Yesterday, in a bit of unsolicited advice to the Huffington Post, we suggested that they follow up on their desire to hire only professional journalists, not lowly bloggers, by taking some tips from the best journalism Want Ad in the world. It turns out we weren’t the only people who took note of the ad seeking an investigative reporter for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, which says that its “ideal” candidate:
[H]as 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.
The want ad blew up on the internet, which mystified the ad-placer Matthew Doig, as he told Jim Romenesko. Doig already has 15-20 candidates.
Doig summed up his strategy in the interview:
This was my first job post. But I took a similar approach when I was looking for a job about 10 years ago. I wrote what you’d probably consider a “non-traditional” cover letter figuring that anybody who didn’t like it would also not like me (and vice-versa). The guy who hired me at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Chris Davis, told me he never even read the clips I sent. He just loved the cover letter. And he and I have gotten along about as well as any reporter and editor can, so my strategy must have worked.
Sound, though risky, advice for journalism job seekers. We’ll wait to see who he hires.