PSA to hiring managers
It’s really annoying when I carefully prepare a resume & cover letter only to find out right as I’m about to submit that you want a bunch of additional stuff from me, like ways I would improve your product, ideas for future projects, or a short essay to prove that I know something about the field this job is in. Writing samples are one thing, but you’re disrespecting my time when you put me in the position of unpaid consultant when we haven’t even met. This is also the wrong time for you to be asking me for my references. Learn better hiring practices, and you will probably improve your candidate pool.