Thursday, August 06, 2009

FAQ #1: On Hiring

I regularly get questions via email from readers of this blog, so it occurred to me that instead of me constantly writing individual responses to them, I could collate some of the regular questions and answers here. Therefore, I’ll write a series of FAQ posts.

First of all, I’ll start with the easiest answer: no, except in very particular circumstances, I am not hiring. When I do need someone’s help on a project, I have contacts that I work with. So while I appreciate all the cover letters and CVs you send me, I am sorry to say that nothing will come of them.

In general, you should do more research before approaching a potential employer. I get a lot of emails from people who work with Arabic, but if you would carefully study my website, you’d see that I never work with Arabic and thus have no jobs to offer in that area. The same goes for most other languages and for subject matters such as engineering or medicine. You should always review someone’s website and materials before wasting your time contacting someone who doesn’t have work for you.

Stay tuned for more FAQ!


Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner said...

Great idea to do FAQ's -- we wish we'd thought of that as well. Completely agree with you on hiring. We are also the lucky recipients of dozens of applications a week, regardless of the fact that we are not hiring, nor does it say on our site that we are hiring. We can't find it in our hearts not to answer, so we usually do. We like to give people kudos for trying, but there's no excuse for not doing your research. It's also disrespectful of professionals' time to approach them with something that's of no relevance (for instance, like the Arabic translator you mention). Sometimes, when we feel that the translator is really just starting out, we like to dispense some (unsolicited) advice, which they are usually grateful for, such as not writing "To whom it may concern." One should always approach a potential employer with their name, and ours are all over our website. That lack of attention to detail doesn't say good things about your attention to detail when it comes to translation.

B.J. Epstein said...

Yes, and one thing I have to add is the number of emails I get addressed to "Mr. Epstein." If someone bothered to do research and to look at my website, s/he would see a picture of me that reveals I am a "Ms." and not a "Mr." And if in doubt, I can be addressed as "Dr." Once again, pay attention and do research!

Best wishes,