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Providing references
Thread poster: Jasmina

Jasmina  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:54
Italian to English
Feb 6, 2018

Hi all,
I have recently filled in an online application for a translation agency. They have been in touch and asked me to provide two references.
It seems to me rather odd to ask agencies (with whom I currently work) to provide a reference for me, as this may result in me being less available for work with their company.
In my CV I provide links to examples of my work; surely this is enough?
What are your views please?


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:54
Member (2018)
French to English
No Feb 6, 2018

Popular wisdom here is to not give references. Send the actual files used in your links (few people bother reading CVs beyond the one piece of info they are really interested in, let alone click on a link in a CV) pointing out that these are examples of what you are capable of, and explain that you have signed NDAs with your clients so cannot divulge any information.

 

Chris Schröder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Up to you Feb 6, 2018

I would never ask my clients for a reference for reasons of pride, but I can't see what harm it would do - they can only say no!

Endless feedback and backscratching seem to be the modern way - witness LinkedIn.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 16:54
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Never Feb 6, 2018

Absolutely not. I might in the future ask a trusted client to write a general recommendation letter, but frankly I have much better things to do than to expend my time and my clients' time on work of indeterminate volume.

 

Eva Stoppa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:54
Member
English to German
+ ...
This way agencies can gain new clients Feb 6, 2018

I do see some harm in this question. The agency can contact my direct Client and maybe underbid me. I may be wondering why I never hear from this Client anymore and the agency has won some new Clients without having to take efforts themselves.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:54
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Say no Feb 6, 2018

I never give references, for reasons of confidentiality.

This topic has been discussed before...

https://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/243013-agency_contacting_my_references_offering_translation_services.html

https://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established/275962-reference_contacts_for_agencies_how_many_to_annoy_your_current_clients.html

https://www.proz.com/forum/marketing_for_translators/319303-about_references_requested_by_agencies.html

and on several other occasions.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It's a crazy idea Feb 7, 2018

Some agencies seem to think they have to do it, probably another of the "requirements" of ISO-something-or-other. But standards don't require it, so I would never do it.

However, you have a very easy solution: your WWA record here. Just give them a link to your profile and they'll have not two but four references.


 

Jasmina  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:54
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone Feb 7, 2018

Just as I thought, there should be no need to provide references for various reasons, although I will point them in the direction of the WWA section - thanks Sheila.

(Thanks for the links Christine - I had searched for previous discussions but didn't manage to find anything)

Thanks again
Jasmina


 

Colette Magalowski
Germany
Local time: 09:54
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Never Feb 7, 2018

I never provide references because I signed NDAs of other agencies I work with. I go with Sheila: you have a WWA record and that should do it.

 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:54
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Well, Proz.. Feb 7, 2018

Well, Proz's PRO Certified Network demands it too now! Maybe not in your time Christine and Sheila but now, yes! It doesn't accept the WWA entries. One can always ask the agency concerned. What is not done is providing an agency's details without their permission or consent.

[Edited at 2018-02-07 11:24 GMT]


 

Iris Schmerda  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:54
Member (2016)
French to German
+ ...
Don't do it Feb 7, 2018

Several years ago I lost a client only because I asked if it was ok to give their contact as a reference for another potential client.
At that moment they stopped contacting me completely.
That was regrettable, as they had provided me with a steady workflow for already more than one year.
I had sacrificed a good regular client for a potential client, although I didn't even know if this new client would indeed have work for me ...
Never again.


 

Mariana Vieira  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:54
Member (2018)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
On references for Proz's PRO Certified Network Feb 7, 2018

Josephine Cassar wrote:

Well, Proz's PRO Certified Network demands it too now! Maybe not in your time Christine and Sheila but now, yes! It doesn't accept the WWA entries. One can always ask the agency concerned. What is not done is providing an agency's details without their permission or consent.

[Edited at 2018-02-07 11:24 GMT]


Besides not accepting WWA, it doesn't accept talking to people already asked to provide the WWA. I really don't get that part. Certainly, if you have regular clients who has already declared they would work with you again, there is no reason why you wouldn't ask one of them to provide a more detailed feedback for the Proz PRO.

Anyway, this thread is really helpful. I always feel bad for not wanting to bug my clients with requests of feedback. Now I see I'm not alone!


 

Eva Stoppa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:54
Member
English to German
+ ...
to a site with even more translators? Feb 7, 2018

Another aspect about the Pro certified network is the aspect that your clients might want to explore the database and find another translator through Proz.com. Why would anyone want to do thist?

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
ProZ is totally different Feb 7, 2018

Josephine Cassar wrote:
Well, Proz's PRO Certified Network demands it too now! Maybe not in your time Christine and Sheila but now, yes! It doesn't accept the WWA entries.

Yes, I had to get a reference form a client to get the "P" here. Just as I, only this past Monday, provided a reference for a translator applying to join the CIoL. Neither ProZ nor CIoL is a client.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:54
Member (2018)
French to English
employment or freelancing Feb 7, 2018

As a PM, I several times provided references for translators. One applying to work at the international court in the Hague, another applying to do a literary translation course at uni. Never for other clients. Surely you can just send the translator a small text to be translated as a test? Do plumbers provide references?

I remember a woman from the international court ringing to check that my reference was valid and I sang the translator's praises over the phone as I had in the written reference. At one point the woman asked if I had any criticisms of the translator, to which I said, "my only regret is that she's applied to work with you, because if you hire her I'll lose the best legal translator I've ever sent work to".
She got the job.


 
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