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Question to translation agencies about CVs sent to them
Thread poster: Vadim Kadyrov

Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:04
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Aug 5, 2014

This question is about getting CVs and cover letters from translators.

The thing is that I have a list of TAs who actively hire people (in other words, who have special e-mails
they use to collects CVs. They also openly ask people to send their cover letters). I sometimes share this list with fellow translators (especially newbies).

The question is: how do you treat these e-mails? I am talking about rather big agencies. It is absolutely understandable that individual translators shake in fury when they get these emails. But what about medium-sized businesses? Or giants of the industry?

Something tells me that if they post this info (separate e-mail, etc.) online, they should have nothing against getting (sometimes) a lot of emails from potential candidates.

Or is the issue more complicated?


Woodstock  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
German to English
+ ...
Many - if not most - large agencies have application forms Aug 5, 2014

integrated into their websites, and I'm pretty sure they are there because that is the preferred way of getting applications rather than unsolicited emails with CVs, which probably end up being deleted on sight. There are also better ways to find out which agencies are looking for specific translators, one is right here on Proz and customized to your language pairs - why not use that or point colleagues/new translators to those? The topic is called "Blue Board outsourcers accepting applications". You have to find it yourself, because any link I post is connected to my Proz information, so it would be useless to anyone else.

There have also been numerous discussions on this topic already, a large number of them predominantly expressing disapproval of the practice for a number of reasons. I don't think you should be encouraged to pass around your TA List to other translators, as - I would think - they might risk being blacklisted by agencies without ever having a chance to prove themselves. You would be doing a far better thing by pointing translators to the ProZ Blue Board Applications URL I mention above, because those are agencies who are CURRENTLY looking for translators in specific language pairs and sometimes specializations, and it's a lot safer because these agencies have a proven track record (WWA ratings are high).

The other possibility is that if these agencies on your list find out you are doing this, you may be putting your own chances of being sent work from them at risk if they don't approve. I would certainly inquire first if it is ok for you to do that. Those who post jobs on Proz usually are looking for people with particular qualifications unless they specifically state they are expanding their database. I think there are pretty good reasons for that, and why it is no longer possible for members not qualified for a posted job to see who is posting it: too many people or bottom-feeding agencies who are not qualified bombarding the posting company/person with unwanted applications. It is a touchy issue. You may mean well, but I don't think you are ultimately doing anyone any favors. This is just one opinion, however. There may be those who don't agree with me. Hopefully a few more people will stop by.

Edited to correct a typo.

[Edited at 2014-08-05 14:50 GMT]


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
There is no gauging in spamming Aug 5, 2014

Vadim Kadyrov wrote:
Something tells me that if they post this info (separate e-mail, etc.) online, they should have nothing against getting (sometimes) a lot of emails from potential candidates.

If the rationale behind your question is to try to gauge whether helping others send indiscriminate emails to a list of people is spam, my answer is that it is spam indeed. Such addresses where clearly not opened up to be used for mass delivery, but instead to open a channel for individual translators to send them individual emails after considering the plausability of a cooperation (based upon factors like specialties, languages, rates, qualification...).

The more mass email (a.k.a. spam) sent, the less attention agencies pay to our contacts.


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
Member (2018)
French to English
what we did Aug 6, 2014

When I worked as a PM in an agency, we often received CVs from translators and hardly ever bothered to even glance through them.

If ever somebody sent in a CV mentioning a particular specialist subject or language of interest to us (i.e. we were stuck because our usual translator was unavailable) then we would entertain the though of contacting them.

The vast majority of translators we tested like this proved to be pretty bad, so in the end we didn't bother at all. I needed translators into English so I would stick to the ITI website, in that all but one of the translators I found on there were excellent.

The boss did set up a feature on the website where translators could fill in a form, the idea being that we would have the info we needed, all in the same format so easy to find (it's amazing how difficult it is to find even the most vital of info like language combination on a translator's CV). The only translators who filled it in didn't fill it in properly so we stopped looking there pretty quickly, and simply filled the form in ourselves for the translators whose info was precious to us!


Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 15:04
German to Serbian
+ ...
Thousands daily Aug 6, 2014

They probably receive thousands of these applications every day. I doubt they treat them with special attention.

From translator's point of view, I have never received a translation project by filling out an online application form, or even by sending a CV for that matter. Which of course doesn't mean it didn't work for someone else. And surely I stopped filling out these forms a long time ago.

[Edited at 2014-08-06 17:11 GMT]


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