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Getting declined for jobs - why?
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:06
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Jun 19, 2014

I regularly apply for Proz-posted jobs and I have observed an alarming number of red crosses with a 'Declined' message on my 'Your Quotes' page. I wonder why this is? It can't be quality-related as the (new) clients do not know about my work, except for the two samples posted on my profile. Could I be charging too much? Or is there anything else to consider?

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Where do you see that? Jun 19, 2014

Paul Dixon wrote:
I have observed an alarming number of red crosses with a 'Declined' message on my 'Your Quotes' page.


Where is that page?


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:06
English to German
+ ...
Jobs and directories submenu Jun 19, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Paul Dixon wrote:
I have observed an alarming number of red crosses with a 'Declined' message on my 'Your Quotes' page.


Where is that page?


Under the jobs and directories submenu, accessible from your main profile page. Click on "My Quotes."

[Edited at 2014-06-19 15:15 GMT]


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serge awono  Identity Verified
Cameroon
Local time: 11:06
English to French
+ ...
Several points come into consideration Jun 19, 2014

Several points come into consideration when applying for a job in Proz, including the rate, the field of expertise, experience in the field etc. In my case, I usually apply for jobs that fall into my field of expertise and I make sure I forward the client a list of similar projects I have carried in that same field.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:06
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It seems perfectly natural to me Jun 19, 2014

Certainly I get the same response to many quotes.

How many translators are there in your pairs? Even when applying certain filters, the directory here comes up with almost 3,000. OK, you're a paying member, which will often give you an advantage, but there are still several hundred paying members.

I can point to where I think clients may be doubting you as the best choice, but it would only be my personal opinion so please don't take offence, or even take any notice of what you don't agree with.

- It's clear to me that for a translation into Brazilian Portuguese, you're a good choice. I'm not so sure about into English. OK, you were educated in a bilingual school up to a certain age, but you haven't really been immersed in the culture, certainly not as an adult. Maybe EN>PT would be your strongest i.e. first pair?
- You don't seem to make a distinction between the different variants of either of your languages. I would have thought this was very important for target language.
- Your per-word rate seems low to average to me (a European), but the per-hour rate seems definitely on the high side. It equates to around 800 words per hour translated. Perhaps clients think you translate too fast for quality?
- Maybe most clients are in the euro zone - otherwise, is it a good idea to quote in euros?
- Your listed specialisations are totally at odds with your profile says you do most of the time. Those specialisations are often used as filters.
- You don't list any CAT tools, and I would have thought they would often be required in pharmaceutical areas. Not my area though.
-Your CV contains about 75% redundant information, with the important facts hidden in paragraphs that nobody has time to read. You could be on a short-list and fail at that fence.

With your membership, credentials, KudoZ points, etc. I imagine you figure highly in the directory. I don't know if you get many approaches that way. But most clients filter in all sorts of ways, so getting your specialisations in line with your profile and CV would surely help there. You can check your directory position within the Jobs tab. I know that a lot of fellow ProZ.com members agree with my view that most of the better jobs come through direct contact via directory searches. If you're on the first page of names that come up in relation to their specifications, then you're in with a good chance.


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Member (2012)
French to English
I wish I knew the answer, Paul Jun 19, 2014

I've never had any luck from the ProZ jobs board either.

But thanks for pointing out that "Your Quotes" page - something new to look at.

Edited to add: I would rather not work for anyone who doesn't even have the basic decency to reply to applicants. There are many of those out there, alas.

[Edited at 2014-06-19 21:26 GMT]


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 07:06
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Directory is the answer!! Jun 19, 2014

Hello Paul,

If it helps in any way, a bit of history: most of my quotes were declined, my mails with CV were never answered until I realized that the client will look for you in the directory if he/she needs an English into Brazilian Pt translator with your skills. The best way is to have a good and complete profile and the rest is up to the outsourcer. In general, there will always be somebody who works for more or for less than you, somebody who wants European Portuguese... So a good profile would be the answer you are looking for. Plus knowledge of CAT tools (a must!).

Hope this helps!
Regards,

Haydée


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Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:06
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
A lot of translators but few who seem to read the exact offer... Jun 19, 2014

The problem with jobs on proz is that there are loads of translators responding, so the chances are little to be choosen except if the delay is short or the field very specific. Sometimes outsourcers remember you though and contact you a few months later for another job.

As an outsourcer I also post jobs and must say that there are few translators

- who actually reply in a way that makes you think they really know what the offer is exactly about

For instance I posted a job for a summarization a few weeks ago, 8 from 10 proposed a translation.

A lot seem to send the same text to every offer. Personally speaking I am not willing to work with someone who does not send me a personal reply, event short.

- most messages are full of faults because written in a hurry I think

Translators also not always applie in their specific field but in anyone...

I dont want to say that this is what you do but I think one has to choose the offers one really can have a chance to be taken on and make an effort concerning the message. I never take the cheapest translator but the one who seems reliable, who seems to understand what the job really is about and who makes me a reply without any faults and which really is for me...


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Never Jun 19, 2014

Paul Dixon wrote:

I regularly apply for Proz-posted jobs and I have observed an alarming number of red crosses with a 'Declined' message on my 'Your Quotes' page. I wonder why this is? It can't be quality-related as the (new) clients do not know about my work, except for the two samples posted on my profile. Could I be charging too much? Or is there anything else to consider?


None of my quotes have ever been accepted. There's nothing wrong with me and there's nothing wrong with my work, so it must be that they're looking for the cheapest. I'm not the cheapest.

But that's only one way of getting jobs through Proz. two2tango is right up to a point, but I disagree about needing CAT tools. I never use them, and it hasn't prevented me from getting jobs.

[Edited at 2014-06-19 22:59 GMT]


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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 11:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Reconsider your sample translations. Jun 20, 2014

I'll mail you privately.

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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 17:06
English to Indonesian
+ ...
CATs and Rates Jun 20, 2014

Tom in London wrote:
...but I disagree about needing CAT tools...and it hasn't prevented me from getting jobs.[Edited at 2014-06-19 22:59 GMT]


It's worse (or better):
- Trados required: Go in hiding
- CAT tool required: Rates could be acceptable. Maybe
- No requirements: Rates up to standards (the old standards, that is)

Cheers,

Hans (a passionate CAT tool user, but still...)


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not one of my bids were ever declined Jun 20, 2014

Paul Dixon wrote:
I have observed an alarming number of red crosses with a 'Declined' message on my 'Your Quotes' page. I wonder why this is?


That certainly is cause for concern. I have no red crosses with a "Declined" message. In my case, out of the 28 times that I had submitted bids since 2002, two bids were accepted, one has a note, and the rest are labelled "No action". None of my bids have been declined.

Tom in London wrote:
None of my quotes have ever been accepted.


Yes, but does your list say mostly "No action" with a grey cross or mostly "Declined" with a red cross?

two2tango wrote:
Most of my quotes were declined... until I realized that the client will look for you in the directory if he/she needs an English into Brazilian Pt translator with your skills. ... So a good profile would be the answer you are looking for.


Yes, but does your list say mostly "No action" with a grey cross or mostly "Declined" with a red cross? It's true that Paul will get more jobs via the directory than via bids, but that does not help to explain why so many of his clients actively reject his bids instead of just ignoring them.


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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Sorry, Samuel, Jun 20, 2014

but ''no action'' is the same as ''declined'' in my book!

Here are my numbers:

- member since 2007
- quoted on around 12 jobs
- 1 quote was accepted.

I really wish professionals would stop relying on ProZ for their income.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Proz Jun 20, 2014

Diana Coada wrote:

.....I really wish professionals would stop relying on ProZ for their income.



I get lots of jobs via Proz - but none of them via the job postings.


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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Portuguese to English
+ ...
You know what I mean, Tom! :) Jun 20, 2014

.

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