How to end job description confusion

For a freelance writer, the job of finding work has changed dramatically. I guess I'm old school because I still believe you have to FIND the work you want instead of waiting for it to come to you. Looking for work through websites is somewhat in the middle of all this mess and I've been exploring this middle ground.

There are corporate sites and sites like eLance; the latter is somewhat organized but other sites are pretty much the Wild West. The other day, I bid on a project, won the work, and discovered that the "client" was a pimp. I'm not joking. And I respectfully declined even though it was great money. There's no food in the fridge and no gas in the car but I feel morally superior.

But let's get back to job descriptions.

I go through at least 30 job descriptions a day, maybe more. A job description is copywriting: the person advertising the job is trying to persuade the best candidates to apply...or that's the theory. There's some interesting writing. Three examples (fair use).

OK--so you don't take this direct response copywriter to client meetings. But, if he's writing copy that produces amazing results, who cares what he looks like?

"The writer will collaborate to define the content needed and then refine it through stakeholder feedback, legal and compliance reviews and usability testing."

"I'm interested in affordable and dependable. Someone who is honest and eager to be involved in a large web project, that has plenty of work - and consistent, predictable pay schedules."

"You’ll work closely with your Creative Director to ensure that the team’s creative efforts are as efficient and impactful as possible."

I find all of the above confusing and vague.

As a direct response copywriter, here's the job description I want to see.


We're a profit-driven direct response advertising agency that's looking for a direct response copywriter who can write copy that produces great big globs of cash. Your work WILL help us make more dough than we're currently making. DO NOT SEND A VAPID RESUME AND MILQUETOAST COVER LETTER but, instead, send samples of work and please detail how much money the writing produced.

Yes, we know that our mission statement says that we care about the community and corporate philanthropy. Let the people who work in that department worry about that stuff. Your job is to generate money by writing revenue-generating copy.

If you want to commute, work in our trendy exposed brick office, and spend most of the morning deciding where to have lunch, that's fine. If you want to move to Siberia and communicate with us by semaphore and morse code, that's perfectly OK. If you want to write between ski runs on Aspen Mountain, that's beautiful. We really DO NOT CARE. In fact, we don't really care about any of the following.

  • What you look like

  • Length of experience (agency or otherwise)

  • Age

  • What sort of pants you wear

  • Political leanings

  • What sort of car you drive

  • Where you went to university

  • IF you went to university

  • Collaborative experience in a team-oriented environment

  • How well you work with others

  • What type of dog you own


Because you're confident that you can actually write really well, we're going to base at least 30 per cent of your compensation on what you actually produce, with no limit. If your copy makes a ton of money, you'll make a pile of cash. If not, we'll find another writer. WE WANT YOU TO MAKE A BIG STACK OF BILLS EVERY DAY. In fact, if you want a deal that's based totally on revenue, that's fine. After all, as a direct response copywriter, you're a salesperson in print and all great salespeople want to work on commission WITH NO LIMITS.

One more thing...because we're a totally money-grubbing and results-driven agency, we attract only the most money-grubbing and results-driven clients and customers. We only sell great products that solve real-world problems. So the potential is huge if you want to go royalty only.

Send those writing samples NOW as speed is extremely important to us. And send something that tells us why we should hire you.

All we care about is making sure that you can produce revenue for us. LOTS of revenue. Email here or send your samples via morse code to....

Now THAT'S a job description that interests me. If you're in human resources and you're the person who writes the job descriptions, please lose the verbosity and corporate-speak and LEVEL with all of us. Or at least me.

I solve the web copy bottleneck problem. For my copywriting website, go here.

Charlotte copywriter:

North Carolina copywriter: