Job boards have their uses, and I wouldn’t be a happy freelancer without them.
But some of them? Man. They hurt to read. They make me question my line of work. And most importantly, they make me click “X” on the browser without even drafting an email.
Here’s a great example of a terrifying ad for a writer I’ve come across in the past few months:
1. First off, I’m not your anything. I’m not a commodity, or a product you’re purchasing and owning. Without even talking, you’ve shown me that this relationship will be about you and you alone, and not the work we’ll be doing together or the time and attention I’ll be putting into that work.
2. Who are you even talking to here? This kind of back-and-forth-with-yourself affectation makes me wonder if you’re feeling okay. At the very least, I know that conference calls with you will be full of self-indulgent references to your sense of humor (always performing…) and whatever else you want people to know about you.
3. Fat-crazy-chance, bub! Why would I send you, a perfect stranger, lists of my clients? In tons of different categories? That is truly insane. It’s not worth the time it would take to organize it, let alone the security breach.
4. Word math? Puh-lease. Do you really want to hire the writer who has the time to craft a 104-word-exactly paragraph on why they want this direct mail job? Talk about a random hoop to jump through. At least other (thinly veiled attempts to get free content) listings pretend to be about the industry or topic at hand. What you’ve written here tells the writer straight up that their time is nothing more than entertainment value for you — and that’s before you even pay them.
The only thing this poster did right was not including some kind of insulting pay rate like “$5 per 1,000 words.” But what do you think the odds are that the pay will respect the time, attention, and experience required to actually write corporate leadership and personal development content? Heaven have mercy on the writer who responds to this ad!
Have you seen any particularly bad job ads lately?And should this become a recular LCE column? I see a lot of bad ones in the course of a month ;-).
PS Reminds me last month’s Lazy HR Job Description Writers comic…