We posted a job on Proz.com the other day and it was sent to circa 5000 freelancers. Can you imagine how many bids we have received? You don’t want to know… What you want to know is how to make sure that your email gets noticed among hundreds of others. How to get pass HR department or junior PMs so that the actual project-manager looks at your profile?
TOP 5 MISTAKES FREELANCERS MAKE WHEN BIDDING FOR TRANSLATION JOB WITH TRANSLATION AGENCY
As a managing director of a translation agency LingvoHouse I offer you a FREE piece of advice on what to avoid when drafting a cover letter in a bid for translation project.
1. Failing to make use of the subject line of your bid
Example of bad subject line: “ENG + IT>FR Translator”….Give translation agency the information they are looking for even before they open your email. You will automatically increase the chance your email gets opened among others if you include the most important information, that is: what rate you propose and the volume you can handle/turnaround you can offer/number of words you could take – choose as appropriate.
2. Not making it project-manager friendly
Sometimes people send us lengthy emails with key information spread all over the email body. This is the biggest mistake that you can make. We have to screen hundreds of bids within a short time frame, there’s no time to read every single bid from beginning till the end if they are long. Only after the initial screening is made, the handpicked profiles will be studied thoroughly.
So if your bid is a mini-novel about your professional life, it will be extremely difficult for PM to find required information in it, and often your email will be closed right after the PM sees the length of it.
So what to do? To get your bid pass initial screening process, the best practice is to bring the most important data to the top, in form of highlights.
Example how you can start your email:
I translate from XXX to YYY, native in X or Y, able to handle….. words/meet deadline, charge ZZZ and my payment terms are … and I have ……degree and … years of experience. My Proz/LinkedIn profile …..
And only after that you can include a detailed description of your experience, tools you use, references and etc.
3. About Rates
Common mistakes include forgetting to mention currency of your rate, not mentioning rate at all, mentioning rate in the CV instead of the body of email – all of this makes it difficult for translation agency to figure out how much you charge and puts off looking at your profile further.
Common mistakes are sending the cover letter on some type of colored or textured background, in a picture or as attachment. This all makes it difficult to read. What if I get your email on blackberry? I cannot open the attachment and the graphics may not load properly. Most important information about yourself should be included in the body of email at the very top to make it easier for a PM to find it and read. And keep it brief!
5. Failing to personalize!
One mistake you can make is sending it to several agencies at once. If we see that it’s been cc’d to undisclosed recipients we will not even look at it. Why bother, if you didn’t bother to send a separate email. The more you personalize, the better your chances to get noticed. The other mistake – forgetting to run a spell-check for typos. If English is not your native language, get it looked at by an English friend!
Hope you found this post useful. If so, don’t forget to subscribe to get more tips and advice from us!