I recently saw a job posting in which the first line under “Responsibilities” went like this:
….deliver [content] that engages audiences, and that is virtually free of spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes
Got that? The first requirement of the job – the number one expectation — is that my content will contain spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes. Not a lot of them, mind you. But the word virtually ensures that there’ll be a few mistakes.
Look, I know we’re all human and we all make mistakes. But they set the bar way too low when they say that I — or the successful candidate, since I won’t be applying for this job — will be expected to make mistakes.
Even without the word virtually, I’m afraid that “free of spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes” is still a very low bar. There’s nothing about making my content accurate, useful, and relevant to my reader. “Free of mistakes” diminishes who I am as a professional. It trivializes my work as a technical communicator.
I imagine this employer would have little use for the idea that technical communicators contribute bottom-line value to the business. Or for the idea that their customers deserve high-quality information. After all, a few mistakes aren’t going to matter.
What do you think? Am I overreacting? Or am I right to be offended by the attitudes that this job posting implies?