Celebrating 25 years of publishing
Published February 18, 2020
Help wanted to understandthe help-wanted ad
By John Toth / The Bulletin
I recently came across a help-wanted ad for a magazine editor’s position that threw me for a loop. Back in the days when I was looking through employment ads, things were a lot more ... understandable.
When I was searching for my second newspaper job, the ad just stated that they were looking for a copy editor and a beat writer. Then there was a phone number and the name of the paper.
I applied for the writer’s job. The managing editor who was conducting the interview stuck to the basics: Have you covered police? Yes. I covered schools, police, county, sports, I filled in on the desk, you name it. On a small paper, you get to do it all.
He liked what he heard and offered me the job. I took it on the spot. We shook hands, and two weeks later I showed up for work. Simple enough.
The magazine job ad stated in part: “Think and execute both strategically and tactically. Experience converting ideas into timely, results-oriented content. Ability to think big while being detail-oriented.”
I was reading some police reports and looked around for a few cops to interview. Was that converting “ideas into timely, results-oriented content?” I think it was, if that actually means writing a story on deadline.
“Proven ability to work across an organization at all levels with technical, creative, and executive team members.”
Team members like reporters and editors? I can do that. I can work on the editing desk if you need me. Did I get that one right?
“Collaborative, communicative team player, independent thinker, multi-tasker able to thrive in fast-paced, goal-oriented, high-achieving culture.”
Someone spent a lot of time thinking this one up. I’m going to need a translation from high-brow to regular lingo.
“Develop daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly topics, plan and maintain a corresponding editorial calendar.”
Things sure got more complicated since I was interviewing for that reporter’s job.
“Work with outside contributors to develop and strengthen a wide range of content/projects.”
I can handle this one. Spruce up freelancers’ articles. There, I translated it, I think. I’m getting better.
I admit that I’m a little lost on this one, but I think the job requires that you post articles on the Internet. That may be the initiative.
“Identify unique opportunities to use content to increase engagement and audience growth.”
The candidate has to be “strong- willed, not intimidated or deterred.”
This one is my favorite, partly because I actually understood it. I would be perfect for this job, and I always wanted to edit a magazine. But for now, I’ll just settle for putting out The Bulletin each week. That’s my product focus.
(John looks forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send me a note at email@example.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.)