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Request for copies of diplomas/certificates
Thread poster: Annie Sapucaia

Annie Sapucaia  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:04
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Nov 11, 2013

I've been applying to agencies and received an email back from one of them, asking that I send copies of my diplomas/certificates, as well as three references.
Has this ever happened to you before? It's a first for me and I feel a bit queasy about sending them copies of my transcripts - is this common in your experience?

Thanks,
Annie


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 00:04
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Nah Nov 11, 2013

I've never sent references before, but I have sent copies of certificates in the past. I don't remember it making any great difference in the recruitment process. In fact, the clients that give me the most work at the best rates only asked for my CV and, in a few cases, a paid test.

If you're not comfortable, don't send anything. I've stopped bothering with such complicated applications.


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:04
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Occasionally Nov 11, 2013

I send such copies when asked, it doesn't bother me.

 

Simon Chiassai  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:04
English to French
+ ...
Yes, quite common Nov 11, 2013

Both for diplomas and references. After all, when you go to the dentist or the mechanic, it is quite common to see their license or some sort of certificate somewhere in their office. It's never bothered me.

 

Alexandra Schneeuhr  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 03:04
Member (2012)
English to Russian
+ ...
references? Nov 11, 2013

I personally don't like the 'three references' part of this request: sharing one's customers' details like phone numbers and direct emails doesn't seem a very cool idea, yet one job poster asked me for exactly this stuff recently, moreover s/he wanted the references to be in some particular format (template was enclosed)... sending a diploma copy could be OK though.

 

Ewa Olszowa  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:04
Polish to English
+ ...
Ask around Nov 11, 2013

I would do a research on the agency. My experience with Canadian agencies is that most of them want the copies of certificates to include you in their data base, which I do not have an issue to send and I cooperate with many of these on a regular basis. But, it happen sometimes that they just want to have you in data base to get contracts and you can never see the work. As for references, I do not send.

 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:04
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
I'm paranoid about sending diplomas Nov 11, 2013

Hi Ewa,

I'm really paranoid about sending diplomas and never give references. I don't want any vague intermediary to have the full package to offer my services to the European Union, Microsoft, LG etc. I'm convinced there is a market for "complete profiles" to build portfolios for tenders. It goes without saying that we'll never hear from the winners.

Cheers,
Gerard


 

James Hodges  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 09:04
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Watermark Everything Nov 12, 2013

I fully understand your concerns about passing on copies of diplomas, etc. In my many years of translation, I don't think I have ever actually got out my degrees and copied them for a translation job. Anyway, if you are really worried about the issue, why not use some image editing software and modify your images with a watermark feature to deter fraudulent use?

 

Fang Huang  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 02:04
English to Chinese
For what do they need 'three references' Nov 12, 2013

Alexandra Schneeuhr wrote:

I personally don't like the 'three references' part of this request: sharing one's customers' details like phone numbers and direct emails doesn't seem a very cool idea.....


I also feel the same about the request for references.....They at one hand ask you for NDA, while on the other, asking you to share with them other customers' info!


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Annie Nov 12, 2013

Annie Sapucaia wrote:
I feel a bit queasy about sending them copies of my transcripts - is this common in your experience?


Where I came from originally, it is the most normal thing in the world to attach copies of your diplomas and certificates to your CV/résumé, and/or to send it or give it to anyone who asks for it and who may have a legitimate reason to see it (e.g. if they consider giving you work).

What is the point of having received a prized piece of paper if you can't show it to anyone? Why would you not want to send them copies of your diplomas and certificates? I would not send copies of transcripts, though -- it should be enough to send copies of the final piece of paper that certifies that you successfully completed your training.

(or: what does "transcripts" mean in your country?)


 

Marion Plath  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:04
Member (2013)
English to German
Proof of your qualifications Nov 12, 2013

I had the same situation recently when agencies asked me for certificates and references.
I can understand that an agency wants proof that a translator actually has the qualifications which are written on their CV, so I am happy to send a pdf scan of my certificates. I don't see a need to be secret about it, just the contrary - after all, these documents are there to show that I'm qualified.

The references are another thing. When I was asked for them, I provided them, but it seems to be something more appropriate when applying for an in-house position as an employee. I fortunately could provide references from a previous employer and another translation agency but I wouldn't be comfortable to hassle direct clients with questions about references.
Good luck!


 

Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:04
Finnish to English
Certs OK Refs not Nov 12, 2013

It is OK to send copies of your qualifications, but I would hesitate to bother my regulars for references in the case of a new agency.

I always ask them to wait until they have work for me to do. This is usually OK by them.


 

Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:04
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
References from agencies Nov 12, 2013

When being asked for those famous three references, I am always providing contact details of agencies with whom I am working on a regular basis. Of course I asked them if it is ok to provide their details. I would never give away any contact details of end clients.

 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:04
German to English
ISO / EU tender requirements Nov 12, 2013

Certification under various ISO specifications require verification of a vendor's qualification. Certificates/diplomas are the easiest way to provide this. It's the same story with EU tenders: the potential vendor has to submit the qualifications of its translators. (Whether these same translators actually perform the translation is another story altogether).

Scanning your certificates/diplomas takes little time and you only need to do it once, although my daughter's diploma from McGill was quite large and I had to take it to a professional copy center to have it scanned when she needed it for graduate school.

Getting references is a pain. One ISO-certified agency wanted references from other ISO-certified agencies. The vast majority of agencies can't be bothered with the effort and expense of certification. I decided not to bother.


 

Annie Sapucaia  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:04
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting replies.... Nov 12, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

(or: what does "transcripts" mean in your country?)



It means all the grades/marks for the courses you took. The only other thing I have is the actual diploma, though, which is large and not very easy to scan.


Thank you all for your suggestions. Looks like there are a lot of varied answers to this question. I do understand they want to check to make sure my qualifications are real, but at the same time, it seems like an unpractical way of checking. I'd rather take a translation test! This is a U.S. agency.

In terms of references, they just said professional references, so I guess this could mean non-translation employers as well. Of course I will not give them the names of end clients!

The other thing I'd like to add is this: they asked me if I have a proofreader, and that they prefer I do. I thought that was a bit strange. Isn't it their job to have a proofreader? I obviously proofread everything I do before submitting it, but I don't have a second person that I'm going to pay to look over it! What do you think?

This may be more trouble than it's worth.


 
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