July 20, 2001

AD: The New York Times is always looking for applicants for future staff editor openings. The positions on our copy desks involve broad responsibilities for the content of articles. Experience as a news editor, city editor or the like is particularly helpful. You must have at least five years of news/copy editing experience on a large-circulation daily or similar major news organization; these are not entry-level jobs. Candidates must be willing to work nights and weekends, pass a rigorous tryout and certainly ought to have a sense of humor. And yes, you must be willing to live within commuting distance of Times Square.

my response: I'm responding to your listing at Journalismjobs.com for full-time copy editors and would like to throw my hat in the ring. I have an extensive, albeit spotty, background in both print and online media; copy editing, proofreading, and fact-checking. By spotty I mean that I've not have the requisite five years news/copy editing experience on a large-circulation daily. However, I'm an avid reader and newshound, have worked under cyclical deadline pressure at periodicals and for Women.com networks, and am very fast, accurate, thorough, and engaged.

I'm also good with the snappy headlines. I can make prose tight, flowing, and comprehensible without sacrificing author style or essential content. And I can differentiate essential from filler. Plus, I'm a delight to have around. All this plus flexibility and a short ride on the F-train, and you can put me through rigorous tryouts for sheer sadistic pleasure.

her response: Dear Ms. X,
You may well be a "delight to have around," and I may have sadistic tendencies, but is no reason to torture you with our tryout process at this point. Your resume shows no experience in editing at a daily newspaper, and that's what we're looking for here.

Thanks for your interest in The Times.