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Asking for three referees in a quote
Thread poster: Simon S

Simon S  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:44
English to French
Oct 23, 2007

A potential client asks for three referees in a quote. From my experience, shouldn't they ask for referees AFTER they decide you're a good candidate? I've been working in-house so I'm totally new to freelancing but to ask for this kind of info in a quote??

In my case I would have to provide three references from my in-house jobs which means I have to contact them first, etc... very complicated for a simple quote! Should I go through this assle or simply let them read my c.v. (which states "references available upon request", etc..)

Thanks!


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Christiane Allen  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:44
Member (2007)
English to French
No problemo! Oct 23, 2007

Pas de problème Simon! Je crois connaître le cabinet auquel vous faites allusion. Ils ne vous demanderont vos références qu’une fois avoir accepté d’aller plus en avant avec votre candidature. Inutile donc de leur fournir vos références d’emblée.

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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:44
English to Russian
+ ...
Honestly... Oct 23, 2007

... the more information (except for absolutely necessary Work Order, NDA, NCA or similar documents - but these come when you GET the job, right?) an agency requires, the less are the chances you will ever get a job from them. This is from my personal experience and I might be wrong.

But still, this one agency asked me to fill in their online questionnaire (20 min.), send them my CV, then to spend with them about 30 minutes on the phone (as they apparently did not bother to look at my CV/questionnaire), etc. When they tried to arrange a 2-hour long telephone conference briefing (apparently trying to explain what translation/interpreting is), I kindly asked to disregard my application.

Another major agency contacted all my references - with excellent results that they copied to me, to suddely close the vacancy I applied for without filling it, later.


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Simon S  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:44
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you both Oct 24, 2007

Thank you both for sharing your experience.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:44
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
If you're too lazy, don't quote Oct 24, 2007

Simon S wrote:
In my case I would have to provide three references from my in-house jobs which means I have to contact them first, etc... very complicated for a simple quote!


If you have so little respect for this client that you are unwilling to put in just a little effort when providing a quote, then you probably shouldn't quote anyway.

I see no problem with providing references on a quote, if the client wants it.


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Nadja Balogh  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:44
Member (2007)
Japanese to German
+ ...
This kind of request always puzzles me Oct 24, 2007

I do think that three references are quite a lot.

Having said that, I've so far managed to successfully steer around all jobs where such references were required, because, even if this may make me look a bit naive, I simply don't know how such references are supposed to look like: Are you supposed to give out the names of people you've been working with, so that they, upon request, can confirm that you're a good translator? Or does it involve more than that?

It would be nice if someone could briefly explain and end my state of unknowing...


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:44
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Give agencies as references Oct 24, 2007

I'd quote the names of three agencies for whom I've worked, after obtaining their permission, of course, but not private clients.
But I agree with Sokolniki - in my experience too, the more guff a potential client asks for, the lower are the chances that they'll ever actually send you work. Strange but true.
Best of luck,
Jenny.


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Carole Paquis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:44
Member (2007)
English to French
A good way to get fewer candidates Oct 24, 2007

The agency in question will probably get fewer applicants (because some of us disagree are put off, or just can't be bothered!)
The risk of course is too bypass some very good candidates, but it is a way of 'managing' applications like any other.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 09:44
English to Russian
+ ...
SImon, you may want to take a look at this thread Oct 24, 2007

http://www.proz.com/topic/83789?post_id=669167

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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:44
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
That's the request Oct 24, 2007

Simon S wrote:

Should I ...simply let them read my c.v. (which states "references available upon request", etc..)

Thanks!


I always find hard to provide references - I don't want to give the names of my direct clients, or the agencies are too busy or hesitant to provide references about myself to competitors. Nevertheless, I understnd the agencies' point of view. I (you, he, we) can say I'm the best translator of the world, and have a beautiful CV, a well designed profile here or a superb Web site. But, is this true? A potential client might need somebody, a third person, to confirm my skills (or yours, theirs). The same with us, when we need a dentist, a plumber, a school for our kids, we always request references.


Thus, if your CV states "references available upon request", so, this was a request, and you should provide those references, even though you consider this is not the right moment. The agency considers it is.

Kind regards

Clarisa Moraña


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:44
French to English
+ ...
Agencies Oct 24, 2007

I asked one of my best agencies for a reference recently (not for another agency but for part-time translation-related employment) and the first thing they asked me was 'will this affect your capacity to perform translations for us?'.

My answer was 'no' as the job was only two hours per week so they gave me a reference.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
References from you, prospects for the agency Oct 24, 2007

This has been discussed here in other threads.

Too many agencies require sine qua non 2-3 references with contact information. Disconsidering the rare cases where they are about to definitely hire a specific translator unless such references are bad, there will be a whole hidden agenda behind this procedure.

First, I wonder: What freelancer would give their dissatisfied clients as references?
For full-time jobs, okay, there is no way to hide it: during a specific period of time, either you say you were unemployed, or you were under the employ of someone who eventually found good reasons to get rid of you, and may still hold some less than pleasant memories from your time there.

Second, I wonder: Who, in a translation agency that usually doesn't bother to read all the CVs they get, would take the trouble to contact a translator's references in order to check them?

This leads me to the third possibility, which I have already ascertained as true: Whoever a translator mentions as a client for translation services in the past, is a potential customer for that translation agency in the future! Bingo! So they spam - often automatically - all such reference contacts with a message to the tune of: Anything you ever hired this jerk to do, we can do it better, faster, and cheaper!

So whenever an agency asks me for references, I tell them that "I keep a policy of not disclosing my clients' contacts to safeguard them against spam and job peddling, as well as to comply with NDAs signed with them. Most of my publicly available translation works are listed on my CV."


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Simon S  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:44
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
what's the point?? Oct 24, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

If you have so little respect for this client that you are unwilling to put in just a little effort when providing a quote, then you probably shouldn't quote anyway.


If you have so little respect for me that you are willing to reply just to say I'm lazy, then you probably shouldn't reply anyway!

[Modifié le 2007-10-24 21:39]


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Anik Aminuddin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:44
Member (2007)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
the more hassle you get the less likely you get a job Oct 24, 2007

I wholeheartedly agree with sokolniki.
The more forms they require you to fill up or the more procedures to complete, the less likely you get the job... at least that's my experience.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:44
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
No offence intended Oct 25, 2007

Simon S wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
If you have so little respect for this client that you are unwilling to put in just a little effort when providing a quote, then you probably shouldn't quote anyway.

If you have so little respect for me that you are willing to reply just to say I'm lazy, then you probably shouldn't reply anyway!


I did not mean to offend you. Calling you "lazy" was not meant as an insult. I'm also lazy, and I don't feel bad about myself because of it.


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