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Jobs without cover letter field?

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Active Member
Greten Vicke E Member Since: Nov 27, 2008
1 of 10
I am not sure if this is a bug, or if it's a new feature wherein a client can disable the cover letter text area. This job has no text field for cover letters, but provided two fields for nonsense "HR-ish" questions: https://www.odesk.com/jobs/WORDPRESS-designers-NEEDED_~0189321102372808d4?search_result=1
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Community Guru
Bojana D Member Since: May 2, 2011
2 of 10
It's a feature and it's been around for some time now. Clients have the option to disable the cover letter completely and ask job specific questions instead. Unfortunately, in a lot of jobs we see what you perfectly described - HR-ish non-job-related redundancy.
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Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
3 of 10
The main reason I presume for this feature is for a client to ask specific questions rather than just ask for a generic cover letter...so far, so good. And then they give a few template questions that clients can ask....which a lot of freelancers (myself included) find irritating and irrelevant. I presume there is an option to clients to ask their own customised questions (which would make perfect sense and be better than a generic cover letter)... I'm not a client so I don't know what the client interface looks like.... but as a freelancer all I can say is that I've had many applications with the new-type questions.... but I don't recall ever having been asked one single customised question, as opposed to ones pulled off the silly-list. Input from a client(s) as to what they see and what their options are would be interesting...
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Heather H Member Since: May 9, 2011
4 of 10
I hate is as a contractor, since most clients dont bother to write custom questions. As a client here, I am so happy to get rid of the cover letter option, it has reduced the amount of spam applications to almost 2% on my projects. I get better quality applicants, but I can honestly say that it is because I craft my own questions, usually only 3, that will get me the specific answers I need that relate the project. I NEVER use thos generic questions.
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Bojana D Member Since: May 2, 2011
5 of 10
If all clients did what you do with the feature, I'd welcome it as well - as a freelancer I prefer to answer job specific questions than to write a cover letter. I try to do that anyway, in the CL whenever possible. And if the questions were well targeted, it'll make the entire process much easier. Unfortunately I fail to see how "What makes you think you're the right person for the job" is any different than what we're doing in the CL.
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Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
6 of 10
I have only seen one job post where the questions were specific to the job. Unfortunately, the questions were so specific - they asked for specific examples of experience in disparate fields that required a high level of skill - that I think only about 7 freelancers, including me, applied. I don't think anyone was ever hired. There must be a happy medium.
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Martyn S Member Since: Mar 5, 2008
7 of 10
Have to agree - that one just caught me out. The job post asked for specific experience in a field, but asked two irrelevant questions and gave no opportunity for me to include relevant qualifications and experience. Hopefully, the client will expand on things if I am fortunate enough to be invited to interview. I can understand that clients want to reduce the number of cut-and-paste spam applications, but removing the cover letter option completely means that it is very difficult for a freelancer to propose exactly what they can do for the client. Some of us do craft individual letters tailored to a specific proposal! Difficult to find a balance, I guess. Smiley Happy
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Greten Vicke E Member Since: Nov 27, 2008
8 of 10
Thank you for the replies. I haven't been using ODesk for more than a year now. I didn't know clients can now remove the cover letter question. @Heather: in a perfect world all clients would probably be like you.
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Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
9 of 10
I agree - if only they all did it Heather's way. BTW, re my above post, it was an oDesk robot that put in the annoying emoticon, not me...
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Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
10 of 10
The whole Q&A thing included with job descriptions just drives up the time it takes to create applications....
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