Job postings for political jobs are notoriously bad. I specifically like checking out the postings for online organizing positions because they tend to be exceptionally bad (good luck finding someone with 15 years of online campaign experience). Here is a breakdown of a recent job posting with everything that makes no sense to me.

Online Organizer

Major Midwestern Democratic campaign seeks an Online Organizer beginning immediately. This is a full-time, paid position that runs until November 2, 2010.

The Online Organizer position incorporates elements of field, communications and new media. Successful applicants will use their organizing skills and new media savvy to achieve communications goals. An ideal candidate has relevant field organizing experience, superb writing skills and an understanding of new and social media.

Our Online Organizer will work with allied New Media, Field and Political departments to organize a grassroots team of online volunteers and provide them with the tools and training to be effective communicators online. The position will also be responsible for general new media duties including social network management, content production and some basic website maintenance through our content management system.

*Responsibilities:*

- Build, organize and train a team of grassroots volunteers and provide them with the tools to be successful online advocates

- Manage, update and expand social media accounts on several different platforms

- Assist in producing online content including blog posts and video

- Draft talking points, pull press clips and write issue summaries to keep grassroots volunteers informed and engaged

- Support the campaign’s growing new media operations as necessary

*Required qualifications:*

- At least one cycle of field organizing experience for an electoral or issue campaign

- Outstanding writing ability

- Experience and comfort with online communication platforms: social networking, blogging and e-mail

- A passion for politics and an understanding of what is politically possible

- Demonstrated ability to manage volunteers

- Basic to intermediate technical skills: Microsoft Office/Google Docs, simple HTML and familiarity with CMS (WordPress, Drupal, etc.) and CRM (MailChimp, Salsa, etc.) platforms

*The following additional qualifications will enhance an application, but are not required:*

- Prior experience in communications or new media for an electoral or issue campaign

- Prior experience with Blue State Digital and ExpressionEngine platforms

- Graphic design skills, with a focus on Web graphics

- Advanced technical skills: ability to hand-code HTML, CSS, JavaScript and/or PHP

- Experience with digital video and video editing software

*To apply, please send a 1) resume and 2) writing sample to campaign.post…@gmail.com with “Online Organizer” in the subject line.*

Salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience. Health insurance is provided for all campaign staff. Equal opportunity employer.

First off, can we all agree to stop with the “Major Midwestern Democratic campaign” stuff. What is it about campaigns that makes them so scared to identify themselves to possible employees? You want a staff that believes in the candidate, and to recruit that staff you need to make it clear who you are. Near-anonymous postings are only going to attract desperate political hacks.

- Draft talking points, pull press clips and write issue summaries to keep grassroots volunteers informed and engaged

Let me translate this for you. “The online organizer will not be able to spend all that much time organizing online because half their job is serving as a communications department junior staffer or intern.”

Let’s look at required experience vs. enhanced experience. The campaign requires that the applicant have been a traditional field organizer, yet online organizing experience is something that would just be a nice touch. Seriously, I think you got the order messed up there. And don’t you want the person running your internet and technology program to have more than “Basic” technical skills? How is someone going to “Build, organize and train a team of grassroots volunteers and provide them with the tools to be successful online advocates” if they only have a basic understanding of the tools themselves? Especially since you know damn well you are going to be calling this person every 10 minutes when another staffer can’t figure out their Blackberry or how to do a mail merge in Excel.

And the whole “familiarity with CMS (WordPress, Drupal, etc.) and CRM (MailChimp, Salsa, etc.) platforms” thing. What is with all the et ceteras? How about you specifically list the CMS/CRM that the campaign uses? That will be a lot more helpful in finding someone with expertise that will most benefit the campaign. And if you are using all of them, you are doing it wrong.

- A passion for politics and an understanding of what is politically possible

Translation: Probably not a very progressive Democrat, but it’s only because being more progressive isn’t “politically possible” and we want you to be totally cool with that.

*To apply, please send a 1) resume and 2) writing sample to campaign.post…@gmail.com with “Online Organizer” in the subject line.

Once again with the anonymity thing. Do I really want to send my resume with my name, address, phone number, and life history to some shady gmail address? Not really.

So all of you out there doing hiring for campaigns: please stop this ridiculousness. Now I’m going to go fight the temptation to send an email to campaign.post…@gmail.com as “Major Democratic Online Youth Operative” with this post as my writing sample.