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Poll: Do you think a translator's profile picture can influence an outsourcer's final decision?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:37
SITE STAFF
Apr 25, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think a translator's profile picture can influence an outsourcer's final decision?".

This poll was originally submitted by Emin Arı. View the poll results »



 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:37
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Possibly Apr 25, 2011

It is quite possible that a translator's photo influences the outsource one way or the other.

If it is an appealing photo of a business-like or smiling translator, then this might have an impact on the outsourcer's final decision.

However, a photo does not render any information in regard to a translator's qualifications and professionalism.

As the proverb clearly states: looks can be deceiving....
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It is quite possible that a translator's photo influences the outsource one way or the other.

If it is an appealing photo of a business-like or smiling translator, then this might have an impact on the outsourcer's final decision.

However, a photo does not render any information in regard to a translator's qualifications and professionalism.

As the proverb clearly states: looks can be deceiving.
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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Apr 25, 2011

I am certainly swayed by appearances. For example, anyone who looks too perfect, "professional" or airbrushed gets short shrift.
That's why I use a logo, which attempts to express an aspect of my personality, rather than photos, which (as a long-time passport-photo-syndrome-sufferer) I always think make me look like a prannet...


 

Valery Kaminski  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 04:37
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes Apr 25, 2011

Once a client told me she made her choice because she liked the photo in my profile.

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:37
Member (2006)
German to English
No Apr 25, 2011

I would not have thought so, who cares what someone looks like, it is their profile that is more important?

 

Allison Wright (X)  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:37
Yes - best face forward Apr 25, 2011

neilmac wrote:

(as a long-time passport-photo-syndrome-sufferer)


Ha ha! If I put my biometric passport photo (in which I portray a bad-tempered individual with no sense of humour, with possible violent tendencies, and no communication ability whatsoever) on my ProZ profile, I am pretty certain it would negatively influence decisions on whether to award me the job..
The one that is there is as honest non passport photos get. Although I see I have acquired more anxiety lines and smile lines in the year since this photo was taken, so perhaps it is not an honest representation after all.


 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Photographs with job applications Apr 25, 2011

This will be the subject of a private class with a Human Resources specialist tomorrow, so if the poll is still up, I'll give you some feedback.

Personally I think the outsourcer will be aware of negative influence from a photo/image, but may not also be aware of positive influence. Far more difficult to calibrate.

There have been forum posts on the this subject - one colleague asked us if he looked too young on one occasion, and another I remember asking us to evaluate
... See more
This will be the subject of a private class with a Human Resources specialist tomorrow, so if the poll is still up, I'll give you some feedback.

Personally I think the outsourcer will be aware of negative influence from a photo/image, but may not also be aware of positive influence. Far more difficult to calibrate.

There have been forum posts on the this subject - one colleague asked us if he looked too young on one occasion, and another I remember asking us to evaluate his latest outdoor shot for suitability.

And I do believe there are fashions in these things which will also influence the outsourcer - oldfashioned may suggest values of constancy and accuracy, but also of inability to deal with IT etc!

And yes, I am waiting for that magic photo to appear so that I can change mine - I like to update once a year anwyay. Too stingy to go to a professional to get the photo done though.
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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:37
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Apr 25, 2011

Michael Harris wrote:

who cares what someone looks like, it is their profile that is more important?


 

TheTranslator86
Turkey
Local time: 04:37
English to Turkish
+ ...
Efficient really Apr 25, 2011

Clients try to choose the best translator but there exist similarly qualified ones, so picture can be a determiner, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I had the same experience with Valery. Once, a custormer told me that she gave the job to me as she had found my picture trustworthy.

 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:37
Member
German to English
+ ...
To an extent Apr 25, 2011

I used to have a picture of a dancing elephant on my profile, which, while cute, did not necessarily portray a professional image. Since I've changed my picture to something more normal, i.e. me, the number of enquiries I receive has increased manifold. Clearly it's not the only factor, but it does seem to be an important one.

 

Richard Boulter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Appropriate to our services. Apr 25, 2011

I must agree with Aceavila-Noni that the real factor in this issue is possible negative factors. While pretty well everyone will enjoy having a photo to help personalize their work in selecting language service providers, just as for other hiring processes, they can certainly be put off from one's core qualifications by a photo showing bad humor, instability or slovenliness. I certainly understand the argument for a non-photo image or 'badge' of some kind.

Likewise - whether badge
... See more
I must agree with Aceavila-Noni that the real factor in this issue is possible negative factors. While pretty well everyone will enjoy having a photo to help personalize their work in selecting language service providers, just as for other hiring processes, they can certainly be put off from one's core qualifications by a photo showing bad humor, instability or slovenliness. I certainly understand the argument for a non-photo image or 'badge' of some kind.

Likewise - whether badge or photo - like other factors in a profile or CV, the image provided should reflect the specialty of the translator. Even the stylish hairdo, party gown with lotsa neck, shoulder & cleavage and perfect (heavy) makeup could be appropriate if the linguist specializes in translation for fashion, etc.

I used to use a profile photo showing an older, bearded gent with a sincere half-smile. Like many, I had consulted people I know for opinions on what would be best for business purposes, and my girlfriend at the time had told me that this photo made me look 'distinguished'. Later on, she had gone her way in the world and another girlfriend told me that this photo looked 'ratty'. She prepared me and took the photo that I use now (she's a cosmetologist), which she considers 'distinguished'.
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Patricia Charnet
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:37
English to French
yes Apr 25, 2011

I had lots of clients who wanted to have a photo of me - I've found over the years that clients do like seeing the person they correspond with or talk to. It reminds them that you're human and have a face. After so many years of no putting any picture on my profile and web site, I read a marketing recommendation to put a pic. I thought some will like it, and others will not. In fairness, I heard lots of people actually giving me work because of the picture - not that they liked it or not, but it... See more
I had lots of clients who wanted to have a photo of me - I've found over the years that clients do like seeing the person they correspond with or talk to. It reminds them that you're human and have a face. After so many years of no putting any picture on my profile and web site, I read a marketing recommendation to put a pic. I thought some will like it, and others will not. In fairness, I heard lots of people actually giving me work because of the picture - not that they liked it or not, but it gave them an idea of who they're entrusting the work to.

So, I've made an experiment and put a pic on my invoices - verdict: I get paid more quickly since there's a pic i.e. I'm not a company but a simple person, and often my invoice gets priority over the big corporations

Overall, the feedback was good. Regarding negative feedback, my family (who are my worst ever critics - to keep me on my toes!) agreed with the pics.

I must admit, I like it when I see a pic of the person - it's nice, you've got a mental picture and a real picture of the person - so many people I talked to over the years, I've got no clue how they look like. As soon as people see a pic of you (or even better see you in person) they're more likely to trust you. I think it's because we are still very visual nowadays - I hope I conveyed my meaning eloquently enough thanks - that was my little contribution

Joyeuses Pâques! Happy Easter
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Eser Perkins  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 04:37
Member (2010)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Yes Apr 25, 2011

Apart from the negative or positive influence of a profile image, I think, even having a real photo on your profile is sometimes enough to elicit trust from an outsourcer. Personally, I don't feel like trusting an avatar as much as I trust a real human image. As long as it is not pretentious, extravagant, silly, etc, having a real photo on one's profile always counts as a pro in my estimation. Whether it is an outdoor shot, a studio shot, a casual shot, etc., doesn't really matter. It is up to ... See more
Apart from the negative or positive influence of a profile image, I think, even having a real photo on your profile is sometimes enough to elicit trust from an outsourcer. Personally, I don't feel like trusting an avatar as much as I trust a real human image. As long as it is not pretentious, extravagant, silly, etc, having a real photo on one's profile always counts as a pro in my estimation. Whether it is an outdoor shot, a studio shot, a casual shot, etc., doesn't really matter. It is up to the translator to decide what side of his/her personality to come forward or what kind of impression of themselves they feel like conveying on their profile.Collapse


 

Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:37
Spanish to English
Pets or children a no-no Apr 25, 2011

Photos of pets or children, for instance, might be considered inappropriate within a professional context, making outsourcers think the translator does not understand what it means to behave professionally. Of course, the translator in question might be as professional as they come when it comes to the nitty gritty of our job, but it's about the impression they are giving.

I reckon a simple picture (not too perfect) or logo hit the right note.


 

Liliana Galiano
Argentina
Local time: 22:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Apr 25, 2011

At least it should not, when I look for a partner for some hasty translation I think of the best colleage not the most beautiful or the one with the fanciest picture online. It would be very sad if it were otherwise, at least for me.

When it comes to interpreting, appearances are a bit more important, but again, quality comes first.

My choices are generally based on performance and experience. Regards.


 
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