This Job Not That Job

What’s on the iPod: Songs About Roses by Owl John


I finished the week strong and start the week even stronger. There are lots of projects on the desk, and all of them are begging for attention. Right now, the focus is to get one more article out the door by tomorrow so I can concentrate on a slew of articles due in two weeks.

KeriLynn Engel sent over a great contender for the This Job Not That Job series. This one is particularly interesting in many ways, all of which add up to a really smelly offer.

I give you one of the worst ads of the new year:

Experienced Business Writer Needed

Our company is a media centric business looking for a FIRST
CLASS business writer who has a corporate grade American English proficiency
including great mastery in sentence structuring, grammar, and corporate
vocabulary. Your writing style is CONCISE, no verbiage, no wordiness, no
useless style effect and straight to the point. It is crucial that you can
deliver assignments in 24 hours. If you feel you cannot meet the Native
American Corporate English Writing requirement for this position, do not
respond to this ad.

Business content you will sporadically produce includes
offers, strategies for the most part and research analysis if needed. The
reason why we need a business writer is because of your business
intelligibility to fill in gaps where the information provided is not
sufficient and your ability to comprehend intricate businesses when needed.
Secondly, you should build on the information provided to include an analytical
edge in the content you will produce. Third, the content produced should
naturally flow in a concise way.

Each assignment is 500-700 words long.

We are really looking for someone dedicated, with a strong
of integrity and passionate about writing, preferably a professional
freelancer. Payment are made through Paypal every Friday for all the
assignments completed by Thursday since last payment.

Requirements:
– MBA diploma or equivalent
– Must be available by email from 9 am to 5 pm EST time
– Must have your own PC/Laptop with a high speed Internet
connection

To reply to this ad, you need to:
– submit a short cover letter explaining why you are
suitable to do these assignments and the
type of work done by you as a business writer
– submit your resume
– submit three samples of business writing you have done in
the past (please do not submit articles)
– confirm that you can ensure a 24 h delivery turnaround
time
– whether you can start immediately working on assignments
– confirm that you have an MBA diploma or equivalent

If the job is done in a quality and timely manner, we can
provide you with a stream of assignments. Our staff working for us remotely
have done that for years for the most part. Please only apply if you are
looking to work on a per assignment basis. Professional writing freelancers are
welcome. We will only respond to the individuals who are suitable for this ad.

Compensation: $20 -$35 per 500 words

Let’s start with Lori’s Golden Rule of Lousy Job Offers — The ratio of pay decreases in direct contrast to the amount of required steps needed just to apply for the gig. This job excels at creating numerous, unnecessary steps and requirements. But let’s shred this ad (we’re not dissecting this stupidity, but ripping it to bits) and see what falls out:
Our company is a media centric business looking for a FIRST CLASS business writer who has a corporate grade American English proficiency including great mastery in sentence structuring, grammar, and corporate vocabulary.

If the sentence structure alone doesn’t deter you, the caps should. Real clients who aren’t afraid to pay real money wouldn’t put together such shlock, nor would they use caps unless their lower case was broken. And not even then.
Your writing style is CONCISE, no verbiage, no wordiness, no useless style effect and straight to the point.

You know, like they are. Right.
Business content you will sporadically produce includes offers, strategies for the most part and research analysis if needed.

Sporadically? Say again? What is the job exactly? You’ll not know until you apply. Then maybe they’ll tell you. It’s their way of enticing you. Lucky you.
The reason why we need a business writer is because of your business intelligibility to fill in gaps where the information provided is not sufficient and your ability to comprehend intricate businesses when needed. 

Stop laughing so I can tell you something serious — if you weren’t completely turned off at this point, then perhaps you don’t have the “business intelligibility” needed for the job. Sorry. You’ll just have to take that intelligibility elsewhere.
Secondly, you should build on the information provided to include an analytical edge in the content you will produce.

Wait, secondly? Where’s firstly? Oh wait. That’s right. Business intelligibility. Guess that rules me out. Doesn’t matter. I’m not quite sure how anyone can include analytical edges. Do they look like isosceles triangles?
We are really looking for someone dedicated, with a strong of integrity and passionate about writing, preferably a professional freelancer. 

And someone who can write stellar sentences like that gem, right?
Payment are made through Paypal every Friday for all the assignments completed by Thursday since last payment.

Wow. Way to make something easy seem complicated.
And now we get to:
Requirements:
– MBA diploma or equivalent

An MBA? For what? To write with intelligibility? Or to understand the payment process?
– Must be available by email from 9 am to 5 pm EST time

And right there is the million-dollar phrase, for this chump thinks you’re an employee. If you play your cards right, you might be able to prove it in court and get some benefits out of him — maybe even a pension.  Note to poster — no, your freelance writer does not have to be available during your work hours. That’s against most state laws to require it, and it’s not up to you to tell someone how to run their business.
Now to answer this ad, you must:
submit a short cover letter explaining why you are suitable to do these assignments and the
type of work done by you as a business writer

Well, since it’s not clear what kind of work you’ll be doing, that might be some trick. 
– submit three samples of business writing you have done in the past (please do not submit articles)

Huh? If not articles, what? Free samples? Bite me.
If the job is done in a quality and timely manner, we can provide you with a stream of assignments. Our staff working for us remotely have done that for years for the most part.

What bothers me about this — they’re referring to remote workers as “staff” when it’s pretty clear they’re contract workers. While it may not matter to them what they call the likes of us, it matters greatly to freelance writers because this is a person who is already assuming your relationship will be employer/employee instead of client/contractor. And you don’t get the perks of being an employee, so why let someone boss you around for nothing?
Professional writing freelancers are welcome. 

But not copy editors, for this copy is just crystal clear.

We will only respond to the individuals who are suitable for this ad.

Still hopeful after all those words.
Compensation: $20 -$35 per 500 words

Good luck with that. In fact, good luck warding off all the “F*** off” notes you’re about to get in response.
—-
Wow. I’m spent just trying to choke back the rotten taste that one left. Obviously, this is not a job any serious “professional writing freelancers” should consider, nor would we since we’re all busy gouging out our eyes attempting to erase the memory of this one.
Instead, look for projects that offer a bit more of a sensible business relationship. Something like this (via AllIndieWriters):
B2B Reporter to Cover Associations and Advocacy (freelance)

CQ Roll Call is seeking a driven writer to create stories for its content marketing program on a freelance basis. For the right candidate, we can be a rock-steady client with weekly assignments, and the potential for a great deal more.

Working under the direction of our Managing Editor for Marketing, our writer will cover advocacy groups and associations as a beat. This is a B2B writing job, creating content for people in these industries, and not just about them. We’ll start at two stories a week.

To carry this out, we are looking for someone who has journalism chops, or who has a B2B reporting background. They will be writing for the Marketing Department, but we’re serious about content – we come from journalism backgrounds, ourselves.

We are looking for a solid writer with a good nose for stories, who understands beat work and can generate story ideas. We’ll ask them to write stories that help association and advocacy professionals improve how they do their jobs. Profiles, how-tos, case studies and explanatory work will all be part of the mix.

This is a great job for a professional freelancer who is seeking a steady client, or for former full-time reporter who is raising a family or otherwise requires flexible (but engaging) part-time work.


Salary: $30,000-35,000
Yes, Virginia. You can get more than $35 for your hard work. Clients like these are out there. 
Writers, what kinds of awfulness have you seen lately?
What’s the worst job you ever took?
What advice for beginners do you have?

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Comments

  • Cathy Miller March 30, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Gee, how did I miss that first great ad? 😉

    Reply
  • Lori Widmer March 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I know, Cathy. I would have fought you for it. LOL

    Reply
  • Emily Fowler March 30, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Read this earlier, and STILL can't stop laughing at 'business intelligibility' :o)

    Reply
  • Paula March 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Did you also noticed that "secondly" was followed by "third"?

    Perhaps this ad was written to illustrate all of the bad writing habits they don't want their "remote staff" to have? No. That would make too much sense.

    Reply
  • KeriLynn Engel March 30, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I am literally LOLing 😀

    I knew as soon as I read the "business intelligibility" part I had to send it to you, but I didn't even catch the hours requirement, or the request for samples… but not articles. Right.

    Reply
  • Lori Widmer March 30, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Emily, maybe the "author" thinks he's Shakespeare and can just make up words?

    Without a firstly, Paula. 🙂

    Keri, this is a true gem. Thanks for sending it over.

    Reply