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If you want to hire a writer, get a writer to write the ad

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The company is advertising for a writing job, but it lets HR goons write the job description.

And so the company seeks a writer who is a “self-starter with ability to work independently and juggle multiple projects and deadlines.” Because nothing motivates a writer like the promise of lonely desperation.

The company further specifies that it needs someone who is “responsive and focused on executing in a fast-paced environment.”

If a writer thought she could get away with working on what she wants and at her own pace, she wouldn’t be applying to work for you.

The company requires “solid judgment.”

Charles Manson thought he had solid judgment.

And finally, the company requires with the “ability to effectively analyze, write and deliver information.” 

Well, it is a writing job.

With such bloodless, generic and meaningless language, companies discourage all but the most desperate and mediocre writers. Everyone else stomps back up into their garret to starve for another year, with dignity.

If you’re going to advertise for a writer, let a writer write the ad.

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David Murray is the executive director of the Professional Speechwriters Association. This article originally appeared on writingboots.typepad.com.

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