Why don't more members use the Project History?
Thread poster: Mark Sanderson

Mark Sanderson  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 14:35
Chinese to English
Jul 14, 2015

Today I was looking at some other members' profiles and noticed that a lot of them haven't made any entries in the project history section of their profile.

This is surprising as the Proz FAQs state:

When a client searches for a translator in a specific language and field and your name is found, the number of *corroborated* projects you have in that field will be shown.


Therefore surely it is in everyone's interest to update the project history with lots of projects so that clients can see how experienced we all are.

However, could the reluctance to enter any information be due to this:

It is not possible to delete a project that has received neutral or negative feedback from an outsourcer. It is also not possible to delete a project that is awaiting corroboration.


Of course, no one wants bad feedback left on their profile page for all to see.

It's a conundrum. I'm unsure as to whether I should start making entries in my project history, or if it's just not worth the time and effort involved.

What do you think?


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 14:35
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Too much bother Jul 14, 2015

In the beginning, when you could count all your clients on one hand (or two hands) and didn't get more than a couple of jobs per month, it made sense to keep a project history. When you're doing multiple projects each week and regular clients might send you small jobs that you deliver in no more than a couple of days, it becomes a tremendous PITA to try to keep track of each and every project when it often takes 5-10 minutes to do so. Maybe you become selective in recording project history, but then it becomes a question of what makes it onto the list and what does not, and whether you are comfortable trying to get your clients to corroborate each and every moderate-sized project that you do for them, especially regular ones. And when you're at that point, the returns of recording your project history diminishes rapidly, since you'd be at least slightly established and not feel a tremendous need to keep your front door as polished as you would have when you were starting out.

[Edited at 2015-07-14 13:25 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:35
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Confidentiality Jul 14, 2015

It's a question of confidentiality. I can't mention the names of documents I have translated, nor can I disclose their contents or who commissioned the translations.

However, I do have periodically updated examples of my work in the "Portfolio" section.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 14:35
Chinese to English
Plus, that's not really how people get jobs Jul 14, 2015

Everything Lincoln and Tom said, but more importantly, you don't get jobs off searches. Not the good jobs, and not the lasting clients. I get them through recommendations. For example, I currently work with three big direct clients, all of whom were introduced in some way. My agency work is more than 50% repeat business. So the upside from the potential extra footfall is pretty small.

But you're not wrong, it's an underused tool, so if you make skillful use of it, it could turn into a nice market edge for you.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:35
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Confidentiality again Jul 14, 2015

No way.

Besides, the majority of my jobs are too small to have a 'project history'.

Here today, delivered tomorrow, often under 1000 words...

I work for agencies who would not play along with it, and the types of documents are often more or less confidential or really highly confidential.

OK, I have translated SPCs and research protocols and press releases, but they still don't have a history.

The few large projects that might be suitable are not really typical of my work, and although I might be able to get clients to trecommend me, I don't want to be doing that kind of thing more often. Here I am thinking of books - I get tired of them long before I am finished, although the clients are usually satisfied and they have all been very interesting... afterwards!


 

vonflauschig (X)
Germany
Local time: 08:35
English to German
+ ...
Confidentiality Jul 14, 2015

I can't imagine my clients would be happy if I posted the projects I do for them. It might be OK to post some of the technical ones, but I am a medical translator and have often to do with clinical research documents or confidential documentation. Most bigger agencies wich I work with require an NDA anyway and I wouldn't risk disclosing any information.

Like Phil said - you don't get good jobs through the search engine. I do receive offers but these are usually the low paid .01/a word, 10 000 words until tomorrow peanuts. I reject them "automatically".


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 14:35
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Confidentiality Jul 14, 2015

Is a non-issue. Nobody says you have to identify the clients or give details about the project, and clients can corroborate without revealing their identity.

Of course, this means that you can claim to have done anything in your Project History. But you can already do that for everything else.


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:35
Danish to English
+ ...
I simply can't be bothered Jul 15, 2015

I have a website where I give a general idea of the work I have done and the work I am interested in undertaking. My Proz profile links to my website, so any client who is really interested in collaborating with me and bothers to read my Proz profile would also look at my website, so why bother with a specific project history on Proz?

However, my experience is, sadly, that potential clients don't actually bother to look at most of the details in our Proz profiles, considering the standard questions they ask when they contact me. So again, I really can't be bothered to do a lot of work on my profile here...


 

Richard Foulkes (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:35
German to English
+ ...
Nice answer :) Jul 15, 2015

Gitte Hovedskov, MCIL wrote:

I simply can't be bothered

I have a website where I give a general idea of the work I have done and the work I am interested in undertaking. My Proz profile links to my website, so any client who is really interested in collaborating with me and bothers to read my Proz profile would also look at my website, so why bother with a specific project history on Proz?

However, my experience is, sadly, that potential clients don't actually bother to look at most of the details in our Proz profiles, considering the standard questions they ask when they contact me. So again, I really can't be bothered to do a lot of work on my profile here...


Ditto.

Do any quality potential clients (not bots or low-ball agencies) actually visit your profile in a given year? I think this is a good starting point for considering how much time to spend on it.

Then consider the opportunity cost of spending hours of your life you'll never get back on polishing your proz profile versus other potentially more rewarding marketing activities, or even getting away from the computer for a while.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:35
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Good clients have found me via my profile Jul 15, 2015

I could not survive as a freelancer without the clients who have found me through my profile. However, I have never had any Project Histories posted, and it works fine without.

To agree with Gitte - clients totally ignore my availability calendar!

[Edited at 2015-07-15 10:23 GMT]


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
Romanian to English
+ ...
What for? Jul 15, 2015

I too have found many valuable clients through ProZ. Some of them contacted me using the directory, others were contacted by me through job posts which led to long-term relationships.

I don't see the point in picking out just a few projects for the project history, considering that I do state a rough number of pages/field translated, with examples, and many clients indirectly confirm them using the WWA function. More specific details could not add anything, except the administrative hassle. Last year only I had about 350 projects ranging from few-line small jobs to 200-page jumbos. It would be absurd to enter even half of them in the project history.


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Why don't more members use the Project History?

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running and helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search