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Not a single job since I joined PROZ any ideas?
Thread poster: Arturo Villasenor Garcia

Arturo Villasenor Garcia  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 17, 2010

I joined PROZ almost a month ago and I haven't landed a single job, it is crazy: I keep submitting quotes and writting emails and I get 0 response. I look at my profile page and my CV has 0 hits.

I really don´t understand this, I´m about to give up on this profession. Any ideas on why this is happening?.


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Paulo Eduardo - Pro Knowledge  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:00
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Patience and Persistence Nov 17, 2010

The name of the game.

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veratek
Brazil
Local time: 09:00
French to English
+ ...
some ideas Nov 17, 2010

Hi,

Maybe there's too much competition, or your rates are high compared to others. Maybe your type or length of experience or CV doesn't match the job qualifications as well as others. Have you tried submitting your CV directly to agencies?

Regards,
Vera


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:00
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not a good idea to depend on the site's Jobs Board Nov 17, 2010

The high degree of competitiveness in both the Spanish-English and English-Spanish language pairs, combined with the fact that the projects posted on the Jobs Board in these pairs tend to offer significantly below average rates, really does not make it a promising venue for jobs--not unless you are willing to work for extremely low rates.

As Vera pointed out, contacting agencies directly would likely be more promising, and as Jared pointed out, it is important to take extreme care in how you present yourself on your profile page so that you can differentiate yourself from the many other translators offering services in your pairs.

I'm not trying to be discouraging--just realistic. Best of luck!

[Edited at 2010-11-17 19:51 GMT]


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 09:00
SITE STAFF
Some tips on how ProZ.com works Nov 17, 2010

Hello avillax,

First, thank you for joining ProZ.com! Membership is what gives you visibility to potential clients, but there are a few other aspects to keep in mind to help you do more with that visibility.

Note that posted jobs are only a part of the work that goes through the site; the majority of client contact happens via direct contact and through directory searches. Membership gives you heightened visibility in the directory, among other things, but you can also boost your position in the directory in your top language pair(s) and fields of specialization by participating in the KudoZ term help system.

Take a moment and check your directory ranking here: http://www.proz.com/jobs/?sp_mode=about&pg=my_ranking . This feature will also tell you how to improve your ranking.

Your profile is also very important. If you are high-ranked in the directory in your top pair and field of expertise, clients will see you, but it is important to gear your profile towards showing them what you have to offer and differentiating yourself (i.e., why should a potential client choose you for a project in video game translation in Spanish to English, for example?). Robert makes a good point about the competitiveness of pairs like Spanish-English, English-Spanish. Specialization and differentiation may be all the more important there.

I have generated a site guidance support request for you, from which you will be able to receive personalized help with all of this. You may also want to check out the free webinars/workshops on "Meeting clients at ProZ.com" which are now being held regularly: http://www.proz.com/translator-training/format/webinar-presentations

Hope this helps!

Jared


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Stevenal  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:00
English to French
+ ...
A Tough Battle Nov 17, 2010

Based on my own experience, I can tell you it's a tough battle here--highly competitive, I guess. I thought I would be transitioning from education, but I am almost certain that I still need to cling to that field until I can see how things play out on this website and in the field of translation in general. Like you, I have been able to lend only a minor project and I haven't logged in as much as I did in the first few weeks after I signed up.

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Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:00
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Samples & Kudoz Nov 17, 2010

You should also provide more samples or examples of your previous work. I can't comment on your sample translation into Spanish, but your sample translation into English seems a bit suboptimal..

Make sure that the things that differentiate you from all the other English-Spanish translators jump right at the visitor of your profile. Make it easier for them to see what is important about your skills/experience.

And try to get kudoz points, so that you'll appear higher in the rankings and allow clients to find you easily in the directory.

[Edited at 2010-11-17 20:20 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:00
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Success might come to you... Nov 17, 2010

Attract clients to your profile.

I know one way is to insert the right specific search terms on your profile.
Or more of them. Move the specific details up from your CV to the main profile.
Outsourcers may not look at your CV at all.

E.g. Logistics
Customer Relations
Accounting
Invoicing
Anything else you know about.
...

In the CV, move the interesting FACTS to the top, and the contact details lower down. Anyone who wants to contact you can send a mail at the click of a mouse from your profile.

Here are a few other suggestions:

Name more specifically what your interests are, what activities you have taken part in, or something to give your profile a little ´colour´.

Which areas of industry have you gathered experience in?
Instead of miscellaneous manuals, write Manuals about ... Again, the subjects will give outsourcers search terms. Think of Googling and bots, and add the search terms you would use if you needed your material translated into another language. That is how clients wil find you.

Do you have any good hobbies?
What do you do in your spare time?
There might be a whole subject area there.
Sport - which? Do you collect anything?

For instance, I collect cookery books and spices, and it draws attention.
There are regular jobs in food, diets, nutrition...

Could you get someone you have worked with to write just a couple of lines to recommend you - WWA = Willing to Work Again with you?

While you are waiting, download one of the free CAT tools, e.g. Wordfast, and learn to use it.
Add it to your profile... Not everyone insists on Trados!

Take part in KudoZ.
Again, it is highly competitive, and people will remember you, so make sure your answers are good. Don´t just fire off a guess at every question.
Getting points helps, but good explanations that draw attention to your profile will also help, even when you don´t win points.

A lot of the good jobs come from clients who go directly to your profile, so it is important to keep their attention.

Best of luck!


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:00
English to Russian
+ ...
There is one possibility Nov 17, 2010

start paying them...

+
I can say one thing, I have paid my first membership from the money I had received for a paid project from this site.
Not vice versa.


[Edited at 2010-11-17 21:16 GMT]


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:00
French to English
+ ...
Don't give up, but be strategic... Nov 17, 2010

avillax wrote:

I joined PROZ almost a month ago and I haven't landed a single job, it is crazy: I keep submitting quotes and writting emails and I get 0 response. I look at my profile page and my CV has 0 hits.

I really don´t understand this, I´m about to give up on this profession. Any ideas on why this is happening?.


A job poster can easily get 50 responses to a job they post on ProZ. I know because as well as translating myself, I sometimes outsource work to other colleagues, e.g. to collaborate with people with particular specialisations. I would suggest concentrating on bidding for jobs that you think you have a genuine specialisation for.

Then, you should see ProZ as *one* of your sources of potential jobs, in addition to your web site, advert in business directories etc. It's quite normal that there may be a month or two (or six...) when nothing that really falls within your specialisation is advertised. On the other hand, you never know when you might land a one-off, crucial job that leads to more business.


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JOHN PENNEY  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:00
Portuguese to English
+ ...
AGENCIES LOOKING FOR THE CHEAPEST QUOTES Nov 18, 2010

Your language combination is very popular. Many agencies look for the cheapest translators and, presumably, accept below-par work in the expectation that they can edit or sharpen up your texts by themselves. You end up slogging away for peanuts, on a par with agency-employed folk the world over (hospital cleaners, waiters etc). The secret is to find just one job among this forest of expectations and do it really well and on time, and then form an alliance with the commissioning party, which could lead on to more work. Don´t expect miracles. It´s hard work. And don´t rely solely on Pro-Z...it´s just a platform (undoubtedly a very useful one) for putting translators in touch with potential clients and vice versa, and by its very nature extremely hit-and-miss. I reckon most of the big hitters in this game already have their in-house staff and call for outsiders only when desperate, or to fulfil their formal obligations. And the one-off calls for translating a school or death certificate or something are deeply depressing, as well as professionally unrewarding. But you have to start somewhere, I suppose. Why not, as an alternative to freelancing, pop into UNESCO or OECD in Paris, or one of the UN related bodies in Mexico, with a sample of your work, and ask them for a permanent or semi-permanent job as an Spanish/French/English translator ? Don´t forget to put a tie on!!!
Another point: Do you really work into languages that are not your mother tongue? Very dodgy!!!

[Edited at 2010-11-18 00:56 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-11-18 01:05 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-11-18 01:06 GMT]


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 15:00
Turkish to English
+ ...
There are other sources of work Nov 18, 2010

I stopped regarding Proz as a potential source of work more than five years ago!

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 15:00
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Register at clients sites Nov 18, 2010

Many agencies have websites, where freelance translators can register, either on-line or by filling in a form. Spend a few days searching for such agencies and fill in their forms.
Join proz as a member, so you can use the BB and avoid bad payers.
Get a part time job so you will survive until the business takes on.
Regards
Heinrich


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Tijmen Roozenboom
Netherlands
Local time: 14:00
English to Dutch
Keep at it Nov 18, 2010

You might get a lucky break during the Christmas & New Year holidays,
when some of your colleagues/competitors take time off!


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DanTranslation  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
English to Danish
+ ...
Alex Eames + diversity Nov 18, 2010

Hi,

The book by Alex Eames gives 'good inspiration' (don't worry, he doesn't pay me for saying this), and as others have said: Proz is not the only universe in the world.

Good luck. (If you can pass their tests)

Ole


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