How to invest my time
Thread poster: Lauren Higgins

Lauren Higgins
미국
Local time: 17:08
Chinese to English
May 6

I'm a few months into my freelance career and don't have much on my resume yet. I've been in touch with an agency that does want to work with me, but their business has been disrupted by the current crisis, so they won't have projects for me until after things improve (whenever that may be). I'm not sure if I should keep applying to agencies with the resume I have now or wait until I've done work for this agency so I can look better on paper to potential clients. What do you think? Additionally,... See more
I'm a few months into my freelance career and don't have much on my resume yet. I've been in touch with an agency that does want to work with me, but their business has been disrupted by the current crisis, so they won't have projects for me until after things improve (whenever that may be). I'm not sure if I should keep applying to agencies with the resume I have now or wait until I've done work for this agency so I can look better on paper to potential clients. What do you think? Additionally, if I do take a break from applications for the time being, what other ways can I be investing my time to help my career, other than sharpening my translation skills? I'm aware we're living through a strange time and it might not make much difference if I set aside work entirely and curled up with a book. I'd just like to be more certain that I wouldn't be wasting valuable time. Thanks in advance for your feedback!Collapse


Greatservice00
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
네델란드
Local time: 23:08
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Lauren May 6

Lauren Higgins wrote:
I've been in touch with [one] agency... I'm not sure if I should keep applying to agencies with the resume I have now or wait until I've done work for this agency so I can look better on paper to potential clients.


Keep applying to agencies. If your résumé improves, you can re-apply to agencies that you contacted previously (no more than once per year). But while some agencies may evaluate you on the résumé, others will evaluate you by sending you a small job, or by the way you behave during the interaction with them, or by how good your ProZ.com profile page or web site looks. Make sure your résumé is *perfect* and that it sells all of your advantages.

If I do take a break from applications for the time being, what other ways can I be investing my time to help my career...


Try downloading the trial versions or free versions of CAT tools, and learn how to use them beyond the basics (tutorials, YouTube videos, books), so that you can add them to your résumé. You don't need to be an expert at e.g. Trados or MemoQ before you can add to your résumé that you "have some experience using Trados and MemoQ". Also, become an expert at Word, Excel and PowerPoint -- it'll make you faster when you get files that aren't simple.

But... keep applying to agencies. Visit the Blue Board and don't stop.


[Edited at 2020-05-06 16:58 GMT]


Sheila Wilson
Sabrina Bruna
Teresa Borges
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Christine Andersen
 

Lauren Higgins
미국
Local time: 17:08
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
@Samuel May 6

This is solid advice, thanks. I'll keep the applications flowing. I can always use a reminder to refine my resume too!

Learning a CAT tool is also a good suggestion. I purchased Studio 2019 not long ago and definitely have a ways to go before I feel really comfortable with it.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
영국
Local time: 22:08
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Now is the time May 6

Lauren Higgins wrote:
I purchased Studio 2019 not long ago and definitely have a ways to go before I feel really comfortable with it.

You don't want to be trying to learn how to use a CAT tool after you have received a Studio package from the client. From what you say, you have plenty of spare hours now. I would use it to familiarise yourself with the way the application works, maybe do some free webinars if you can find any.

Regards,
Dan


Sheila Wilson
Samuel Murray
Joe France
Teresa Borges
Jorge Payan
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
스페인
Local time: 22:08
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
All I can add... May 6

First of all, I'm 100% certain that there's still a need for Chinese to English translations. In fact, I answered a call for target-text-only proofreaders of a massive volume here just a few days ago. So don't stop applying.

However, apart from following other time-filling advice, I think it would also pay you to tighten up your marketing. Are you thinking of actively using this site to look for work? If so, your profile needs to be 100% complete and you need to be active here (e.g.
... See more
First of all, I'm 100% certain that there's still a need for Chinese to English translations. In fact, I answered a call for target-text-only proofreaders of a massive volume here just a few days ago. So don't stop applying.

However, apart from following other time-filling advice, I think it would also pay you to tighten up your marketing. Are you thinking of actively using this site to look for work? If so, your profile needs to be 100% complete and you need to be active here (e.g. KudoZ) too. Check out the free Meeting Clients webinar.

Of particular importance in your case will be the sample translations. Your exposure to Chinese seems very borderline to me, even more so the way you've phrased it (as 3+2 years). I'm sure potential clients would like to see how you handle texts that are a little complex. Your CV is also heavy on translations into Chinese. It's fine that you've done them and they have a place in tour CV, but as a freelancer our clients expect us to be experts in what we do. If they want a translation into Chinese, they expect a native speaker to do it.

Your strong point, surely, is that you're an English native speaker who can translate from Chinese. So emphasise that.
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Samuel Murray
Rachel Waddington
Teresa Borges
Greatservice00
Christine Andersen
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
네델란드
Local time: 23:08
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Agree with Sheila May 6

Sheila Wilson wrote:
Your profile needs to be 100% complete and you need to be active here (e.g. KudoZ) too. ... Of particular importance in your case will be the sample translations.


Golly, I forgot to check Lauren's profile and CV when I wrote my response. I agree with Sheila, spend time polishing your online presence, because what your profile page looks like can affect the first impression that clients get about you, and since aspiring translators are a dime a dozen, impressions are important. If you are confident about your Chinese writing skills, also include an English-Chinese sample on your profile, even though you don't offer that language combination.

I can't find much fault with your current English résumé, except that is uses a Chinese font (等线Light). If you want to reach English-speaking clients, use an English font, e.g. Candara, etc. And make it fit on one page (decreasing the font size a bit should do the trick).

[Edited at 2020-05-06 20:50 GMT]


Teresa Borges
Jorge Payan
 

Lauren Higgins
미국
Local time: 17:08
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
So nice to have this community May 6

Thanks everyone for your input, the marketing aspect especially! I'll work on polishing up my online presence and make sure I'm giving the best first impression I can with what I have to offer. I appreciate the tips on language combination too. My English-Chinese translation work went on my resume when I started since it was basically all I'd done at that point. But since that's not the direction I want to (or should) work in, I should probably downplay that or remove it altogether.

 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:08
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Hello Lauren May 7

Welcome Lauren. I agree with what others before have pointed out. I would like to say you can expand on your 'field of education' as that is a vast area- which age group, what did you do or for whom, with whom-adult education, teachers, parents, administration, etc. It's not enough to just say 'education'; you have to expand and specify. Continue to try and find your specialism as having a specialisation helps enormously. And, last but not least, learn about invoicing, book-keeping, etc. the leg... See more
Welcome Lauren. I agree with what others before have pointed out. I would like to say you can expand on your 'field of education' as that is a vast area- which age group, what did you do or for whom, with whom-adult education, teachers, parents, administration, etc. It's not enough to just say 'education'; you have to expand and specify. Continue to try and find your specialism as having a specialisation helps enormously. And, last but not least, learn about invoicing, book-keeping, etc. the legal requirements concerning tax in your country and setting up a business, etc, since you have the time now so you won't have to face that hurdle further on when you have more work. Maybe the local chamber of commerce can help you out in this so you won't need an accountant.

[Edited at 2020-05-07 06:00 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-05-07 17:07 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
 

Tea Komšić  Identity Verified
보스니아헤르체고비나
Local time: 23:08
Member (Feb 2020)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Hi Lauren May 7

Hey there! I see all of the suggestions from other colleagues, and I would also suggest the same. So, apply to the agencies, send resumes, because when I started working this job, I had zero experience but I was confident in my knowledge. An agency reached out to me, and they did not bother that I do not have a perfect CV. I have done the job perfectly, and then we started an amazing collaboration with some huge projects. So, keep applying, you never know who is going to contact you... See more
Hey there! I see all of the suggestions from other colleagues, and I would also suggest the same. So, apply to the agencies, send resumes, because when I started working this job, I had zero experience but I was confident in my knowledge. An agency reached out to me, and they did not bother that I do not have a perfect CV. I have done the job perfectly, and then we started an amazing collaboration with some huge projects. So, keep applying, you never know who is going to contact you

Regarding the free time, I would also recommend that you connect with some other colleagues. Taking part in this forum will help you connect with great and experienced people, and you can learn new things from them. Oh, yes, and as other colleagues have mentioned it, learn about marketing! It is something that is essential today in a business like this. Good luck!
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Sabrina Bruna
Sheila Wilson
 

Lauren Higgins
미국
Local time: 17:08
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Agreed May 7

Good point on expanding on my specializations; I'm still trying to nail one down. I'm not sure if it will end up being the thing I enjoy translating the most or just the most lucrative thing I fall into. Making sure I'm taken care of with regard to taxes/invoicing is essential too! I think I'd been giving more weight to marketing and not enough to the business/financial aspect.

 

Greatservice00
미국
Local time: 17:08
Member (2019)
French to English
+ ...
To anyone that can help May 10

Lauren Higgins wrote:

I'm a few months into my freelance career and don't have much on my resume yet. I've been in touch with an agency that does want to work with me, but their business has been disrupted by the current crisis, so they won't have projects for me until after things improve (whenever that may be). I'm not sure if I should keep applying to agencies with the resume I have now or wait until I've done work for this agency so I can look better on paper to potential clients. What do you think? Additionally, if I do take a break from applications for the time being, what other ways can I be investing my time to help my career, other than sharpening my translation skills? I'm aware we're living through a strange time and it might not make much difference if I set aside work entirely and curled up with a book. I'd just like to be more certain that I wouldn't be wasting valuable time. Thanks in advance for your feedback!


I received the advice to translate documents and used them as samples of my sills. I have been doing that but how to upload them and make them part of portfolio on Proz?


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:08
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
@Greatservice00 May 10

Look under 'Display standardized information' at top left, then Portfolio in the list on the left-sample translations submitted-and there you have it. And you will get two columns. Sorry, I can't get the screenshot to work for me to show you.

 

Becca Resnik  Identity Verified
미국
Local time: 18:08
Member
German to English
+ ...
Some good news for me May 10

Samuel Murray wrote:

Keep applying to agencies. If your résumé improves, you can re-apply to agencies that you contacted previously (no more than once per year). But while some agencies may evaluate you on the résumé, others will evaluate you by sending you a small job, or by the way you behave during the interaction with them, or by how good your ProZ.com profile page or web site looks. Make sure your résumé is *perfect* and that it sells all of your advantages.



Glad to hear that some will evaluate by sending a small job. I had had it on my to-do spreadsheet to make a website and get a professional domain for my email, but it was later on the list compared to applying to agencies. Long story short, I brought the former two much higher on my list and spent tireless hours over the last day and a half doing exactly that. So now all of my resumes with those agencies don't have my website or professional email address. You live and you learn, eh?


 


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