Back to oDesk.com » Love the way you work.

Welcome to the oDesk Community! Connect here with fellow clients, contractors, and oDesk staff. Please review our Usage Policy.

New Buyer Feature: More Detailed Candidates Queue

We are introducing a new, more detailed version of the buyer candidates queue. We've made it easier for buyers to manage the candidates in each active opening. Specifically, the more interactive view will allow buyers to:

  • Scan candidates' key qualifications and cover letters
  • Filter out candidates that do not meet the preferred qualifications for the opening
  • Quickly grant interviews to quality candidates without navigating away from the queue
  • Quickly reject candidates without navigating away from the queue

Note that this view is still in beta and we would very much like to solicit your feedback on the new functionalities as well as suggestions for improvements. Please post your comments below.

(For now, you can click on the "standard view" to access the original candidacy queue UI.)

Update (11/20/08):

Thank you everyone for the feedback! The over-used, one-click "reject as spam" button has been removed from the candidates queue. Spam applications remain a serious issue for buyers (though the users who send them would be unlikely to be active on the forum). When buyers click reject, here's what they see now:

Vote Result

+++++-----
Score: 5.4, Votes: 8
One Question/Comment

Nice to see a more comprehensive system.  The only real concern I have is the possibility of people getting hit with a 'spam' flag without there really having been a person who was 'spamming'.  Is there a process where if the application is flagged as spam that the provider has a way to 'dispute' that or it's investigated by oDesk to prevent abuse? Doreen

It happened to me...

Doreen Martel wrote:

Nice to see a more comprehensive system.  The only real concern I have is the possibility of people getting hit with a 'spam' flag without there really having been a person who was 'spamming'.  Is there a process where if the application is flagged as spam that the provider has a way to 'dispute' that or it's investigated by oDesk to prevent abuse? Doreen

Hi,

I'm concerned about it too. Doreen, thank you for starting this discussion.

Today I was rejected in a job opening, the reason being "spam application - null". It was a job opening posted 3 weeks back. I applied on the same day, got an "interview invitation" email within a few hours of applying and contacted that buyer immediately about my availability for the interview. Now after three weeks, my application became a spam!

How can an application that was considered as genuine three weeks back become a spam application now?

I agree it happens very rarely now. However what happens if this becomes a routine in the future. Any dispute policy in the future?

Pothi.

Pothi

same here...

"Quickly reject (or mark as spam) obvious misfit candidates without navigating away from the queue"

-- i have a job application that was also rejected today for the same reason. i find this very unfair because all my applications were genuine and to be branded as a misfit candidate when you are certainly not is definitely very alarming... i hope that there is something that odesk can do with this issue.

This just happened to me too

This was a first for me, and I too find it alarming.

My application was genuine, my cover letter specifically written and geared towards the particular job with an explanation of why I fit the qualifications (which I did).

Certainly there should have been another reason for rejection, perhaps my bid was too high, or they chose another provider, those are legitimate rejections -- "Spam application - null" is downright insulting and degrading.

spam application - nulll??????

My application also was rejected.  I am new to odesk and not getting any response on jobs....After receiving this alarming email... my application was rejected because of spam....I don't feel I have the confidence any longer to keep applying for jobs through this workboard.

spam application -null

I'm also pretty new, and was also rejected for this reason. In my case, the job was advertised as simply finishing 1 HTML web page that the  buyer didn't have time to finish. I was granted an interview, and the buyer wanted me to finish it for free, and he would pay me do do more if it ranked well in Google. I lowered my bid some, but then he rejected me as spam. He is free to choose another, cheaper provider or one who already took the SEO test. But since he reported me as spam, I wish there was some way to report him for a bait and switch job posting. Meanwhile, I wish the new system would not allow people who were selected for an interview to be switched to spam.

I m Not OK with the new system!

Lennie M. wrote:

"Quickly reject (or mark as spam) obvious misfit candidates without navigating away from the queue"

-- i have a job application that was also rejected today for the same reason. i find this very unfair because all my applications were genuine and to be branded as a misfit candidate when you are certainly not is definitely very alarming... i hope that there is something that odesk can do with this issue.

 

I agree with you , and i don't approve the new system , it's unfair and dont let the new provider to grow and don't even give them a chance.

Smiley

same here

same here...

N.A.

N.A.

Hi

Vishal Simon wrote:

N.A.

Reply

Reply comment

I have the same issue. This

I have the same issue. This morning I was invited to interview for a position, but I never actually applied to the job. Just minutes ago I came onto oDesk and saw that the buyer ended my candidacy with the "spam application - null" reasoning. Again I never even applied to this job. Could this hurt my reputation on oDesk even though I didn't do anything wrong?

I was actually wondering how

I was actually wondering how long it would take for that to happen.  All of my current candidacies have been initiated by the buyer, and I half-expected it to happen to me sooner or later.  It hasn't happened to me yet...but it looks like buyers are doing it already.  Wow.  Just...wow...

- Danalyn


Before you complain about rates, read all 4 parts of the oDesk Insider Blog's Make More Money series.

- Danalyn

Misfit or Spam Application

Jacqueline Pittenger wrote:

We are introducing a new, more detailed version of the buyer candidates queue. We've made it easier for buyers to manage the candidates in each active opening. Specifically, the more interactive view will allow buyers to:

  • Scan candidates' key qualifications and cover letters
  • Filter out candidates that do not meet the preferred qualifications for the opening
  • Quickly grant interviews to quality candidates without navigating away from the queue
  • Quickly reject (or mark as spam) obvious misfit candidates without navigating away from the queue

I understand and appreciate the functionality and importance of the first three features but I have great concerns about the fourth.

First, if Providers are registered with oDesk, and have their profile published for all to see, would Providers risk being labeled "misfit" or "spam application-null?" I am here to get hired and certainly not to waste anyone's time by spamming, as are other Providers.

Second, the terms "misfit" and "spam application-null' are unnecessarily harsh terms, easily replaceable with ones that give neutral connotations. These terms essentially mean that the Providers are not worth considering for any job. Even if other Buyers can not see the reason for rejection (I don't know if Buyers can see it on the Provider's profile) the fact that Providers receive it, when their intentions for applying are sincere, is discouraging and infuriating. If the person is not qualified, why not simply say "chose another provider" because Buyers would definitely choose another if a Provider does not meet the requirements.

Third, doesn't the second function answer this issue already, without having to label people?

 Sorry for the long comment.Smiley

 Lee

agree...

I agree with you Lee, the second function should filter out unqualified candidates, no need to brand these providers as "spammers"

Also agree

You made good points Lee and I agree 100% as well.

DM 

Why Not Modify the Functionality?

Spam, in the context of the Web, started as a term to describe unsolicited e-mail.

Now, the term finds its way to oDesk. What is it supposed to mean this time: unsolicited application? If the answer is "yes", then perhaps the staff should consider using another term.

It's absurd to think that an application can be rejected for the reason that it is unsolicited. oDesk is a marketplace of buyers and providers. Buyers solicit providers, and providers respond by applying.

Allowing a buyer to brand an application as 'Spam' is almost like allowing one to say that the provider who sent it is not oDesk ready. It's not the case, and we all know that.

Okay, if the use of 'Spam' has to stay for whatever reason, then one good thing to do might be to present a scrollable menu of reasons to choose from when a buyer clicks the Spam button. For example, this dialog:

You've chosen to reject this application as spam. Please check the reason(Drunk:

[  ] Obvious mismatch between applicant's qualifications and your requirements
[  ] Recycled cover letter from:
     (Please enter source)________________
[  ] Other (Please specify):______________

By clicking the submit button you also declare that you have thoroughly reviewed the applicant's profile.
        
[Cancel]  [Submit] 
       
(Make 'Cancel' the default button for those in unreasonable hurry.)

If the term 'Spam' can be dispensed with, why not replace it with something like 'Deferred', then present the menu of reasons to choose from: 

[  ] Zero oDesk hours in profile
[  ] No comments from other buyers in profile
[  ] Hourly rate too high
[  ] (Whatever!)

Reading the comments on this forum is a good learning experience for an oDesk "newbie" like me, and I'm so grateful to all the contributors. Smile
 

Rejected for spamming

Originally I posted this in a new thread but it was suggested that I post it here. 

--------------------------------------------------------------

I am new to oDesk and have done one project which I got a couple of days after I joined.  But I do have a question for some of the vetrans out there. 

Do you pay much attention to the reasons why you were rejected from a job?

I just got rejected from a social networking project; and the reason was 'Spam Application - null'.  I have been rejected from 23 jobs so far, no biggie as I do freelance work through a number of sources.  But I found myself mildly irratated by this buyers reason.  I guess, it is because I do read each description and take care to tailor each application I make.  I just feel like the buyer could have taken the time to give me a real reason.  For example, I was rejected from one of my first applications because of a typo; that is great criticism because it told me I needed to pay more attention to detail with my applications.  But spamming?  I guess I was just offended.

Actually, I feel better about it now that I have had my vent.  Thanks for listening!

I am also offended by that

I am also offended by that spam remark myself.  I prefer a a remarks such as "not suitable" 

Another Comment

 

I have only been here a little over a week and although I have tested rather decently and have a respectable resume and portfolio, I get absolutely No responses to any of my applications.  Now, I guess I see why... In addition to being unfortunate enough to live in a country with a cost of living, I have to magically earn hours to get seen so that I can get hired for my first odesk project.

I just wanted to make sure that I have this right, because I don't recall reading this in the help.  The preferred qualifications--

So without even knowing it, I have been applying for jobs that buyers will probably never see my candidacy because I specifically don't have the feedback or oDesk hours they have listed as preferred?  And thus wasting my application quota as well as my time? ---Good to find out before I waste any more time.

So since like 90% of all jobs require for some inane reason "preferred at least 100 oDesk hours" it doesn't matter how closely I match their other requirements, I don't even get seen by the buyer?

And I thought it was disturbing enough to have a valid application that I spent 20 minutes writing, marked as spam-null.  I really don't see the point of even trying to make this work with oDesk-how can I ever land a job if no one will even look at my candidacy just because I'm new.

Please don't say, start with the small jobs.  In a week I don't think I've seen maybe 10 jobs that didn't ask for a 100 hours here.  Seems kinda skewed --I guess if I don't have at least 100 hrs, I should just go home.  Oops, allready there.

*I wish to apologize for any ugly tone, but its late and I just completed about 6 applications, that will apparently never be viewed. And my family really likes to eat and working makes that easier.

And why is it that I get no notification that they have thrown away my candidacy because I didn't meet preferred qualifications, like I do when they hire or close the job?

 

 

 

Please don't give up

Hi Danielle,

I've been here since April and I want to let you know that I, like you, spend great time on the following:

A) Looking through and examining the job postings from every angle -- am I a fit, does it interest me, can I meet the deadline, will my bid be too high (what do they normally pay -- if it's low, I wouldn't bother, why waste either of our time?), what are the buyer's ratings,  what other kinds of jobs do they post and how do they treat their providers, the list goes on...and it's time consuming because I would NEVER in a million years want to waste someone else's time nor my own.

B) Making sure I'm a match for what the JOB ITSELF entails -- again, why would I waste anyone's time, mine (in my mind) as important as the buyers.  I read the post through with a fine tooth comb, if there's a web site to visit, I study it, if there's an attachment, again, I study it.  I spend a lot of time making sure this buyer knows that I didn't just throw an application in there.  I really want the job, here's what you want and need, here's why I can meet or exceed that...

C) We are only allowed so many applicants a week.  I never even come near filling my quota, because I'm choosy (for both me and the buyer), so there is absolutely NO way I would ever consider a cover letter and application I've posted to be spam. 

I have quite a few jobs going on, great feedback, awesome relationships with my buyers, and believe me, I love it here, oDesk is great, in many many ways  -- but I truly think that oDesk really needs to look at this new "spam -null" option they've added.  

Has anyone from oDesk read the amount of issues providers are running into with this?  And do they really want to risk losing any and all new prospects with this new tool?

I believe the buyers are using this as an "easy" out.  The job I applied for was for an InDesign project and I needed to have passed the InDesign CS3 test.  My score is top of all time, and not only do I have that score to prove it, I also have great feedback and jobs to back up that standing. 

Yet my application was rejected as "spam - null".  I looked at the job posting after this happened.  The buyer hired someone at half my rate.  Not a big deal, that's their perogative, it happens often --but the reason for rejection should have matched --either rate too high or chose another applicant -- not just a quick hit of a "spam" button. 

My question is how does that effect our standings with oDesk?  Are we now seen as spammers (somewhere within our internal oDesk profile)?  Do we have the option of defending our applications against such a derogative and negative "flag"? 

I guess that one thing that bothers me is that I spend so much time in writing my application and all the matching above that a buyer couldn't just give me the same in return, even if it was just a legitimate reason for rejection.

It took me a little while to start finding work but I didn't give up and I'm doing great -- I'd hate to think that because of oDesk's newly added buyer's application option there aren't more success stories in the future.

I wish you the best Danielle, I hope oDesk will listen to these posts and do something, and I really hope you'll stick around and do well.

Kind Regards,

Val 

 

I would suspect

Danielle Darling wrote:

 I have only been here a little over a week and although I have tested rather decently and have a respectable resume and portfolio, I get absolutely No responses to any of my applications.  Now, I guess I see why... In addition to being unfortunate enough to live in a country with a cost of living, I have to magically earn hours to get seen so that I can get hired for my first odesk project.

I just wanted to make sure that I have this right, because I don't recall reading this in the help.  The preferred qualifications--

So without even knowing it, I have been applying for jobs that buyers will probably never see my candidacy because I specifically don't have the feedback or oDesk hours they have listed as preferred?  And thus wasting my application quota as well as my time? ---Good to find out before I waste any more time.

So since like 90% of all jobs require for some inane reason "preferred at least 100 oDesk hours" it doesn't matter how closely I match their other requirements, I don't even get seen by the buyer?

And I thought it was disturbing enough to have a valid application that I spent 20 minutes writing, marked as spam-null.  I really don't see the point of even trying to make this work with oDesk-how can I ever land a job if no one will even look at my candidacy just because I'm new.

Please don't say, start with the small jobs.  In a week I don't think I've seen maybe 10 jobs that didn't ask for a 100 hours here.  Seems kinda skewed --I guess if I don't have at least 100 hrs, I should just go home.  Oops, allready there.

*I wish to apologize for any ugly tone, but its late and I just completed about 6 applications, that will apparently never be viewed. And my family really likes to eat and working makes that easier.

And why is it that I get no notification that they have thrown away my candidacy because I didn't meet preferred qualifications, like I do when they hire or close the job?

 

Darlene, one of the problems unfortunately is probably your rate since it's nearly 2X's higher than even most experienced providers.  As far as notification of candidacy - if the buyer closes a job you are notified by oDesk.

Doreen

Rate

I appreciate you honesty, but I am curious...

I have been in the building construction industry for years and I believe that I have a decent handle on how bidding processes usually work (at least there).

I set my advertised rate based on other providers in my part of the world who have similar qualifications.  I also have not bid one single job at that rate - most far less than half.  When I apply for a job, I look at the average bid and set mine within a dollar or two of that (based on how my qualifications stack up against other applicants).  I know that you must be competitive or you will never land a job-regardless of how good you are at anything.

So is that it partly...because I am willing to work so far below my set rate?  I don't expect to hit on anything right away, but I do see a lot of providers here with 0 jobs through oDesk.  And I noticed that one of the top ranking providers has a rate of $25-30 per hour and they have logged over 2000 hrs here, so not everyone is trying to get work done for unskilled labor rates.

Thanks for your help.

Danielle

Maybe I misread

Danielle Darling wrote:

I appreciate you honesty, but I am curious...

I have been in the building construction industry for years and I believe that I have a decent handle on how bidding processes usually work (at least there).

I set my advertised rate based on other providers in my part of the world who have similar qualifications.  I also have not bid one single job at that rate - most far less than half.  When I apply for a job, I look at the average bid and set mine within a dollar or two of that (based on how my qualifications stack up against other applicants).  I know that you must be competitive or you will never land a job-regardless of how good you are at anything.

So is that it partly...because I am willing to work so far below my set rate?  I don't expect to hit on anything right away, but I do see a lot of providers here with 0 jobs through oDesk.  And I noticed that one of the top ranking providers has a rate of $25-30 per hour and they have logged over 2000 hrs here, so not everyone is trying to get work done for unskilled labor rates.

Thanks for your help.

Danielle

Danielle, maybe I misread your rate - my current rate is in the mid-20's per hour and I have no problem getting work. I have never had a problem getting work once I got myself established, but getting established I did take some fixed rate jobs to get feedback (I seldom take them these days).  I also did take some jobs at substantially lower rate than I am getting now and if you look at my profile I do still have assignments active that are not paying me that much.  Frankly, I would be cautious about setting my profile rate that much higher below the rates I'm bidding on as it could look weird to buyers (and being a buyer it would raise my 'radar'). 

I think you'll do fine! It does take some time to get yourself established but once you do it's easy to continue to get work!

You say you've set your profile rate based on similar profiles but I'm not sure how you could have established that since your 'title' veers off into a variety of skills that range from writing content to designing graphics - you might want to consider narrowing that down to one or the other.  Also, I don't know how you got that 'average' rate because if you look in oConomy your $50 is way outside of the 'average' rates here.

Doreen

Thanks for your Help!

I want to say thanks very much for both your and Val's  supportive comments and help Smile

I certainly don't see what it could hurt to lower my rate, its not like I'm bidding it.  And I had been thinking about the title myself - I think you've tipped my decision.
 

Danielle 

 

Bottom line

Danielle Darling wrote:

I want to say thanks very much for both your and Val's  supportive comments and help Smile

I certainly don't see what it could hurt to lower my rate, its not like I'm bidding it.  And I had been thinking about the title myself - I think you've tipped my decision.
 

Danielle

Danielle, I think sometimes it's easy for us to forget that one of the benefits of oDesk community is it allows us to support each other. I often lose sight of that myself and tend to get a little flip without meaning to :)  But I hope this has been helpful.  You'll do fine you've got a great resume. You might also want to consider adding some portfolio items which will also 'boost' your credentials Smile

Doreen

Doreen said it best...

Danielle,

I think that you'll find that this is what makes oDesk such a great community, that is, a lot of support and a lot of guidance.

If not for that I think we'd all have a problem getting off to a good start.

Kudos to Doreen, who, in my opinion, unselfishly spends a great deal of her time helping and guiding along new providers.  Because of people like her, most providers have an opportunity (if they take the time to read her good advice) to get off to a great start, and keep on going.  So thanks Doreen and good luck Danielle! 

Smile

Another comment

Danielle,

I hear you!!  It took me several months to even get my first invitation to an interview, much less get hired.  It is very frustrating and it's hard to offer help but I do have a few words for you - don't know how wise but I have had about 10 jobs in just 6 months so I can say that oDesk does work.  I was also irritated by the "gotta have experience to get experience" thing but I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going all out.  I started being very aggressive in my cover letters, using opening statements like "I am perfect for this position," "I am definitely the right person for your project," and "I am a great ---whatever I'm applying for---".  Almost immediately, I began to get interviews AND jobs.  So, my best advice is don't be shy - don't be coy - tell it like it is - you're good at what they want, you love doing what they want, you are a good fit.  And then take each skill or qualification or job they want and find something in your experience or skill tool kit to speak to it, no matter how small it is.  I began to look up stuff people were asking for that I wasn't familiar with like Visio (a new program in Microsoft Suite 2007) and I played with it until I could put together the sample the buyer asked for.  I didn't get the job but I learned a new skill.  I also put together a portfolio of my best projects - not the whole thing but pieces of different projects - and I have a few really good specific things, like an Excel spreadsheet that I'm particularly proud of, etc.  Last thing - don't give up!  I have made more than I dreamed I would in just 6 months and although it's a side job for me, it helps pay the bills and, most importantly, it allows me to buy things for my grandchildren and do things with them I couldn't do before.  Keep plugging!!

I am not a spammer!

I felt extremely bad receiving a "Spam application - null" reason for being rejected from a buyer yesterday. I am not a spammer, I have never been! I don't have time to spam...

I have been working with oDesk since 04/03/07, have 1657 hours worked, a 4.96 feedback score out of 44 feedback's and awesome comments from most of the buyers I have worked with.

I spent months without applying for any job opening because, besides being quite busy working on several ongoing jobs, I use to be invited by buyers for new jobs frequently.

Yesterday I applyed for that job opening and, hours later, received that "Spam application - null" response as an offense. I would really like there was a way to dispute that on oDesk, as was suggested by the provider Doreen Martel.

I am also concerned about the possibility of a "spammer" classification being seen by other buyers. How does that work?

I have always loved working with oDesk, as I stayed on my own websites. However, currently I feel totaly disencouraged to apply for any job opening. I hope oDesk will listen to the providers and remove that "Spam application - null" option as soon as possible...

Thank you!

Cecilia Santos

Here's the thing

I've seen a couple of folks respond to my comment about 'disputing' the spam flag.

Now with that said - I don't know if I made this clear in my first comment but I do understand why it's being done.    As a buyer you get sometimes 50 to 100 applicants for jobs and some of them it's crystal clear that they're spamming - unfortunately not everyone takes the application process seriously.

For those who are getting the 'spam' flag don't fret - my guess is that you've got buyers who are just using 'the most convenient'. 

I don't normally spend a lot of time applying for new jobs because I have a pretty good base of regular customers. Because of the current economic downturn, I've lost some of my hours so the last couple of weeks I've spent a great deal of time putting in new applications. I think in total I have put in 10. I was hired for one - and of the remaining 9 I have had two 'candidacy ended' emails and both  of them were 'filled from alternate source'.  Don't get discouraged with the 'spam' flag - here's another thought - if you feel you're getting 'too many' spam flags and you know you're not 'spamming' might I suggest that you perhaps create a file of your cover letters that are getting the 'spam' flag and matching them up with the job number? I know that this is extra work on the application side but frankly, it sounds to me from some of the comments I've seen that some buyers are using this as an 'easy out' and this might just involve buyer education Smile

BTW: I also noticed that someone in an earlier post mentioned that they were not being informed if a buyer had filled a job - if the buyer filled it and closed it you would be notified. Sometimes buyers hire someone but leave the job open for 'future' work, or to preserve the names of the applicants so they can tap into them later.

Doreen

I just don't get it!

Good Day,

I am new to ODesk, but have read all the tutorials, taken several tests, filled out my profile and many other things that make for a good presentation to buyers.

I carefully read each job description to be positive that I am qualified and can provide quality work. I applied to a job, geared my cover letter toward that position and that particular job. I have gone back to look at my cover letter; trying to understand how this can be considered Spam. It does not look this way to me. I specified my qualifications, I specified that I have the tools required to complete this job, also that I do have many years experience.

I received a response from the buyer stating that I had not been chosen for this job and the reason is ‘Spam application - null‘.

I just do not get it!

Obviously I can not contact this buyer to ask them what made my cover letter / application seem like Spam. I have read, in the rules of Odesk, that I can not post this cover letter for you to see and help me to understand what makes it look like Spam.

I am not here to Spam anyone! I am here to provide quality work to people who need jobs completed. I am not trying to get rich either, just make a living.

What can I do?

Teamwork only works if you work it!

spam

Thanks for a great thread, everyone. It appears we may have an issue and I'd like to discuss.

First of all, "null" is a bug.

Second, let's look at why we put this option in. As Doreen said, many buyers get 50 or 100 applicants, many of which are form-letters from providers (or reps from provider companies) who didn't read the job description thoroughly. The "mark as spam" feature is designed to do three things: (1) provide an easy way for buyers to remove these applicants from their candidate list, and (2) give providers feedback that their applications are being perceived as spam, and (3) over time, learning about "spam rates", to give us data on which providers send higher and lower quality applications.

What I am hearing from you is:

- Some buyers may be abusing the feature out of convenience
- The word "spam" is quite harsh for providers, and especially discouraging for new providers

Given our goals, what do you suggest? One possibility is to eliminate the reason, and then map certain reasons ("did not read the job description" or "form letter") as "negative". Thoughts?

Michael

Hi  i think provider

Hi

 i think provider wouldn't need to be confirmed that one is rejected immediately

and the provider's application should still remain in the queue but invisible (or inactive, to aid the buyer's selection)

without explicitly being deleted and marked as spam. just in case the buyer's mouse button is slipped and mark the wrong provider.

I understand

Michael L. wrote:

Thanks for a great thread, everyone. It appears we may have an issue and I'd like to discuss.

First of all, "null" is a bug.

Second, let's look at why we put this option in. As Doreen said, many buyers get 50 or 100 applicants, many of which are form-letters from providers (or reps from provider companies) who didn't read the job description thoroughly. The "mark as spam" feature is designed to do three things: (1) provide an easy way for buyers to remove these applicants from their candidate list, and (2) give providers feedback that their applications are being perceived as spam, and (3) over time, learning about "spam rates", to give us data on which providers send higher and lower quality applications.

What I am hearing from you is:

- Some buyers may be abusing the feature out of convenience
- The word "spam" is quite harsh for providers, and especially discouraging for new providers

Given our goals, what do you suggest? One possibility is to eliminate the reason, and then map certain reasons ("did not read the job description" or "form letter") as "negative". Thoughts?

Michael

Michael, I fully understand that providers are concerned about the negative connotation of spam but personally I think the option is a good one - *IF* it's used properly. Some of this sounds like it's more an issue of buyers not being educated and some of it may be more a matter of letting them know *how* it should be used (not all buyers are going to read the instructions).  

I personally think it might not be a bad thing to leave it there and if it's being tracked perhaps a 'friendly' email to those buyers who may be abusing it advising them of how it is 'supposed' to be used will cut down on that for the time being.

I am of course assuming (and I don't know but you can help clear it up) that there is no flag on the providers account that says he/she has been 'flagged' with spam applications.

Doreen

As a buyer, I agree that the

As a buyer, I agree that the "spam" flag is definitely a great feature.  I, personally, use it in extreme circumstances (for instance, I received an application that copied/pasted their profile objective into the cover letter verbatim, and 3 applicants using the exact same cover letters...those were marked as spam by me).  But I think the recent trend is happening simply because it's quicker for a buyer to reject candidates this way.  I posted a job last month that received 60 applications within the first 24 hours...I had to make that job private and sort through the applications for 2 days.

As a provider, however, I'm not sure I like the convenient accessibility of the spam option.  Yes, I understand that when spam applications come through, it's nice to be able to flag and reject it as such...but let's face it: people are lazy.  Abuse of the option is imminent if it's right there and so easy to get to.  Granted, I haven't had a cover letter rejected as spam yet (mostly due to the fact that I haven't initiated any applications since the new feature)...but I expect that I'll probably get flagged eventually.

That is just a downer that I'll have to learn to live with...although, if it happens too frequently, I'd like to think I'll be able to go to support to have them read my cover letters (which I will be screenshotting from now on) to prove that it wasn't spam to prevent having my account disabled.

- Danalyn


Before you complain about rates, read all 4 parts of the oDesk Insider Blog's Make More Money series.

- Danalyn

"which I will be screenshotting from now on"

Danalyn West wrote:

As a buyer, I agree that the "spam" flag is definitely a great feature.  I, personally, use it in extreme circumstances (for instance, I received an application that copied/pasted their profile objective into the cover letter verbatim, and 3 applicants using the exact same cover letters...those were marked as spam by me).  But I think the recent trend is happening simply because it's quicker for a buyer to reject candidates this way.  I posted a job last month that received 60 applications within the first 24 hours...I had to make that job private and sort through the applications for 2 days.

As a provider, however, I'm not sure I like the convenient accessibility of the spam option.  Yes, I understand that when spam applications come through, it's nice to be able to flag and reject it as such...but let's face it: people are lazy.  Abuse of the option is imminent if it's right there and so easy to get to.  Granted, I haven't had a cover letter rejected as spam yet (mostly due to the fact that I haven't initiated any applications since the new feature)...but I expect that I'll probably get flagged eventually.

That is just a downer that I'll have to learn to live with...although, if it happens too frequently, I'd like to think I'll be able to go to support to have them read my cover letters (which I will be screenshotting from now on) to prove that it wasn't spam to prevent having my account disabled.

- Danalyn


Before you complain about rates, read all 4 parts of the oDesk Insider Blog's Make More Money series.

Good Day Blog Studios,

I am new here, but I do see where the cover letters are saved in your ‘My Candidacies’ section. When you look at the jobs you have applied for, look across the grid to the Info column. There you will see Job Description and below Cover Letter.

Hover over either and a pop up shows you what was written. Click on either and you will be taken to the page these things are on.

Your cover letters are already saved, even if you are declined for a job.

Teamwork only works if you work it!

Alternatives to "spam" option

Perhaps have a breakdown list for spam options that the buyer would pick from.
Such as:
1. Did not read details of job
2. Copied cover letter from other jobs
3. Not qualified / cover letter inadequate

Things like. Allow the providors to have a bit more of a "detailed" reason.

I also recommend giving providers the option to submit at least ONE reply to the rejection to either convince the buyer to reconsider or to counter the rejection reason with a clarification. If the buyer wants, they can reply and give the provider the choice to give one more reply again (or not).

Michael Miller

There are already reasons

There are already reasons available to the buyer (i.e. bid too high, chose another provider, etc) as well as an option for the buyer to write in their own reason for rejection (which I use frequently).  However, the problem most providers are being hit with now is that the *new* reject as spam option (which is not new, just easier to access) is the quickest way to reject providers - people are lazy, and when they have 60 applications to sort through it gets abused.

- Danalyn


Before you complain about rates, read all 4 parts of the oDesk Insider Blog's Make More Money series.

- Danalyn

oDesk should not be making excuses for buyers' bad behavior

Michael L. wrote:

- Some buyers may be abusing the feature out of convenience
- The word "spam" is quite harsh for providers, and especially discouraging for new providers

 You forgot to add insulting and disrespectful to those of us who are not new providers and who have always written custom cover letters. This buyer took the time to invite me, write a custom note, and I responded with a custom cover letter, and he doesn't even have the decency to take the time to give me a custom rejection and instead gives an inappropriate one.

I think you need to penalize these buyers. It may be easier to click the spam button but  just because someone can do something doesn't make it right or acceptable. The buyer still has the option to choose an appropriate reason. I mean, if you see a car with the keys left in ignition and no one around, do you just jump in and take it to wherever you are going instead of riding the bus? Of course not. It's the same thing. I don't care if it convenient or not, it's abusive.

To answer of few questions

To answer of few questions from those who have had their cover letters marked as spam:

  • Buyers cannot see that you've previously had applications rejected as spam. Your profile is not being flagged on the site in any way.
  • The support staff can see you've been rejected as spam in the back-end database. A user with a high percentage of spam applications may contacted, or possibly, in the future, have disciplinary action taken.
  • A study is being done to see whether buyers are tending to flag applications as spam inappropriately, now that it's so easy to do.

What an you do so that buyer's don't think your application is spam?

  • Write a cover letter that is unique the to job post. Read it over and ask yourself a couple of questions:
    1. "Could I submit this same letter for another job?" If the answer is yes, then you're probably going to be marked as a spam application.
    2. "Do I have the qualifications this buyer is asking for, and have I proved it in my profile and cover letter?" If the answer is no, then you're probably going to be marked as a spam application.
  • Follow the rest of our suggestions for writing a killer cover letter.

Jacqui Pittenger :: Forum Moderator
Need help? Visit the Help Center - http://www.odesk.com/help :: Are you oDesk Ready? Take the ORT today!

This is insulting

I was invited to apply for a job a few days ago by the buyer. In my custom cover letter, I not only addressed the requirements in the general job description, but also the more specific things raised by the buyer in his personal message sent to me with the invite to apply. I have now received a rejection message with it marked as Spam. This is offensive and insulting. You need to not only keep track of those of us who are (wrongly) marked as Spammers but the abusive buyers who are doing this.

New providor

I am disturbed by this, in part, due to the fact that I don't know if I was mistakenly marked as spam or because I'm a brand new provider in the ENTIRE world of freelancing (hence, I have no ratings to prove I could likely do the job). While I see the benefits for the buyers, this seems to be of little help to the providers who may not understand why they were rejected beyond the 4 options mentioned.

Even with all the tests I've taken thus far, I am left feeling like I've not been given a fair chance (although, I do realise this is just like any other job I could apply for: I may or may not get an interview, and that doesn't mean I'll get the job if I do...it's "chance"). And being marked as "spam" is very misleading when it's clear by my profile that I am a legitimate provider, however new I may be.

Spam application - null - offensive way

As long as I consider myself a professional in my field I found this option extremely OFFENSIVE and UNFAIR, I've already got 2 such answers for the last 2 days, and I never copied cover letters. If you want to make a choice for the buyer to reject an applicant name it "UNFIT" but not SPAM. Please remove this name, there should definitely be a more polite way of rejecting an application.

Regards, Oleg

I m not OK with the new system !

i don't approve the new system , it's unfair and dont let the new provider to grow and don't even give them a chance.

 

Smiley 

For those who don't know

For those who don't know what it looks like, here's a screenshot of the buyer candidate queue (personal info blurred, click for larger image).

The normal (old) "Reject" button is right next to the new "Reject as Spam" button (it's grayed out in my screenshot because this is a completed job).

The difference between the two is that the old Reject button, when clicked, brings up a prompt for a reason for rejection (buyer either selects from a dropdown list, or chooses other and types in a message)...the Reject as Spam button is automatic - just one click does the "same job" (in the eyes of the lazy).

Rejecting applications as spam used to be done through the same rejection process (click on reject, select spam from the dropdown).  Now, it's a single click.

As I've said before, having a reject as spam option is a handy tool for buyers if  the application is actually spam.  However, laziness knows no bounds...and with it being extremely easy to reject applications as spam now, it's obviously getting abused because people are too lazy to click 3 times.  Sad

- Danalyn


Before you complain about rates, read all 4 parts of the oDesk Insider Blog's Make More Money series.

- Danalyn

we agree

After further review, we agree - the new system makes it unfairly easier to use spam vs. regular reject, and thus encourages laziness. We are working on a fix.

Great feedback all!

I agree

I agree with almost everything that I have read up to this message. I feel insulted as one of my application has been rejected as spam. But what pleased me greatly in your messae - is how you specify the reason - to help new providers to build their rating.

I agree that this new feature is not a good thing, because old way of rejecting spam was available and required a bit more consideration from buyer before pressing "submit" button.

And now

Just an FYI I was musing at how come some providers seemed to be getting SPAM marked - but I just did. Now I've been here a while so I'm a little surprised at this - and to boot, this happens to be a provider I have worked with before so *he knows better*.  But clearly as Danalyn pointed out before since it's the *easiest* mark it's being used! Doreen

!

Just had the same, Doreen - I think it was probably the same buyer!

To be fair, the guy had a lot of applications to wade through. Why not a big, fat REJECT button. It does not give a reason for rejection, but at least it is not marked as spam!
 

LOL

Martyn Shuttleworth wrote:

Just had the same, Doreen - I think it was probably the same buyer!

To be fair, the guy had a lot of applications to wade through. Why not a big, fat REJECT button. It does not give a reason for rejection, but at least it is not marked as spam!
 

Laughing - I agree. I have to admit I found it amusing but then again I have a long history so I can laugh about it - but I can see where it would be distressing to a new provider.  Doreen

Page: