References: what can I do?
Thread poster: Alessandro Marchesello

Alessandro Marchesello  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:56
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 12, 2005

Hi everybody!
You know that many agencies ask for references in their application forms. Some of them say references are of primary importance in their evaluations.
How can I give references if my only agency went bankrupt (I guess....well they disappeared all of a sudden anyway) and I am out of work?
I'd need new jobs, but to get them, I should give references, but to have them, I should get new jobs..... It's crazy, isn't it!
So, what can I do?
Should I lie?


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:56
Member (2000)
Greek to English
+ ...
no references Oct 12, 2005

Alessandro Marchesello wrote:
I'd need new jobs, but to get them, I should give references, but to have them, I should get new jobs..... It's crazy, isn't it!
So, what can I do?
Should I lie?


Of course you shouldn't lie. You can't. Whose name will you give? A friend's? Tell them you're new in the field and can't provide references yet. We all have to start from somewhere; references don't come with our degrees, we have to work to earn them. Some clients do ask for them but that's not the norm, IMO. Start with those who don't.
Maria


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:56
Member (2002)
English to German
References Oct 12, 2005


How can I give references if my only agency went bankrupt


You can still tell them this agency as a reference and explain what kind of projects you worked on.

By the way, I never give out any personal contact information of my clients.

Good luck

Andy
www.interlations.com


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Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 22:56
English
References HAVE to be contactable Oct 13, 2005

Alessandro Marchesello wrote:

How can I give references if my only agency went bankrupt (I guess....well they disappeared all of a sudden anyway) and I am out of work?


Happens all the time in the semiconductor industry ... I list them as a past employer, and note that they are defunct. That way no one tries to contact an ex-boss.

References, on the other hand, are not companies, but persons who have been in a position to judge my work, and who have AGREED to talk to potential employers. And I have their phone numbers and email addresses.


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Dr. Janos Annus  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 06:56
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Very unfortunate Oct 13, 2005

that your only reference is out of business. Yet, I think you have to mention this to you new client, maybe not mentioning their name. In future, I suggest you ask the permission of your client(s) for using them as your reference for future work. They may or may not agree, but you can collect a good list of references. The ones I asked gladly consented to my request. Anyway, you are bound by the Non-disclosure or Confidentiality agreement most clients get you signed before any work starts.

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Paola Grassi
Local time: 06:56
English to Italian
+ ...
What about your University professors? Oct 13, 2005

Hi Alessandro,

if I am not wrong, in another forum thread you talked about your studies at the University.

It would not be a bad idea to ask your professors for references.
They could be a reliable source of advice about your skills and character.

Of course, you should specify that as you are an absolute beginner in the translation field as a profession, the only references you can give come from those who know you better (your professor/s).

This way the reference field would not be blank, even though you are a beginner.

good luck


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Michèle Ménard  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:56
French to Italian
+ ...
My (useless) strategies Oct 13, 2005

I'm in the same situation as you, Alessandro. My only acknowledged work in the translation field is a book from French into Italian, which I always mention on my CV with no great result...

Seriously, if I'm applying for a specific job, as those in the Proz directory, I resolve to take my chance, whatever happens - and usually, nothing does, as I receive no answer!
Otherwise, if I want to propose my profile to agencies or clients who didn't make any particular offer, I try to compensate my lack of experience with my will to prove them I'm a good translator through a test. Anyway, I must admit this second strategy is almost as useless as the first, since the recurrent answer (when an answer arrives) is: "Your profile is very interesting, but at the moment we don't need translator in your language pair".

The third strategy is having a lot of sense of humour and trying not to feel down at every negative answer...


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:56
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Offer a test Oct 13, 2005

In your situation, I would explain the problem, and offer to do a test. After all, the purpose of references is to reassure your prospective customer that you are a competent translator, able to deliver a good translation reasonably quickly. By offering to do a test within a specified period of time you are providing your prospective customer with another way of getting that reassurance.

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