mail, they go directly to the "Spam" box.

If they address me correctly, perhaps even quoting my name, I will respond. If the content is attractive and they seem to know how to write (I got some messages with typos & grammar errors!) then I might keep the message and perhaps farm out something I cannot take on.


 

opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:07
English to German
+ ...
Unsolicited=Spam Jul 2, 2010

Maybe it's just me, but something like that goes to the waste bin right away.

This does not apply to potential clients in most cases -- because they are clients.

But I mean, if this is a totally unsolicited, un-personalized mail coming from someone you've never heard of, asking for co-operation and jobs, without him/her explaining were he/she got your address, apart from that incorrect idea that you're representing an agency, it shows you a number of things, namely that at least some of the following are true:

- This person is getting the wrong addresses from shady or at least unreliable sources.
- He isn't capable of doing proper research, and thus lacks one of the key abilities of a professional translator.
- He is probably targetting you among thousands of other people, at the risk of being caught in spam filters and banned by mail providers, and possibly using an unreliable cheapo mail address which is going to disappear in a few months' time anyway.
- He must be very hungry for jobs and/or an absolute beginner, or not be qualified at all.
- He has every intent to waste your time, distract you from more important things, disregard your actual status as a mere freelancer, and fill your hard drive with unneccesary data. In short, he isn't interested in you at all.
- He thinks that it's useful to send out thousands of applications to people who are somehow remotely related to the translation industry, and thus might not have any idea what this "translation thing" is all about.
- He has poor communication skills, and tends to value automation more than human contact, which is dangerous especially when you're dealing with languages.
- He is the kind of person who might receive a true spam/fishing mail and click on that evil link one day. Boom.

Now, would you really want to co-operate with such a person?

I don't want to sound too harsh here. Maybe I'm just too old-fashioned, but I mean, you don't call the sausage factory to get a salami pizza delivered to your door.

In my opinion, the mere fact that email allows you to get into contact with potentially any person on the planet doesn't mean it's a good idea to do so.

I repeat that clients are allowed some of the above -- I have been asked to translate from Russian once, and "to read out what is written on that Swedish package, because you know about foreign languages" etc.icon_smile.gif -- but that's about it.

There are myriad ways to get into contact with colleagues and potential clients, to network, etc., with a minimum of respect, including via email. There's nothing to be said against that, and of course there's no need to stick to the way business was done in the fifties or so. But there's enough spam as is.

Phewicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2010-07-02 21:53 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:07
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Loopholes in ProZ.com's translator identity protection Jul 3, 2010

inkweaver wrote:
To me this seems odd, firstly because I have not knowingly published my e-mail address anywhere...


Neither your real name nor your e-mail address are anywhere on your profile page, except... on your Red P Badge Club "certificate", which is a JPG hosted by ProZ.com and linked to directly from your profile page.

This allowed me to google your name, which showed me that you have a lot more contact details in public on the unnameable coffee-cup translators' portal than on ProZ.com. This enabled me to google your name and your address, which lead me to your profile on the unnameable not-stay-translators translators' portal, where I was able to see the domain of your e-mail address. However, at none of these three portals can one send an e-mail directly.

So although I would like to point out to you that your name is visible on ProZ.com (though not where you would expect it), I can't solve the mystery about where they got your mail address.



[Edited at 2010-07-03 09:02 GMT]


 

opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:07
English to German
+ ...
Loopholes Jul 3, 2010

Good research, Samuel!

I have noted that in the old transl./int. directory, I appear under my alias, while the new one shows my full name. There might be another loophole in there. -- Not that I care that much in this specific case, but it shows that identities are not treated consistently at Proz.com. Maybe the system should be audited more wrt to security before it's too late ...


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:07
French to English
+ ...
If you need collaborators... Jul 3, 2010

If at some point the need does arise to outsource work to another translator, it may be more effective to advertise a job for the specific skills you need for that job.

 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
Visibility of real names and email addresses Jul 3, 2010

Hi all,

In effect, the name shown throughout the site should be the one selected from your Profile updater (username/login name or real name).

As for email addresses, ProZ.com does not make them visible to visitors. This is designed as a means of security, to protect your address from spammers, and is why the profile email sending function (the little envelope at the top of your profile) is used. If any user wants to publicly post their email address, they may do so for example in the "About me" section or CV of their profile; they should be aware of the risks of doing so, however.

Samuel Murray wrote:

Neither your real name nor your e-mail address are anywhere on your profile page, except... on your Red P Badge Club "certificate", which is a JPG hosted by ProZ.com and linked to directly from your profile page.


opolt wrote:

I have noted that in the old transl./int. directory, I appear under my alias, while the new one shows my full name.


Thanks for reporting this, Samuel and opolt. I will check this internally with site developers.

Thanks for your patience.

Kind regards,

Lucia


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:07
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Happens all the time Jul 4, 2010

We haven't advertised any open positions for about 10 years, but still receive applications. Some people still haven't grasped that mass-emailing everybody out there will not bring any good.

 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:07
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your replies Jul 5, 2010

Opolt's reply actually sums up my thoughts nicely.

Especially one of the applications made me think that the person must be really very desperate to get a job. Her list of "specialisations" is as long as my arm and includes virtually anything from banking to botany plus an article on her from a local rag. Oh well, certainly a valuable lesson on how not to do it.

The other one was a lot better in my opinion with very precise specialistions and less self-adulation. I might just ask him out of sheer curiosity where he found my e-mail address... Since Samuel didn't find it despite his thorough research, it would be most interesting to know.


 

MonikaB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:07
English to German
+ ...
Mailing lists Jul 5, 2010

I assume these people got your name and e-mail address from the zp mailing list to which you sent an inquiry last week. I have in the past also received unsolicited applications to an address which I use only for such lists, so apparently some people are desperate enough to use that as a means of gathering addresses.

 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:07
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Monika, Jul 5, 2010

that may indeed be the case. I never would have thought of that, and I would never even dream of sending an application to a freelancer who posts an enquiry there. But, as you said, some people must be desperate...

 
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