1 year using proz, yet zero jobs. Will it get better?
Thread poster: Lucas Dias

Lucas Dias
Brazil
Local time: 03:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Sep 9

Hello. I don't mean to complain that I didn't receive any opportunity to work, although I would like to work, but it has been one year that I've been using Proz and applying almost every week, yet I didn't had any opportunities to work (most of the times not even a negative answer). I'm looking for opinions and encouragement from people who struggled to find work in their first year too.

Will it get better after this year? Will "one year proz account" make any positive difference fo
... See more
Hello. I don't mean to complain that I didn't receive any opportunity to work, although I would like to work, but it has been one year that I've been using Proz and applying almost every week, yet I didn't had any opportunities to work (most of the times not even a negative answer). I'm looking for opinions and encouragement from people who struggled to find work in their first year too.

Will it get better after this year? Will "one year proz account" make any positive difference for recruiters when they evaluate the candidates?

Also, my language pair is very saturated, maybe that's why I don't have opportunities.

I also have almost one year of experience working for two translation agencies, marked on my Linkedin. Will I have more opportunities after completing one year of professional experience?

Regards,

[Edited at 2019-09-09 16:55 GMT]
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:07
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Lucas Sep 9

Lucas Dias wrote:
It has been one year that I've been using Proz.com and applying almost every week...


I'm assuming you mean the jobs board? The purpose of the jobs board is to supplement your income, not to be your main source of income. The most appropriate way to use ProZ.com is to visit the Blue Board, search for agencies that look like they could use your services, visit their web sites, and apply to them directly. You can expect about 10% of them to respond, and about 10% of that 10% to actually send you any jobs. It's a numbers game.


Yolanda Broad
Lucas Dias
Jorge Payan
Morano El-Kholy
Kuochoe Nikoi
Oksana Weiss
chopra_2002
 

Lucas Dias
Brazil
Local time: 03:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Samuel Sep 9

I know about the Blue Board, but I don't have a Pro Account to see more about them, so I apply direct to the company on their site.

 

Laurent Mercky
France
Local time: 08:07
Member (Jul 2019)
Chinese to French
+ ...
Proz is a platform Sep 9

maybe you should be more aggressive in your marketing plan.
Target your clients, emphasize the points they like.
Show them you are an asset and have talent.
The paying platform of Proz is useful anyway, because you can contact clients at once without waiting and more, you may register for training sessions, have discounts for translation softwares and so on.
But no, if you have difficulties to use the plateform, it won't get better.


Lucas Dias
chopra_2002
 

Lucas Dias
Brazil
Local time: 03:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Laurent Mercky Sep 9

Thank you for the tips. I already try to do what you suggest. When I contact clients through their website or somewhere else that's not proz, I try to show them that I understand their needs and that I know how to meet their expectations, and I always try to match my tone to what they need. I have a personal blog and a lot of things in my portfolio, even as personal projects (nothing professional or related to any company), like books, magazines, videos (docummentaries and entertaiment), and tec... See more
Thank you for the tips. I already try to do what you suggest. When I contact clients through their website or somewhere else that's not proz, I try to show them that I understand their needs and that I know how to meet their expectations, and I always try to match my tone to what they need. I have a personal blog and a lot of things in my portfolio, even as personal projects (nothing professional or related to any company), like books, magazines, videos (docummentaries and entertaiment), and technical experience for translation agencies.

But I believe most of the work might come from translation agencies, and they care more about how much and how long we have worked for them.

I have a brief experience as project manager, so I know a lot about translation processes, tools and how the companies work with the agencies. This info is in my cv too.

I don't have money right now to pay for a pro Proz account.
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Laurent Mercky
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:07
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Being more proactive will help Sep 9

Lucas Dias wrote:
Will it get better after this year? Will "one year proz account" make any positive difference for recruiters when they evaluate the candidates?

Although potential clients can filter by number of years on the site, in practice it's unlikely to have any bearing on job prospects.

I also have almost one year of experience working for two translation agencies, marked on my Linkedin.

Are you making the most of that experience in your marketing? Your profile is missing an awful lot that could probably be added -- samples, projects, etc. And your CV, although some of the content is good, is formatted in a way that isn't at all enticing for PMs who only have seconds to spare to scan it. Clients most often make full use of filters when searching the directory. Your position in filtered searches needs to be high enough to bring your profile to their attention -- as that's by far the most common way of landing jobs here. And everything about your profile needs to give those who find it, or who receive your quotes and emails, a clear and unambiguous idea of what you can do for them.

Also, my language pair is very saturated, maybe that's why I don't have opportunities.

That's all the more reason to be incredibly proactive. There's a high volume of work out there in your main pair as well as a lot of translators. It's up to you to grab some of the action if you can. I'm honestly not surprised you've had no luck so far, but I'm also sure you can turn that around.

How much time have you spent investigating the site during the year? There are ways to make it work for you. For a start, the best ways to get visibility are to pay for membership, to amass some KudoZ points, and to complete your profile fully and powerfully. Check out the Site Guidance Centre -- it's there for you. Attend the free webinar about meeting clients here. Browse the Wiki articles on marketing and doing business, e.g. CVs and risk management. Show clients that you specialise in doing what you do best, rather than marketing yourself for everything you feel you can do adequately. Nothing stops you actually accepting jobs in all sorts of subject areas, in the reverse pair, etc., but the specialisation message is a powerful one in the common pairs.


Lucas Dias
Hedwig Spitzer Cáceres
Teresa Borges
Joshua Parker
Jessica Noyes
Morano El-Kholy
Matthias Brombach
 

Lucas Dias
Brazil
Local time: 03:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Sheila Wilson Sep 9

Thank you for the tips, I'm already taking some inspirations from your profile!

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:07
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
No need for a Pro account or even a paid account Sep 10

Lucas Dias wrote:
I know about the Blue Board, but I don't have a Pro Account to see more about them, so I apply direct to the company on their site.


Lucas Dias wrote:
I don't have money right now to pay for a pro Proz account.


I assume you mean you don't have a paid account (you don't need a Pro account to see all information on the Blue Board, but you do need a paying account). Well, you're not missing much. Most Blue Board records are tied to a user's profile page, and the company's web site address is usually mentioned on that profile page, so you have access to all the information you need.

Being able to see which records were most recently created, is for paid members only, but everyone can still see when the most recent entry was made, and if there is only 1 entry, then it means that it is likely that the record was created very recently, which means that it is a new client, i.e. with fewer people on their books.

How many agencies have you applied to so far?


Yolanda Broad
Lucas Dias
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:07
Member (2018)
French to English
. Sep 10

If I have understood correctly, you see jobs advertised on the jobs board and because you don't have a paying account, you can't apply straight away so you try to apply via their website instead?
If that's what you mean, I'm afraid it won't work. The companies that post jobs are inundated with applications via Proz, they probably see no reason to look at other applications. Those who ask translators to use the Proz interface rather than send an email, will get all the translator's informa
... See more
If I have understood correctly, you see jobs advertised on the jobs board and because you don't have a paying account, you can't apply straight away so you try to apply via their website instead?
If that's what you mean, I'm afraid it won't work. The companies that post jobs are inundated with applications via Proz, they probably see no reason to look at other applications. Those who ask translators to use the Proz interface rather than send an email, will get all the translator's information in the same format, making it very easy to look for the deal-breaker information and weed out those they don't want. Then the contact information is all presented the same way so it's very easy to then start contacting the shortlisted names.
I have even seen some agencies specifying that there's no point applying via their website or alternative ways.

I got three clients via the jobs board last year. It was the first year I had paid for membership. (This year I renewed but I've had to turn work down so I have hardly bothered to apply for any jobs.) So it was definitely worth it for me, I got the ROI with the very first job. All three clients have continued to send me work this year too, they weren't just one-off clients.
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CATHERINE MARCHAND  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:07
Member (2018)
French to Greek
+ ...
FINDING JOBS ON PROZ Sep 10

Good morning,

First of all, you must thinking of being a Proz professional member as a lot of jobs are for "members only". Personally, I have been contacted many times and most of the time, I took the job and from then, I had a regular collaboration with some agencies.


Teresa Borges
Angie Garbarino
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:07
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
KudoZ points! Sep 10

Sheila Wilson wrote:

For a start, the best ways to get visibility are to pay for membership, to amass some KudoZ points, and to complete your profile fully and powerfully.


I think that did the trick for the most of us here, who rely exclusively on proz.com.


Teresa Borges
Tina Vonhof
chopra_2002
 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 00:07
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Specialize Sep 10

Sheila has given you very good suggestions already. In addition I would like to make a few suggestions about your profile:
- Have it proofread by a native English-speaker.
- At the top, under your name, say something that will catch the attention of prospective clients.
- You have not mentioned any credentials, membership in a professional organization, education, etc.
- I suggest reducing your specializations and working subjects to the ones you are really good at, have
... See more
Sheila has given you very good suggestions already. In addition I would like to make a few suggestions about your profile:
- Have it proofread by a native English-speaker.
- At the top, under your name, say something that will catch the attention of prospective clients.
- You have not mentioned any credentials, membership in a professional organization, education, etc.
- I suggest reducing your specializations and working subjects to the ones you are really good at, have experience in, and/or most enjoy.
- Your specializations, your portfolio, and your resumé should have a connection to each other, showing who you are and what you can do.
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Teresa Borges
Morano El-Kholy
Sheila Wilson
Melanie Meyer
Jeslynn Khoo
 

Oksana Weiss  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:07
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
A picture is important Sep 12

I completely agree with the points highlighted above and would like to add that, before doing anything else, add a professional picture to your profile - the clients like to see that they are addressing a real person and not a faceless bot.

Sheila Wilson
Melanie Meyer
Mike Donlin
Lucas Dias
Dan Lucas
 

Jocelin Meunier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:07
English to French
Great advices here Sep 14

And on top of that, I would really like to stress out what Samuel Murray said: use the blueboard to look for agencies and contact them, or look for a "careers" space on their website. After five years on this website, I would say that I had what... only three or four clients from the job board? I still apply when I see something interesting, but I don't expect any response.
Translation is unfortunately a market where clients look more for your willingness to be severely underpaid rather th
... See more
And on top of that, I would really like to stress out what Samuel Murray said: use the blueboard to look for agencies and contact them, or look for a "careers" space on their website. After five years on this website, I would say that I had what... only three or four clients from the job board? I still apply when I see something interesting, but I don't expect any response.
Translation is unfortunately a market where clients look more for your willingness to be severely underpaid rather than your quality. I even saw a project proposing less than 0.01$ per word this week. Your best chance is to use the blueboard or even just a google search and find the agencies yourself.
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Lucas Dias
chopra_2002
 


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