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Contact the outsourcer by email - do they ever reply?
Thread poster: Sorana_M.
Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 20:03
English to Romanian
+ ...
Jun 27

Dear fellow translators,

On proz.com and elsewhere, I sometimes see these job posts, saying "contact the outsourcer by email, at" or "send your CV/resume and references to" or something else followed by an email address.

If I find the job post suitable, I email the outsourcer/agency/representative/whatever. Yet I hardly ever receive a reply.

Why is that? Do they even choose someone to do the job? Eventually, the job is closed, so I guess they must have found someone - assuming the job post is legitimate. But whom?

Do you quote on such jobs? Do you ever get such a job? Or do you even get a reply to your quote?

And how come the number of bids/quotes may be registered and made visible, if one is expected to quote outside of proz/other sites?


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:03
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Posters have two choices Jun 27

Sorana_M. wrote:

Dear fellow translators,

On proz.com and elsewhere, I sometimes see these job posts, saying "contact the outsourcer by email, at" or "send your CV/resume and references to" or something else followed by an email address.

If I find the job post suitable, I email the outsourcer/agency/representative/whatever. Yet I hardly ever receive a reply.

Why is that? Do they even choose someone to do the job? Eventually, the job is closed, so I guess they must have found someone - assuming the job post is legitimate. But whom?

Do you quote on such jobs? Do you ever get such a job? Or do you even get a reply to your quote?

And how come the number of bids/quotes may be registered and made visible, if one is expected to quote outside of proz/other sites?


Posters can ask for quotes to be submitted through ProZ.com. in that case, you can see how many quotes have been received, you can see your quote, and you can see any response. Very often there's no response though.

Or they can ask for quotes by email. In that case, you just send a normal email, and they can reply to it. Very often there's no response though. Of course, you can't know how many other quotes/emails they received.

I doubt that any of us receive replies to all our quotes. I do sometimes receive a notification or an email rejecting my quote. And sometimes I enter into negotiations with the client, sometimes closing the deal. Some of my best clients have come from the job board, but they are few and far between.


Edited because I never meant to submit the first time!

[Edited at 2017-06-27 21:49 GMT]


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:03
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Rule of thumb Jun 28

Nine out of ten email inquiries receive no reply, and this is true for every purpose in every industry.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:03
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Proz jobs postings Jun 28

I have plenty of work and nowadays I rarely bid on Proz jobs, because posters seem to be looking for the cheapest translators. When I did very often there was no response at all, but I must say though that more than once I have been contacted many months (years?) later because I had submitted my CV to a job post…

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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:03
Member (2014)
English to German
That is ok Jun 28

Lincoln Hui wrote:

Nine out of ten email inquiries receive no reply, and this is true for every purpose in every industry.


And if just some of those that reply become a client, then that's fine too because there is only one of me anyway.

[Edited at 2017-06-28 12:24 GMT]


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:03
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Kind of like rolling the dice... Jun 28

The Jobs Board works in practice as Sheila has described. By definition, most quotes are rejected, and if the poster has elected to receive quotes through the Board, then what you typically end up getting is a boiler-plate "thanks-but-no-thanks" rejection note. If you have responded by e-mail, then it is unlikely you will get any response unless the poster is interested in your offer.

My experience of the Jobs Board is similar to Sheila's. First off, most of the offers within my working pair are not of interest (because they involve work outside of my sphere of competence, require use of a CAT tool that I don't have, are too short to be bothered with, or - most commonly - because the rate offered is too low). Of postings to which I actually end up responding, about 90% are rejected with either no response or the boiler-plate rejection I've described above. In short, the instances of acceptance are few and far between.

And yet some of the jobs I've gotten through the Job's Board have been good, and in a few cases have led to further work. In fact, I just completed a large job for an agency that posted on the Jobs Board last week.

The "hits" on the Jobs Board are few and far between. My advice would be not to waste too much time in drafting a reply. A sentence or two should suffice (but do write a personal reply - see below). I also impose my own "deadline" for the poster (along the lines of, "if you you want me to do this, I need to hear from you within x time"). Doing this puts the poster on notice, and sets certain limits for yourself on how much time you will allow the matter to occupy space at the back of your mind. My experience is that posters interested in my services generally contact me within 30 minutes of receiving my offer.

As a side note, a couple of weeks ago, I myself posted a small job on the Jobs Board for the very first time. I was surprised by how many responders either: 1) simply sent a pre-drafted boiler plate "letter of interest"; and/or 2) did not have expertise in the specialty area that I had clearly indicated as a requirement in my post. A couple of those who sent quotes were not even native in the target language (a requirement I also had specified).

If my experience is representative, I am not surprised that posters don't take a lot of time to draft personal rejection messages. I certainly didn't feel compelled to do so.

[Edited at 2017-06-28 14:55 GMT]


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:03
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Thanks Jun 28

Robert Forstag wrote:

The Jobs Board works in practice as Sheila has described. By definition, most quotes are rejected, and if the poster has elected to receive quotes through the Board, then what you typically end up getting is a boiler-plate "thanks-but-no-thanks" rejection note. If you have responded by e-mail, then it is unlikely you will get any response unless the poster is interested in your offer.

My experience of the Jobs Board is similar to Sheila's. First off, most of the offers within my working pair are not of interest (because they involve work outside of my sphere of competence, require use of a CAT tool that I don't have, are too short to be bothered with, or - most commonly - because the rate offered is too low). Of postings to which I actually end up responding, about 90% are rejected with either no response or the boiler-plate rejection I've described above. In short, the instances of acceptance are few and far between.

And yet some of the jobs I've gotten through the Job's Board have been good, and in a few cases have led to further work. In fact, I just completed a large job for an agency that posted on the Jobs Board last week.

The "hits" on the Jobs Board are few and far between. My advice would be not to waste too much time in drafting a reply. A sentence or two should suffice (but do write a personal reply - see below). I also impose my own "deadline" for the poster (along the lines of, "if you you want me to do this, I need to hear from you within x time"). Doing this puts the poster on notice, and sets certain limits for yourself on how much time you will allow the matter to occupy space at the back of your mind. My experience is that posters interested in my services generally contact me within 30 minutes of receiving my offer.

As a side note, a couple of weeks ago, I myself posted a small job on the Jobs Board for the very first time. I was surprised by how many responders either: 1) simply sent a pre-drafted boiler plate "letter of interest"; and/or 2) did not have expertise in the specialty area that I had clearly indicated as a requirement in my post. A couple of those who sent quotes were not even native in the target language (a requirement I also had specified).

If my experience is representative, I am not surprised that posters don't take a lot of time to draft personal rejection messages. I certainly didn't feel compelled to do so.

[Edited at 2017-06-28 14:55 GMT]



A very nice and informative post, thank you


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:03
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Worrisome Jun 28

Robert Forstag wrote:

As a side note, a couple of weeks ago, I myself posted a small job on the Jobs Board for the very first time. I was surprised by how many responders either: 1) simply sent a pre-drafted boiler plate "letter of interest"; and/or 2) did not have expertise in the specialty area that I had clearly indicated as a requirement in my post. A couple of those who sent quotes were not even native in the target language (a requirement I also had specified).

If my experience is representative, I am not surprised that posters don't take a lot of time to draft personal rejection messages. I certainly didn't feel compelled to do so.


While I could even understand #1 (as the "success ratio" seems to be so low...), the rest seems to be quite worrisome and detrimental to the whole system (which in turn also leads to #1 as a consequence...).

I've read time and time again posts saying the job board is basically 'useless', as it's mostly used as a buyers' reverse auction system to find the lowest rate. If we couple that with what you were saying (people bidding without meeting the requisites), then that's like the icing on the cake... Also, I actually thought translators who don't meet the prerequisites set by the job poster weren't allowed to bid at all, so I find this all the more worrisome...

I would appreciate it the decision makers at ProZ took the time to ponder about this and found a way to alter what appears to be a tacitly accepted, but IMHO "questionable", status quo (this also goes hand in hand with a recent thread about unverified and often false information added to users' profiles).

That said, my personal experience with bidding so far has been 1 (one) client (I like and am still working with) out of around 100 bids... I'd say being found by clients wins hands down against bidding.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:03
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
To my surprise ... Jun 28

Like others here, I rarely bid for jobs posted on Proz - for many reasons: low rate, impossible deadline, wrong subject matter, among others.
However only yesterday I bid for a job in one of my special fields and the poster replied accepting my bid within half an hour.
Over the years I have gained a few new clients through Proz job postings, so I don't think the system is quite as useless as is being suggested in this forum.


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florazhang
United States
Chinese to English
+ ...
Don't expect too much from the "direct mail marketing". Jun 29

I did that years ago and few of my emails got meaningful responses. Among the a few replies, most said "I will keep your information on file and shall contact you in case we have the needs for new freelancers in the future". Similar cases, I assume? We have to figure out different ways...

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:03
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm not reading responses that way Jun 29

Jenny Forbes wrote:
I don't think the system is quite as useless as is being suggested in this forum.

It seems to me that most of us are saying pretty much the same:
- most jobs aren't worth quoting for, and of those that are
- - most often you never get a reply of any sort, and for those where you do
- - - two out of three say "Thanks but no thanks",
BUT, it only takes an occasional "Yes please" to make a little effort worthwhile. My current best client came from the job board about three years ago, and has sent work just about every week ever since. A friend of a friend of theirs has just published a book I edited. Just don't bother fretting over the silences. File and forget. Move on.

One point to bear in mnd is that your quote and any material you sent (CV etc) may be remembered by the poster at a later date. And even no doesn't always mean no. I quoted earlier in the year (or late last year, not sure) for a job that had a budget of a third of what I was prepared to do it for. The poster was an end customer who had registered on ProZ.com that month. I specified my normal rate and was surprised they even bothered to send a rejection. A while later they came back and accepted. I imagine they'd wasted some money and learnt a lesson. So don't be afraid to quote well over the budget.


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Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 20:03
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bids Jun 29

If there were 100, 1,000, 10,000 answers in this topic and none of those answers said "I am one of the translators who got a job while bidding outside of proz.com and/or other sites, by sending my quote at the email address indicated" - then who is/are the one/s who get such jobs?

I placed a bid for such a job three days ago. Not on proz. The job was closed yesterday or the day before yesterday. There were three bids before my bid - I could see the number because the system allows it. I got no answer to my bid.

To Mirko Mainardi:

On proz.com, I cannot quote on jobs for which I am not qualified. I get the answer "you do not meet the criteria for quoting on this job". This apart from the fact that I cannot quote on any job that does not include an email address, because I am not a paying member. proz.com has proven useful to me in other ways, and I say thank you for that.





[Edited at 2017-06-29 12:00 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:03
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Something not right here Jun 29

Sorana_M. wrote:
I placed a bid for such a job three days ago. Not on proz. The job was closed yesterday or the day before yesterday. There were three bids before my bid - I could see the number because the system allows it. I got no answer to my bid.

If you can see the number of 'bids' (I prefer the word 'quotes' but that's just details), then it must be a job that has specified that they want you to submit your quote through the site. If you didn't do that, what did you do?


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Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 20:03
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bids Jun 29

Sheila Wilson wrote:

If you can see the number of 'bids' (I prefer the word 'quotes' but that's just details), then it must be a job that has specified that they want you to submit your quote through the site. If you didn't do that, what did you do?


No. See, I am offline now, while checking that portal and that specific ad. It ends like this:

If you are interested contact us at: [email removed*]

And even being offline, I can see this: Bids: 5 Views: 198

So there were people who ignored the email address and bid through the portal. Which leads to what Robert Forstag said - people disregarding the indications and acting their way.

I wish I knew who got this job - a person bidding through the portal or a person bidding outside the portal, like the ad specified?


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:03
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Your example is of a poorly constructed posting Jun 30

Sorana_M. wrote:
No. See, I am offline now, while checking that portal and that specific ad. It ends like this:

If you are interested contact us at: [email removed*]

And even being offline, I can see this: Bids: 5 Views: 198

So there were people who ignored the email address and bid through the portal. Which leads to what Robert Forstag said - people disregarding the indications and acting their way.

I wish I knew who got this job - a person bidding through the portal or a person bidding outside the portal, like the ad specified?

Okay, that was a fairly isolated incidence of the outsourcer getting confused about how they wanted quotes to be sent. They will have received them via both routes, I'm sure. When I last came across one like that I submitted the quote via the site and also sent an email. I don't really see why it matters to you who got it though. You didn't - this time - so move on .

BTW, you wrote this, addressed to Mirko Mainardi, Solana:
On proz.com, I cannot quote on jobs for which I am not qualified. I get the answer "you do not meet the criteria for quoting on this job". This apart from the fact that I cannot quote on any job that does not include an email address, because I am not a paying member. proz.com has proven useful to me in other ways, and I say thank you for that.

Certainly the first point is correct and it applies to us all. I can't quote if Trados is an absolute must-have, for example. However, I think that registered users can sometimes quote through the site. They just have to wait until the 12 hours (?) have expired (although it is also possible for outsourcers to post members-only jobs). After that time, the greyed-out fields will be in clear and the system will let you quote.


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