Rookie trouble: getting my profile right
Thread poster: Mathieu Isidro

Mathieu Isidro  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:51
English to French
+ ...
Jun 9, 2010

Hi everyone,

To start with, please be aware that I have surfed through the various posts and topics related to this issue and have read as much as possible (site FAQs, translation articles, etc.), which have already been of great help.

However, some questions still remain.

But first let me explain a few things about myself in order for you to understand my situation. I'm a French - Australian dual citizen. I have just completed a MA in translation, which involved French, English, and Spanish. I have lived various years in English-speaking countries and a year and a half in Spain. I am now working as an intern for the French space agency, as a translator mainly.
I very recently joined proz in order to "get down to business". So this is not, and won't be, at least I hope, my main source of revenue. I do it for some "extra cash" so to speak, to see what it's like, and as a way of anticipating any potential long period of unemployment.
I am actively participating in the kudoz and am looking forward to becoming a full member in the near future to get all the benefits that stem from those two things.

My problem is, I've applied for six jobs so far, and have not received any answers, which, I suppose, is normal. However I cannot help but wonder if there is anything wrong with my profile.
My first question concerns my expertise. I have studied the fields of environment, politics, economics and more as part of my two-year MA in translation, which means, I translated quite a few (rather short, yes) texts in those fields, and have a little experience through internships and previous jobs. Is that enough to put them as specialisation fields even though I obviously am not familiar with all the terminology? My thought is, if I do not mention these in my specialization fields, I won't get any jobs, so how can I get the experience then?
Is there anything wrong my CV/resume? Should I also include it in French?
And are my quotes right? I have read the blog "The Bid Optimizer" which was helpful. Keep it short and specific, include your relevant experience. You should include a sample if requested, your price per word and any other details. But what else? Should you include your conditions of payment, tax details?

Any insight, advice, criticism on the matter would be very much appreciated.


[Edited at 2010-06-09 11:57 GMT]

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Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:51
French to English
+ ...
Re. specialisation Jun 9, 2010

Hello Mathieu and welcome to

Regarding specialisation, I tend to wince when I see profiles claiming to specialise in too many areas.

In your case, it sounds like astronomy, space and aviation are your specialty areas (and perhaps some directly related fields like science and physics). For the rest - and if you're confident that you have enough knowledge to do a good job, why not put them in the "Also works in" category?

I'm not sure how closely customers actually look at these fields when reviewing bids in any case. I believe they work more as filters for the site's search function.

I'll leave the other points you raise for others to address.


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Dan Bradley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:51
Japanese to English
Don't panic Jun 9, 2010

Hi Mathieu,

You mentioned you are nervous because you sent out 6 job applications but didn't get any replies. I read an article recommending that new translators should aim to send out *300-500* CVs and job applications in their first year because however qualified you are, the reply rate is likely to be really low, around 10%. For example, in my first month as a freelance translator I sent out around 75 applications but probably less than 10 got back to me to confirm they had received my application and even fewer led to work.

You draw attention to your languages, MA and experience in your profile so I think you just need to be a little more patient and continue to apply for more jobs.

all the best,


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