Can you hire me now? A Dozen Donts and Dos to apply for and bid on jobs
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This business and most of our life if you want
to get philosophical about it is all about getting
noticed. Letting the world know you are out there.
The more effectively and regularly you can inform
people about who you are, the more work you will
have, and the more money you will make. Below
you will find a dozen pointers on Donts and Dos
(as you can see, I like to end on a positive note)
when applying to translation agencies and bidding
on jobs. A lot of these Donts and Dos I discovered
when freelancers bid on jobs I posted on translator
Donts when applying to translation agencies
You finally have a list of translation agencies
and you are ready to start a mass mailing. You address
the agency, attach your resume, write your language
combination in the reference line and maybe even
add a short note attached please find my resume
for your review. Then you waitand waitand wait,
and wonder how come they are not answering you.
Here are some reasons why:
- Dont ever send an attachment to an agency without
having been specifically asked by the agency to
do so. Instead, paste your resume to the bottom
of the email and make reference to it in your
note. With all these viruses floating around these
days, recipients may mistake your email attachment
for a virus and simply delete it.
- Dont send an email without giving a brief introduction
to sell yourself. Why should the agency even bother
reviewing your resume?
- Dont send emails without knowing your audience.
For example don't send an application to an agency
that specializes only in automotive translations
and you are a strict literary translator. You
are wasting your time and theirs.
Do's when applying to translation agencies
- Include in your introduction why this agency
should hire you as a translator. What sets you
apart? Do you have special legal training, are
you accredited, how many years experience do you
- Do find out if the agency prefers emails, snail
mail, phone calls or maybe they even have online
application forms. Some agencies are quite particular
and will delete your email if they have specified
that translators should only apply by standard
mail. It is even better to have a name of
someone you can send your application to directly.
This way you are able to follow up with them and
begin establishing a relationship.
- Use your spell check! Grammar and spelling
mistakes are unacceptable if you are selling language
services, and those emails will surely end up
in the trash bin.
As freelancers we also often bid on jobs through
the various websites such as ProZ, TranslatorsCafe,
GoTranslators, etc. Here too you may wonder Why
did they not answer me, I am the perfect candidate".
Following these Donts and Dos will definitely increase
your chances of landing that project.
Donts on bidding:
- Dont bid on a job if it is not within your field
of expertise. Just because the job is in your
language combo may not mean that you are a suitable
candidate. If you bid on a job that is not within
your field of expertise the next time the same
agency has a job offer in your field of expertise
you will likely have already ruined your chances.
- Dont bid on a job if it is not your language
combination. It is extremely annoying for agencies
to receive an answer to a bid from a translator
who does not even possess this language combo.
These translators are immediately ignored also
for future jobs as they appear desperate.
- Dont promise something you can't deliver! Often
I have seen job postings with completely unreasonable
deadlines, but translators still apply and promise
to deliver by the due date. At the final hour
they suddenly realize they can't finish the project
on time and now must inform the agency that they
will be late. This doesnt look good and chances
are you may not be called again.
Do's on bidding:
- Read the entire job posting BEFORE answering
the bid. You want to answer all the questions
and make 100% sure that you are the candidate
for this job.
- Answer all their questions. Review your
answers and make sure that you have NO spelling
errors. Potential clients will most likely stop
reading your application if they see even one
spelling or grammar error.
- Add a little note to your bid stating why they
should hire your for this job. What do you bring
to table that makes you better then someone else?
A little due diligence will go a long way when
applying with an agency or bidding on a project.
If you pay attention to the details in your application
the client will be more likely to hire you, since
they will feel confident that you are as diligent
in your translation.
So the next time you ask, Can you hire me now?
Chances are that you will say next: Good.
And that is prettywell, good.
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