As we wade through all the mediocre job postings in the world of news and writing, we find the occasional decent job opportunity (that we apply for and don’t get).  But we also find a few really, really absurd ones.  Based on SNL’s news parody skits (really?), we’ve decided to start a weekly post on Phreelance Writers in which we will relate these absurdities to you, our readers.  Check these out:

Technical Writing Air Traffic Control Specialist

As if there are more than three people in the world who are looking for a job like this — let alone people who are qualified for it.  It seems to me that Lockheed Martin has a very specific person in mind.  They want a candidate with experience as an air traffic control operator, and experience with complicated technical writing?  Seriously Lockheed?  Are you sure you’re not looking for a little green alien who can use The Force and has a voice that sounds like it’s from Sesame Street?  Cause I’m pretty sure there’s only one of those guys out there, too.  Here’s the thing: there’s a point when a job post becomes too precise and it essentially turns into a wanted poster. Lockheed: If you have a specific person in mind for the job, just ask them.  Or draw their picture or something. Come on!

Writer: Dairy Farmers of America

I might be in the minority here, but personally, I didn’t spend thousands of dollars to study reporting so that I could put my skills to work writing about cows.  Maybe there are writers out there who would die for the chance to create “accurate and meaningful content” about the state of the milk industry, but I just can’t fathom the level of boredom and job dissatisfaction that would entail.  I think the meaningful content associated with the dairy industry over the last 2000 years would only fill maybe three or four pages of newspaper.  “Milk Discovered: Comes From Cows.”  “Louis Pasteur Boils Milk Before Drinking, Doesn’t Puke After.”  “Cereal Invented, Cows Stay in Business.”  “Mad Cow Disease!  Oh Wait, No Big Deal.”

Done.

Come on.

Let me pick up where Gage left off. Job posts are not outrageous just because they are looking for one, exact person or ask you to cover a topic that few people care about. They can also make a job sound better than it really is, or, my personal favorite, tell you absolutely nothing about the position. Let me show you:

Dallas Tutors

I tutor as one of my many side gigs so when I saw this I was initially excited about bringing my tutoring skill set to Dallas and using it. At $25/hr, this job suddenly becomes quite lucrative. Hold up a sec. “Assignments typically involve 1-2 sessions/week for an 1-1.5 hrs/visit…” So you’re saying that you’ll pay me $25/hr for, at most, two hour and half sessions a week? I’ll get paid $37.50 a week to be a tutor, in a good week? I know writers tend to be bad at math, but come on, even we can use the calculator program on our phones to figure this one out. It’s tough in the job market right now and that $25/hr looks promising, like an oasis in a desert. Look again, it’s just a mirage. Come on!

ACD/ Sr. Copywriter

As a writer, I feel like these kinds of job posts are the most dangerous. This post wows you with good, clean copy that is well-written and funny but says nothing about the actual job. Writers understand concepts, but we also need to know what we’ll be expected to do if we apply. I can be “smart, with a generous helping of “alecky” thrown in,” but for what? Where are the job requirements? I’ve “read on” twice, just tell me already! None of this resonates with me. I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Come on!

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