List of all projects you have worked on: strange request, don't you think?
Thread poster: 4leavedClover

4leavedClover  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 04:08
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Apr 9, 2011

Dear colleagues,
I wonder what you would do if an agency invited you to apply for a potential job, requesting that, together with your CV and copies of your diplomas/certificates, you provide an extensive list of all the projects you have worked on so far. My first thought was “That would be a long list!”, so I decided not to apply.
What do you think? Please, share! Thank you very much in advance!


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:08
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
How long is "extensive"? Apr 9, 2011

For them to ask for all your projects would be an indication that they're looking for potential clients (which they'll look for by approaching all of yours). But they may have a requirement to provide a long list for some potential end client of theirs. I'd be curious how they'll respond to the question above.

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:08
German to English
+ ...
ProZ profile has the info. Apr 9, 2011

Polite approach emphasising that all the details (including CV, sample translations, list of previous jobs, specialisations, etc.) they need are at [link] your ProZ profile, and that you would be happy to answer more specific questions if your application merits interest.
But do find it strange, since they do not mention a pension or health plan, or a gold watch after 30 years' service...
After-thought: What agency? - the CIA?

[Edited at 2011-04-09 23:06 GMT]


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 03:08
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I have such a project history list Apr 10, 2011

I find it useful to keep an up-to-date project history list.

I usually send this together with my CV to apply for jobs. This project history is much longer than my CV, but it includes only a selection of projects. (Roughly: any projects that are above 5000 words.).

Cumulative work performed for a single client in a single field is mentioned as e.g. "350k words, medical instruments (MRI, CT, X-ray), 2006-present".

No client names are mentioned, but speciality areas are.

I update this list about once a month, or after the completion of a large job.

I created a few categories (e.g. "Financial" / "Mobile phones", etc.), and I list my major projects to date in each category, sorted by number of words. The whole layout is very neat and clear and I think it creates a great first impact.

Csaba


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:08
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not strange Apr 10, 2011

They can require whatever they may wish, can't they? It is then for you to decide --as you did-- whether that customer is your kind of fish or not.

Now, when I receive such a request I explain that I am bonded by non-disclosure agreements with my main customers (which is true), and that I cannot give such information. If they don't like the explanation and don't respect that... definitely not my kind of fish either.


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Myron Netchypor  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 04:08
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Project history list Apr 10, 2011

I support the polite approach of Allison, and sending just a link to your ProZ.com profile, of course if you have your project history list there.

Csaba, it is a great idea to keep the project history list. Many thanks for your advice! I find it really interesting.


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4leavedClover  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 04:08
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much! Apr 10, 2011

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts! They have been very useful!
From now on, I will also keep a project history list following Csaba Ban's tips


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Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
Getting started with ProZ.com Project History Apr 10, 2011

Hello all,

As Myron and Allison suggest, keeping a project history at ProZ.com has proved to be very useful, specially in cases like this one.

If you have not started adding projects to your Project History yet, you can start doing so here:

http://www.proz.com/?sp=project_history

Remember that the Project History section in ProZ.com profiles not only allows you to list the projects you have worked on, but also request and show feedback from the clients that assigned those projects to you and feedback from colleagues that worked with you on those projects.

You will find more information about ProZ.com Project History here:

http://www.proz.com/faq/profiles.html#project_history

Hope this helps!

Kind regards,

Lucía


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:08
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Make sure the clients you work for agree to it... Apr 10, 2011

I would never, ever, give anyone a list of all the projects I have worked on.

For one thing, it would be exhaustively long.

The real objection I have is that much of my work is covered by professional secrecy. I am at present translating some medical records, and if I gave any meaningful details whatsoever, it might be possible to identify the person concerned. It is an unusual case in a small country. I have translated private and sensitive medical or legal documents on numerous occasions.

There may be industrial information that is confidential. There may be reasons that you do not immediately think of, but that are important to the client.

Admittedly, some jobs go out on the Internet as soon as I have finished translating them, and there are other jobs that are probably not so critical. But these alone would not give a balanced picture of my work.

I would consider it highly unprofessional to tell an agency about the work I do for others. They must perhaps look at my KudoZ record or something like that.

I know some clients are happy to give references, and if so, that is fine. But you must still be sure that they agree to whatever details you may pass on.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:08
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I usually find these kinds of lists not very useful... Apr 10, 2011

...because one can simply make them up. The same is true for an anonymous list of positive comments/feedback and random translation samples.

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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:08
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
It happened to me Apr 10, 2011

I received a similar inquiry recently, including such words as:
"... and send me a detailed list of your work based on this: [list mentioning linguisitic ability, education etc.]" and further words asking for "..detailed information about your translation assignments [subject and volume]". (The words in [square brackets] are my own summary.)
Feeling that I was unlikely to want to work with this agency, my reply included "My general reaction to it is that you are asking for too much." ... "What is a 'detailed list'?" ... "Are you expecting a statement of the subject for each document I have translated?". The reply sent back to me included "I am not sure that such an arrogant reply is appropriate" ... "I can assure you, we are not asking too much, other translators managed to answer my questions...". Not surprisingly, they haven't contacted me since then.

My conclusion from this exchange and the previous replies in this forum: If I want to be able to send a helpful reply to inquiries like this, I need to maintain a list of jobs, suitably "whitewashed" for other agencies, either based on my existing spreadsheet file that I maintain, called "jobrecords", or perhaps using the Proz Project History, that I have not yet investigated.

Oliver


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:08
English to French
+ ...
just a thought Apr 10, 2011

In the past, I've had agencies asking my résumé and then using it to snatch a contract (occasionnally making the other party falsely believe that I was one of their employees).
I would be very careful with such a list of past projects.


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veratek
Brazil
Local time: 23:08
French to English
+ ...
Yes and no Apr 10, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

...because one can simply make them up. The same is true for an anonymous list of positive comments/feedback and random translation samples.


Following this logic, one should never request or send résumés either, because you can lie about just anything on a résumé. But that's not reality, generally speaking.

I think a very detailed project list is a good idea, but it doesn't need to include everything, just what is more attractive or related to the project you're bidding on.

One doesn't need to mention client names, if they are direct clients. However, I also don't see a problem in listing big-name clients. In fact, I think it's a good idea in some cases. What if I list Microsoft as a client? Does an agency need to see Microsoft on my résumé to try to go after Microsoft themselves? Good luck! I'll be smiling watching them try.


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 23:08
Confronted the same problem a few years ago Apr 12, 2011

A potential client asked for the same thing, which I did not have at that time. Then I spent one or two hours, making a list of all the projects I could think of, and attached it to my CV. Since then, I keep updating the project list now and then, just in case anybody will ask for it again.

Writing the list itself was not much work, but to go over all the projects I’ve done in the brain was quite strenuous.

How nice that I have it now!



4leavedClover wrote:

Dear colleagues,
I wonder what you would do if an agency invited you to apply for a potential job, requesting that, together with your CV and copies of your diplomas/certificates, you provide an extensive list of all the projects you have worked on so far. My first thought was “That would be a long list!”, so I decided not to apply.
What do you think? Please, share! Thank you very much in advance!


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:08
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Too much Apr 13, 2011

Even though I actually do keep a database of all my projects for tracking purposes, I would not provide such lists to potential clients. In my opinion, it would only make sense to make a list if you are very much a beginner and have only been working in the field for a short time.

Also, because we generally are not allowed/shouldn't disclose any client or project names or other confidential information, a project list would be of little use to the potential client – an anonymous list could be easily made up, and no one could prove whether the translator actually has done those projects or not.

Providing a few references or recommendations should be enough for starting collaboration.


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