Apr 5, 2014 01:19:34 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 06:38:14 PMbyBojana D
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.
Apr 5, 2014 07:09:56 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 06:38:15 PMbyStephen B
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...
Apr 5, 2014 08:49:02 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 06:38:17 PMbyHeather H
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.
Apr 6, 2014 05:10:21 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 06:38:20 PMbyBojana D
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.
Apr 6, 2014 06:03:32 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 06:38:21 PMbyMarcia M
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.
Jul 3, 2014 05:39:11 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 07:36:06 PMbyMartyn S
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.
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.