Job and freelance project hunting 101
What NOT to do!
I hadn’t planned on writing a blog post today, I’m putting the final touches on a workshop for next week.
But this exchange with a translator looking for work was the proverbial drop that made the proverbial bucket overflow.
On average, I receive over a dozen emails and CVs a week from translators offering their services.
Most of them go straight to the round file. A massive, undifferentiated and unpersonalized campaign does not get quality responses. Ones filled with spelling or grammatical errors get pitched too. And so on.
A few I respond to. To offer some advice to someone who shows promise and did their homework (i.e. they researched what I do and how they could fit in). Or to suggest they stop shooting themselves in the foot with absurdly low rates. One guy, a few months ago, nearly made me cry: he had a phenomenally solid expertise in engineering, yet concluded his email by announcing his rates were $0.10/word, negotiable. I told him to yank them up, to show his mojo, he never responded. Very sad.
There’s no big secret to job and freelance project hunting 101, right? If you are applying for a job, at least you say why XYZ company interests you and what you could do for it, right? RIGHT?
Apparently, common sense is not universal.
Here’s today’s exchange:
Email sent through my website contact form:
I would like to email you my CV, but what’s your email?
Contact forms help protect against spam and nasty things getting onto my server. I’ve found folks who really want to find my email address usually manage to do so in a few minutes on the Web
What specific aspect of the Quill’s work interests you?
I am looking for a position as a Freelance Translator, Proofreader and Project Coordinator.
If I may offer a small piece of advice….When the organization to which you want to send your CV (and presumably get hired by, or get work from) asks “what interests you specifically”…it’s wise to a) look at what they do and speak to that and b) show how your skills could add value and respond to their needs. First impressions, relevance and all that jazz.. “Looking for a position” I’m afraid won’t get you terribly far… in any industry.
Wishing you all the best,
First my job works well this way, but criticisms have to be constructive.
Do you have better advice???
I give up
Gave the person an open invitation to present themselves and grab my attention. I’d already, by taking time out to respond, accepted a dialog. That answer is just deplorable and unprofessional because it wasted my time.
Many freelancers and small businesses are open to expanding their network of colleagues and potential team members. Seize that chance with professionalism. Research what that person does before contacting them. See where the synergies may be. Show what value you can offer. And above all, respect their time and consider their responses.
Thanks for letting me vent, folks.
How do you deal with these things? How do you respond to unrequested requests of this type? What makes you answer, if you do?