Apr 5, 2007

Why job ads are horrible

It's been a big week for Mrs. T-L and I. We found out we'll eventually be moving to Atlanta, Georgia. As much as we love it here in New England, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came up for her and we're now planning to move there sometime in the late summer.

I've already started looking for work down there, and as much fun as it can be imagining myself in different jobs, I sometimes wonder what people are thinking when they come up with some of these job listings.

For instance, I was looking at listing today for an editor position at a trade journal. The company publishes a paper products magazine. So not only do they want someone to do painstaking editing and journalism work, but they expect the applicant to be "familiar with the forest products industry" as well! Now, I don't know any lumberjacks personally, but my guess is that they're a lot frickin better at cutting down trees than paginating a centerspread in Quark XPress and then exporting it to a high-res PDF. The worst offenders of this type are medical journals/magazines/etc. If I have a medical degree or experience as a doctor, why on earth would I take a job as a lowly copy editor? I honestly think some of these corporate publication types really don't understand that journalists are paid to be generalists -- we can't be experts in every little topic under the sun, but we know when to ask more questions and what needs to be verified.

And there's this: A little while ago I happened to look at a job listing from a local TV news station. The job was for a news editor. I think the last line is just depressing: "News background a plus."

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