This is not a job inquiry letter that I received. I found out about this from The Bad Pitch Blog. As you might have guessed, the Bad Pitch Blog killed the author, a columnist responding to a job ad. I loved the response. Absolutely loved it.
I liked it a little bit because the author doesn’t pull any punches. He says he isn’t looking for a low end paying job. Which makes it easy to either include or exclude him from consideration. As he suggests, he doesn’t want to waste time.
But the larger point and I think the key to why I really liked it is that it came from columnist with 30 plus years of experience. In this day and age if you have been published for 30 years, you are stripped professionally naked. Your entire body of work is out there for anyone to see. You can’t sell yourself as something you are not. Which is exactly what I believe the author is trying to say. Which I love.
If you have had your job for 30 years and your “work history” is online. If you have been doing business in an industry for 30 years and there are any number of contacts for me to talk to about you, I don’t want to hear a salespitch. It is very analogous to hiring an NBA player. A letter from an athlete telling me how wonderful he is and how he can help my team is worthless. I am just going to watch his games. If his salary expectations are beyond the pay scale for the job, I want to know it up front and save myself the time.
We all know that jobs are scarce. That people are losing their jobs or being forced to take pay cuts. It means the volume of inquiries for every job is off the charts. If you are a rookie looking for a job, you need all the bullshit you can muster, along with a willingness to work for less. If you are a grizzly veteran, your bullshit days are over. Everyone knows most of what you can do. I want to know if you are willing to work for what Im willing to pay. If not, we are wasting time. If you are, if I like what I see online , then you can start with the bullshit of why you can do so much more than the body of work I saw online. Then we can see if you are the right person for the job.
If the author of the mentioned pitch was in his first job out of college or younger, it would be a horrible inquiry letter. For a veteran of the wars, feel free to send that letter to me anytime
Here is the letter for those too lazy to click over. If you would like to see the PR company response, the link is on the website above
“As a journalist for 30 plus years and a newspaper columnist the past 12 at The Kansas City Star, I am eminently qualified to be your public relations specialist — despite no paid experience in public relations.
Frankly, if there’s a pr person above the pr specialist, I’m probably qualified for that job, too.
After all, I’ve been dealing with public relations folks from the other side for three decades as a reporter, editor and columnist. Don’t get me wrong. Many PR people are skilled at what they do. Yet many others are simply nice but don’t have a clue how to sell a story.
The former are usually former newspaper journalists. The latter are not.
That said, I would be happy to submit an application, but I’d hate to be wasting your time and mine if it turns out this is some minor league position with a paltry salary.
Yes, I’m not supposed to mention money. But we’re both adults and recognize that, in the end, that’s what it comes down to. I still write a column at The Star. I make a decent salary. I’m not looking for a pay cut.
I could submit my resume, but doing so would imply that this is my job pitch. It’s not.
The job sounds enjoyable. But I’d also like to know that it’s a good fit.
Thanks for your time.
The Kansas City Star
PS. By the way, my wife and I (identifying info) haved great interest in many of the topics in your publications, (identifying information).. Our book on (identifying information) in KC will be published in September by the Kansas City Star book division. (Italics mine.)”