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best way to introduce myself to a job poster?
Thread poster: André Ball
André Ball
Canada
Local time: 10:55
English to French
+ ...
Feb 26, 2016

how should i introduce myself to a job poster who requests to be contacted by e-mail?
what elements should i include in my message to pique the poster`s interest?
i have sent about half a dozen messages to job posters so far with no replies.
thanks for any tips!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:55
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Do you want the truth? Feb 26, 2016

amball wrote:
how should i introduce myself to a job poster who requests to be contacted by e-mail?
what elements should i include in my message to pique the poster`s interest?
i have sent about half a dozen messages to job posters so far with no replies.
thanks for any tips!

I was going to say "Don't worry about it. Hearing back every time is not going to happen so maybe you've just been unlucky."

But then I looked at this post, your profile and your CV and frankly, I'm not at all surprised. You need to present a totally professional image in every single character/word.

- A capital letter here and there wouldn't be a bad start.
- Having a CV in just one language (i.e. two CVs if you want both languages) would be great, preferably not starting with your secondary school days and ending with your current experience.
- Giving a slightly more professional-sounding email address might incite them to use it.

I'm sure that's enough to be going on with. I'm sorry to be brutal but you simply aren't going to get work from what you're displaying here. This site is chock-full of advice. You can even attend a very good FREE webinar to help you find clients here. And look at the Wiki on writing CVs for freelance translators under the Education tab.


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Álvaro Espantaleón  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:55
Member (2015)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Have to agree with Sheila Feb 26, 2016

Your picture is very very dodgy, and your profile is almost completely empty. Haven't clicked on your CV, though.

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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:55
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Car crash of a profile/CV Feb 26, 2016

Sheila Wilson wrote:
- Giving a slightly more professional-sounding email address might incite them to use it.

Sheila's points are bang on the money. Also, put all your contact information at the top of the CV so that the reader can find it easily. Use your real name in your profile if you feel able - it's in your CV after all.

Your photo... Good Lord. Are you actively trying to frighten clients away? Far better to have no photo if you can't get anything better than the shadowy picture you have there now. If I were the owner or staff of an agency in Montreal I would hesitate to arrange an interview with you in real life - that's how sketchy that photo makes you look.

Remember the aim of all this: you want to give the impression that you're the sort of professional and reliable person who can be entrusted to, say, deliver $1,000 of demanding translation work under pressure and on time.

Pay a great deal of attention to how you present yourself. It's a competitive market.

Regards
Dan


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The Misha
Local time: 10:55
Russian to English
+ ...
Funny thing with those "nomes de guerre," eh? Feb 26, 2016

In my native Russian an "ambal" is a bruiser - like, a broad-shouldered goombah with a small head working as a bouncer at a bar or something. Not exactly the first thing you want your client to think of, even on the off chance he speaks no Russian:)

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MK2010  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
Member (Jun 2017)
French to English
+ ...
To answer your question Feb 26, 2016

For someone with professional experience, I would say write something along the lines of:

Dear ----,

I'm a bilingual Canadian national who's been working as a freelance translator since (year). I have experience in several fields, including (list). Some of my recent projects include (name some cool gigs and illustrious end clients if you have any). I can translate approximately 3,000 words per day, and my usual rate is XXX / word.

Attached please find my CV for detailed information on my skills and experience.

Hugs and kisses,

You

(if writing about a particular project, make sure to include experience you have in that specific field).

However: if you are just starting out and have no translation experience, then obviously, you want to rephrase and explain why you feel you are qualified despite this lack of professional background. Mention any bilingual aspect about your previous jobs. (***And put this in your CV, which at the present doesn't appear to include anything related to translation). For example (hypothetical): dealing with both French-speaking and English-speaking customers; translating letters, documents and websites for your employer; serving as an interpreter for visitors to your place employment, etc.

There are typos in your CV. Run a spellcheck. As others have said, check online for CV examples, but in a nutshell: start with your work experience (always start with the most recent--but in your case, find something good to say about the last 3 years...), then your education (university then high school), and lastly, languages, computer skills, and personal hobbies / other relevant experience. If you've lived in both Canadas, say so. If you've been speaking both languages since birth, say so. Etc. Good luck!

Also, to gain some experience, try contacting local businesses, people you know, things like that. Maybe they want to add a language to their website / flyer / business documents. This can get you started and give you something to put in your CV.


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Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:55
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
As long as you don't write Dear Sir/Madam Feb 26, 2016

Perhaps it's just me, but it unnerves me so to see that line. Why can't one go with "To whom it may concern", or heck, even dear Project manager?

Now, all jokes aside, just a few words from my end:

-Agree with everything Sheila and Dan have said. I personally care less about your screen ID/name but I do think opting for a more professional one would be nice (e.g. your registered company name, your full name, or at least your first initials + last name)

-Always offer a thorough spell check and grammar check prior to sending it out...do not go for small caps like you've done here in your forum message. It's extremely unprofessional.

-Be concise and to the point. Unless you have pages of end clients which you can boast of (looking at your profile, you're starting out I presume, so I don't think you do), please keep your email brief but detailed enough so that they'll actually want to click on your enclosed "CV". One thing to never do - if I recall they say so in French- if your list of experiences etc is way too "gonflé", people can probably see it from a mile away. It's normal to polish things a bit, but don't go overboard. If you are starting out as a translator, even all these emails will count as invaluable experience.

- Put stuff in your Proz profile! A lot of my new clients find me through Proz. It takes just a bit of time for you to include information about yourself, but it can go a long way. Add a profile photo, website, etc.

The other posters have also mentioned a lot of useful info. Best of luck.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:55
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I beg to disagree on the CV Feb 26, 2016

MK2010 wrote:
I would say write something along the lines of

Useful advice for the letter. That's certainly the sort of thing clients are looking for.

As others have said, check online for CV examples, but in a nutshell: start with your work experience (always start with the most recent--but in your case, find something good to say about the last 3 years...), then your education (university then high school), and lastly, languages, computer skills, and personal hobbies / other relevant experience.

Although in this particular case that EUROPASS-style CV would be a tremendous improvement, it would still be a pretty disastrous CV for a freelancer of any sort. And a translator who puts language skills in the "lastly" part of the CV?

No, we're micro businesses offering our services in the main to other businesses. We're a long way from being salaried job seekers. We don't actually need a CV at all, we need a marketing brochure/leaflet/flyer... but CV is the term that's been adopted.

Contact details come first, as on every CV - no details, no contact, no job! But from the next line there are no rules at all and no two CVs will follow the same sequence from that point. The only sequence that's appropriate is "the more important the information, the sooner it should be seen". For an experienced translator, it's often experience first, but in order of importance, not date. For a new graduate it could well be education. For someone coming in from a first career, it will most likely be specialist industry knowledge. For a school leaver it's more likely to be family background or hobbies (not that I'd use that word).

Sorry if I'm sounding a bit like a school teacher here. I led a workshop in France for six years and helped with just about every CV under the sun, some of them for freelancers (musicians, translators, programmers...) and company owners. It pains me to see such poor examples.


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xxxIlan Rubin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:55
Russian to English
Yours faithfully etc. Feb 26, 2016

MK2010 wrote:


Hugs and kisses,

You



I'm sure you're joking on this bit, but I hope that amball realizes this...


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philgoddard
United States
German to English
+ ...
One other important thing Feb 26, 2016

What people want to know is whether you're any good as a translator. Your "sample translation" consists of two sentences about yourself. Do you have a piece of work, perhaps just a couple of hundred words, that you're particularly proud of? If not, find something online that interests you, and translate it.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:55
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
You need some SEO Feb 27, 2016

Welcome, fellow librarian! Tho' my library days were way back when people used libraries instead of Google, honest! It is actually an excellent background for a translator. But you have to show that you are a translator now. Keep the library technician in the background.
______________________

Try and put yourself in the job poster's shoes.
What would you look for if you wanted a TRANSLATOR - in the fields you know about? What can you offer, and why should they choose you?

Fill in the section 'About Me' in your profile and a lot more search words in the very bottom line - that is how people will find you in the first place. You can't introduce yourself if they never find you!

Are you really an expert on Space and Astronomy?
Write a neat paragraph explaining what qualifies you there, and what kinds of texts you might be able to translate. Don't forget to add the keywords at the bottom of the profile...

If I were you, I would cut or rephrase most of the details in the CV about what you were actually doing. They will impress a librarian, but they take up far too much space, sorry. Anyone looking for a translator will simply move on to the next candidate.
** Rephrase them to show you could translate texts about IT, but drop the details about Dewey and cataloguing and weeding the collection.
Simply give one-liners about being a library technician in those positions, unless you can show how they are relevant to translation.

** Highlight the bit about Environmental Studies and add some keywords.
What kind of Environmental Studies, which fields?
Could you translate an EMAS report? (Or Canadian equivalent - I'm sure they have them.) Show that you know the kinds of texts you might meet!

** Expand on those 'Miscellaneous part-time jobs'.
Those were the kinds of jobs that taught me a lot of real Danish, my source language, and a lot of it has come up later in translations...
I worked as an unqualified auxiliary in the home-care service, and it tied in with my specialisation in medical translation.

** Write about the bike shop too - I bet there is some useful terminology there!

** Move these to the 'About Me' section - you have to catch job posters there, or they never get as far as your CV)

Even if you have not yet collected a lot of translation experience, the practical work you have from real life is an enormous asset - use it!
And best of luck!



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Christina Baier  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 16:55
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
Make an experiment Feb 27, 2016

Imagine that there is a small book (in one of your special fields) that is very important for you. Unfortunately, the book is only available in, lets say Spanish.

Go and try to find someone at ProZ whom you would trust with the translation. Watch yourself while you are searching: What makes you trust one translator/ mistrust another? What is it in a translators profile or website that makes him or her seem professional?


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 21:25
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
You can't Feb 27, 2016

You can't introduce yourself to a job poster because it is an inanimate object.

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MK2010  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
Member (Jun 2017)
French to English
+ ...
I sort of assume... Feb 27, 2016

Sheila Wilson wrote:

And a translator who puts language skills in the "lastly" part of the CV?



...that if I receive a CV from a French > English translator, that it's a given the person speaks French and English. The cover letter reinforces that, as does the list of translation work at the top of the CV.

But I do agree that the fairly standard format can be adapted to people's individual strengths / weaknesses / what is best to emphasize. Hopefully the OP will have picked up a few good pointers here.

And yes, Hugs and kisses was in jest, please don't use that Ambal! Sincerely or Sincerely Yours, or Best Regards, is the appropriate way to sign a letter in English.


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Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:55
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
My exact thoughts. Feb 27, 2016

ILAN RUBIN wrote:

MK2010 wrote:


Hugs and kisses,

You



I'm sure you're joking on this bit, but I hope that amball realizes this...




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