What about the Undo Function?!? Do I need to know that?

One of the freelance, junior editors we use just recently sent this email:

Subject:The joy of job searching

Message:How much do you want to bet this was not written by someone who actually edits. I was gonna apply, but since I never mastered the zoom tool, I guess I’m out. 

-(Name Obscured in case he applies, God help Him)

Digital Communication Firm is currently looking to hire a Freelance Digital Post Production Editor for short-term freelance projects. 

•Must have strong skills with Final Cut Pro Studio, Avid Xpress Pro, or Premiere. 
•Must know how to create ID Tags in one of these non-linear editing programs. 
•Must understand how to operate surrounding graphics programs and design using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Image Ready. 
•Must understand how to import external 2-D and/or 3-D graphics.
•Must understand batch capturing. 
•Must be able to sync unsynced audio within the timeline. 
•Must be familiar and have strong editing capability and be able to create LCuts. 
•Must be able to work with titling features within the non-linear editing program. 
•Must be able to edit our hissing sounds. 
•Must be able to integrate motion graphics and create stunning graphics with Adobe After Effects and work with After Affects 3-D features and cameras and perspectives. 
• Must have the capability to edit both offline and online and be able to edit scenes together in a linear (chronological) or non-linear (non-chronological order) to effectively be able to tell a story. 
•Must be familiar with the zoom, pen, and razor tool (for trimming and editing video/audio clips.) 
•Must be able to create overwrite and insert edits and effectively add transitions.
•Must have strong skills with editing out jump cuts or repairing jump cuts and distorted audio. 
•Must be able to communicate using proper grammar and spelling. 
•Must be dependable. 
•Must live in Local Washington, DC, Northern, VA, or Baltimore area. 
-Experience with editing short form and long form pieces, narratives, documentaries, compositing and keying out green screen. Working in corporate, entertainment, and political environment also required.

It starts out pretty normal, but then it starts to go downhill with the “have strong editing capability and be able to create LCuts” item. What editor worth anything doesn’t know how to do an L-cut? Then the bit about being “familiar with the zoom, pen, and razor tool”!?! And can you perform overwrite and/or insert edits?!? This is too much!

Why not just go with “Seeking experienced editor – please provide resume, reel, and references.” If you’re going to go to the trouble of crafting and entry like this, you certainly have the time to do some interviews and research on the candidates you would consider. If you can’t find an editor with references who will tell they’d hire the person again, then don’t hire that one and move on. The only thing I can figure is that, in the past, this producer has gotten burned by a few editors who haven’t been quite up to the skills of the job. I can just hear the questions asked during some tense in-suite moments that prompt someone to put these items on the job-posting:

“What do you mean you can only edit chronologically?”

“All these star wipes aren’t working for me, don’t you know of any transitions that are more effective?”

“You mean you can’t fix that jumpcut?! Get the hell out of here!” (Nobody mentioned whether anyone provided decent b-roll to cover said jumpcut, but that’s not important I guess.)

My absolute favorite is: “Must be able to edit our hissing sounds.” Will you be working with snakes? Or working with other reptiles? Are the people doing the hiring actually snake half-breeds? Why not require applicants to be Parselmouths? (Harry Potter reference). What if an applicant has a fear of snakes? Will that make it difficult to do the job?

Good luck out there if this is what you run into when looking for work.

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