Monday, November 16, 2009

To whom it may concern?

Found this little gem while searching a local jobs Web site. The position was for a Journalist/Feature Writer position in the Pittsburgh area. Here is a description of the job ad...

A community based Healthcare organization is seeking an experienced JOURNALIST/ FEATURE WRITER to join its team on a part-time basis.

This position is responsible for writing and editing several publications including the production of our annual report, occasional press releases, executive speeches, and scripting special events.

The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, or Communications with a writing emphasis. Previous experience in print media including editing is highly desired. Must have an interest in community based Healthcare, excellent written and oral communication skills, superior knowledge of grammar, spelling and sentence structure.

This is a part-time position that offers flexible scheduling opportunities. If you are interested in joining our team that values excellence and creativity, please submit your resume, professional references, and writing samples.

Now, if a job applicant is going to be sending his/her resume to a prospective company, common courtesy would seem to dictate that said company should at least supply its name and/or location. Maybe they're trying to keep this job opening a secret until they announce the hiring, but I feel a little uncomfortable applying to a business that could be UPMC... or ...Satan's Medical Insurance LLC.


  1. Amen, brutha. I am applying to a job I saw in the Pittsburgh area, but wonder if I should even try. I'm quite sure EVERY other journalist in the region will be making application (both breadliners like us and people who are gainfully employed but fearing the pink slip. We know enough of them).

  2. Not the same, but along the same lines, ...

    The Sunday PG includes a large number of sales/promotional fliers, some from national companies. Many of them say nothing about where to find a store. While it may be advantageous to advertise, not telling the reader where to go to buy a product or service makes the next step a challenge.

  3. True Story:

    During my lowly days as a full time college student, I briefly worked in one of those cell phone kiosks in my local mall. Yes, it sucked. Bad. So this one day, this random guy walks up and I'm the only one in the booth. He starts perusing so I get into sales pitch mode and ask if he needs help. He says yes, he's looking for people interested in a new line of work.

    My eyes light up because, let's face it, I'm working in a cell phone kiosk. That's somewhere between flipping burgers and scraping the brownish red ring out of the bowls of public toilets. "I'm listening," I say. So the dude proceeds to give me the most vague pitch ever for a local company looking for dedicated workers to help expand their business.

    So I start asking questions. What do you sell? What's the name of the company? Where is it located? The answer to each and every question is "I can't tell you that until you commit to working for us." WTF. Okay, I said, "well can I have a business card so I can call later if I'm interested?" So he writes his phone number down on a scrap sheet of paper along with a generic web url and then shows me, doesn't hand me, shows me his business card and holds it so everything is covered up but his first name. It was covert, but Spies Like Us covert, not James Bond covert.

    Anyway, I tell the guy I'll think about so he'll walk away because frankly at this point I'm starting to freak out a little. He leaves, I get on the kiosk computer and go to the url, and its a blank white page with nothing but a login and password field. That's it.

    I realize late I had passed up my one chance to work for the CIA. Bummer.

  4. Either that or deep inside Dr. Evil's volcanic layer. Seems like you made a wise choice to decline.

  5. It's interesting to me that you find this unusual. In my line of work, vague job listings are status quo. It's the Craig's List-ization of the job market. "You don't trust us, we don't trust you. Now let's make a deal..."

  6. Some people apply for job postings on Craig's List and claim it is effective. But when people get raped and murdered due to postings on that Web site, I consider it a non-factor in the job search. Like you said, most of the jobs on Craig Lists have no info, and that makes me instantly click the delete button, becuase I don't want to become a lamp shade in some weirdo's living room

  7. By the way, Joe, I see you're an associate producer for The Amazing Race (my roommate loves that show, by the way). Can you expound upon your job and the vague video interviews that are used to recruit the interesting characters for that television show?

  8. It's no wonder Joe why America is on the breadline.

  9. Funny you should mention my work on the Amazing Race, because I actually got that job via a Craig's List post. A very vague one which did not mention the name of the show, name of the production company, which network it would be on, etc. If I had applied to that job and they invited me to an "interview" anywhere other than an office building, I would not have gone.

    RE: video interviews for casting - Are you talking about when they set up in various cities and have people sit in front of a camera for five minutes? Basically, they're looking for lively, energetic, outgoing personalities. These shows only work when the contestants have strong reactions to the things that happen to them. Of course they look for diversity, in ethnicity as well as in personality. They need to be able to paint portraits of the people with broad strokes: the hippies, the models, the tough guys, the athletes, father-daughter...

    What else would you like to know? I'm happy to shed some light on how these shows get made.

  10. Interesting stuff about the job posting on Craig's List. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Based on that ad, they definitely need some help from someone with a grasp of the written English language.