At what point is it no longer necessary to provide free writing samples as part of an application?
Harriet L. 10 posts - United States - Joined Nov 24 2008
I saw a quick article writing project here on oDesk which I feel qualified for.
However, the client wants a writing sample on the topic for which they are seeking articles. (For example, if client's project is five articles on hot dogs, he wants every applicant to provide a free article on hot dogs as part of the application).
So I looked at the client - they are new to oDesk, having just joined today.
They have no history - this is the first contract they have posted.
They have not verified their payment method.
To me, these are red flags; I suspect that the client may possibly just want five articles, will receive them for free from applicants, and then will never hire anyone - but will use the free articles they received. Of course, I can't prove this.
So I applied for the project, but indicated I would not provide a free article on their topic as part of the application. Instead, I referred them to the 200+ articles I have already published on Yahoo and gave them a link to my Yahoo writer profile. I also have several articles linked to my profile here on oDesk as part of my portfolio.
The client then wrote back to me, saying that I look interesting but that I can't follow instructions and they will give me another chance to figure out what is missing from my application and correct it.
The only item missing is the free article they want.
I decided to respond as follows:
If you are referring to this:
"send me a sample of your work it must be pass the copyscape test the topic is about ''SEA FOODS'' 100 to 150 words "
Then sorry, no. I am CHOOSING to NOT provide you with a free article so that you can take it for your use. I was burnt before by other potential employers, who required a free writing sample - then they never hired anyone at all, as they had enough free articles from the naive applicants.
I'm not making that mistake again. You have NO history on oDesk AND your payment method is not verified; whereas I do have a history as a freelancer both on oDesk as well as Yahoo.
If you look at any of the 200+ articles that I have published, you should be able to determine if I write well enough for you. If you can't determine my writing ability from that, or from the oDesk test results which are also available to you, then I don't see why writing another piece would make any difference.
You may either continue to interview me without expecting me to provide free work to you, or you may decline my application."
Was my response reasonable? I feel that I have enough of published work that anyone who might be interested in hiring me as an article writer ought to be able to determine if the level of my writing meets their requirements.
How do other contractors handle this issue?
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