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Poll: What puts you off the most in a job offer?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 03:10
Aug 14, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What puts you off the most in a job offer?".

This poll was originally submitted by ViktoriaG. View the poll results »


Wendy Streitparth  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
Member (2010)
German to English
+ ...
Answers Aug 14, 2010

I would have liked to have been able to click several options!


Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Other Aug 14, 2010

A poor BB record of course puts me off, but it is not contained in the job offer, so not applicable here.

What puts me off the most is rudeness. This includes: sending mass mail, not saying even "hi", not introducing oneself when this is a first time contact, not signing and/or not providing detailed contact information.
The second thing that puts me off is when a too low rate is offered.

Unfortunately, all these criteria are often combined in one offer.


Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 05:10
English to Dutch
+ ...
several options Aug 14, 2010

I would have selected several options as well as they all are a pain.

References: if translators were to give references for every job they got, they wouldn't get much work done, nor would the people who are so kind as to let us pass on their contact details... Besides, it's so easy to fake these things. They don't have any value at all, IMHO.

One of the worst is the "your best rate" phrase though. Agencies (direct customers usually are a lot more polite) should not ask us to give our best rate (as if there were such a thing), but rather ask us what our rate is (and perhaps whether it is negotiable or not). Whenever we go to a store or whenever we need a lawyer, plumber, etc. we don't ask what their best price is either. It's take it or leave it. Alas, many translators seem to think translation business is not a business where standard business principles (should) apply.

Impolite e-mails are definitely not appreciated either. However, free e-mail addresses such as Yahoo or Hotmail don't bother me. It's not because a customer uses one of those, that he or she can't be trusted. My alarm goes off on other things, such as really bad English, strange requests, etc.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 14, 2010

... all of the above, plus what Sophie says.
I am particularly irked by the contact from one Madrid agency who insists on sending me mass mails after I specifically asked him (twice) to contact me directly with translation offers. As I took the time and effort to provide my details directly, it would be common courtesy for him to respond in kind.
Result? I will never benefit them with my services, and was quite amused to see them desperately seeking translators on proz earlier this month.

I no longer do "test" translations either, having been shafted that way a couple of times (by proz contacts, one of whom had a good Blue Board rating).


Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:10
English to Japanese
+ ...
Voted for "other", Aug 14, 2010

and a combination of everybody's comments up to this point.


Minna Wood MITI (Purring CAT Ltd.) (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
English to Finnish
+ ...
All of these Aug 14, 2010

Not just one but all of them put me off.

Not bothering to introduce themselves or sign the email. Not bothering to explain what the job is about. Low rates/request for best rates, short turnaround, collective email sent to many translators...

And as Sophie put it all these are unfortunately often combined in one offer.



Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:10
English to Russian
+ ...
all of these Aug 14, 2010

All of these, each in its own way, but I chose "please reply with your best rates..." as the most annoying because it's the most frequent dumping-calling kind of offer.


Rebekka Groß (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:10
English to German
all of the above Aug 14, 2010

with poor BB record potentially top of the list


Interlangue (X)
Local time: 12:10
English to French
+ ...
Other Aug 14, 2010

Most if not all of the above, and especially people coming out of the blue, without ever saying how they found me.

I tend to expect (potential) customers to give me their references: if they manage to find me, they already have mine!


Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
With Minna and Rebekka Aug 14, 2010

I'd have liked to tick "all of the above".



Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:10
Member (2004)
English to French
All of the above Aug 14, 2010

Best rates and poor BB rating are equal. I usually say I'm not available when the rating is bad. Only once or twice did I reply that their rating was so bad they would have to pay upfront for me to accept the job. They never replied. I guess the truth hurts.


Varsha Pendse-Joshi  Identity Verified
Japanese to English
+ ...
Three of them Aug 14, 2010

Fishy contact information
Absence of details


sally bassiouni  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:10
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
All of the above Aug 14, 2010

I am really put off by mass mail. Especially if it is from a client I have worked with before.

"Your best rate" Aug 14, 2010

As for me nothing ticks me off than this. If they have definitive project at hand, they better have clear budget with which to hire good translator. This practice sure sounds cheap.

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Poll: What puts you off the most in a job offer?

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