Sickos Wanted: TMI or a totally honest job posting?

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A while back I asked the question “is this the most absurd job posting ever” over a pretty lame ad a Georgetown University student posted for an “assistant” to help with such tasks as laundering his dirty socks. Click here to check it out and I am pretty sure you will agree with me on that one.

A recent job posting has also been getting some buzz and as an (ahem) expert in all things recruitment advertising, I gotta say it’s pretty on target. The Sararasota Herald-Tribune is looking for someone to join their investigative team and Matthew Doig, the person at the paper conducting the search, does nothing short of telling it like it is.

There’s definitely a certain type of person that loves newspaper journalism (and recruitment advertising for that matter) and when all you’ve got to work with is plain text, a well-written job posting that speaks to that certain someone is sure to stand out and attract.

In this posting, Mr. Doig tells the job seeker basically if you fit the bill then “you’re our kind of sicko.” Enjoy reading it in its entirety below and if you know any of these sickos, you now know where to send them:

We want to add some talent to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune investigative team. Every serious candidate should have a proven track record of conceiving, reporting and writing stellar investigative pieces that provoke change. However, our ideal candidate has also cursed out an editor, had spokespeople hang up on them in anger and threatened to resign at least once because some fool wanted to screw around with their perfect lede.

We do a mix of quick hit investigative work when events call for it and mini-projects that might run for a few days. But every year we like to put together a project way too ambitious for a paper our size because we dream that one day Walt Bogdanich will have to say: “I can’t believe the Sarasota Whatever-Tribune cost me my 20th Pulitzer.” As many of you already know, those kinds of projects can be hellish, soul-sucking, doubt-inducing affairs. But if you’re the type of sicko who likes holing up in a tiny, closed office with reporters of questionable hygiene to build databases from scratch by hand-entering thousands of pages of documents to take on powerful people and institutions that wish you were dead, all for the glorious reward of having readers pick up the paper and glance at your potential prize-winning epic as they flip their way to the Jumble… well, if that sounds like journalism Heaven, then you’re our kind of sicko.

For those unaware of Florida’s reputation, it’s arguably the best news state in the country and not just because of the great public records laws. We have all kinds of corruption, violence and scumbaggery. The 9/11 terrorists trained here. Bush read My Pet Goat here. Our elections are colossal (Bleep! I’ll just let you fill in the blank here. – Annette). Our new governor once ran a health care company that got hit with a record fine because of rampant Medicare fraud. We have hurricanes, wildfires, tar balls, bedbugs, diseased citrus trees and an entire town overrun by giant roaches (only one of those things is made up). And we have Disney World and beaches, so bring the whole family.

Send questions, or a resume/cover letter/links to clips to my email address below. If you already have your dream job, please pass this along to someone whose skills you covet. Thanks.

Matthew Doig
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
1741 Main St.
Sarasota FL, 34236
(941) 361-4903


About Annette DeHaven

Annette DeHaven, Alstin's Vice President, Operations, serves as right hand woman for an impressive roster of clients. Known for addressing problems head-on, Annette, who's led by example for more than 15 years, remembers crazy statistics, regularly spouts off mind-bending metrics, and recalls just about every field description for birds you've never heard of.