Essex Chronicle editor Alan Geere scored a canny PR coup yesterday with his announcement that applicants for a number of reporter vacancies at his group of weeklies can only apply via Twitter. (It was reported on Press Gazette, Holdthefrontpage and the Greenslade blog – in that order!).
But limiting reporters to only 140 characters in a Twitter-only application has a few drawbacks.
For one, applying via Twitter means they have to do so publicly – ruling out those who already work at other newspapers.
For another, letting those who wish to write long and verbose covering letters do so is very easy way of weeding out the wheat from the chaff.
When I advertise for reporters at Press Gazette I always ask for a CV and covering letter of no more than 200 words. It means less wasted time on both sides and is a good test of the tightness of the applicant’s writing skills.
Since the days when I was a graduate applying for every job under the sun I have had a deep-seated hatred of any recruiter who insists applicants fill out time-consuming application forms at the outset. It means that hundreds of people will be wasting thousands of hours of their time.
As for those who can’t be bothered to acknowledge or respond to unsuccessful job applications (many media companies fall into this category), in these days of email – when a stock rejection letter can be sent to thousands at the touch of a button – they deserve to occupy their own special place in hell.
Anyway, here are some of the applications @alangeere has had via Twitter so far. I suspect he will need to get proper applications from all the Twitter correspondents who look promising anyway to save himself a lot of wasted time at the interview stage.
@Kathryn_Cain I have a 2:1, 120wpm and 3 years of experience on newspapers. I can start as soon as you like. Sending short tweet suits me fine.
@Ashleyscrace Driven graduate Journalist. Five-years experience. Strong writing skills. Hermeneutics. NCTJ prelim qualified. Live near T Wells
@tweatherill former chf rep Col Gaz record of scoops from contacts, taken time out to read law, seeks news return, fixed term or longer.
@joek14 I am simply known as Mr Sevenoaks Chronicle front page. Need I say any more…?