For job seekers, few things are more discouraging than spending time applying for a position only to later learn that it was never really open to begin with—the job had been posted with a particular person already lined up for it.
Last week, Santa Clara University (SCU) posted a job opening so specific it's hard to imagine anyone would have made the mistake of spending time applying for it. In fact, it was so specific it was hard to imagine that there was anyone who could possibly meet its qualifications, except for, of course, the one person it was written for.
The job posting has now been deleted from SCU's website, but a version still exists at higheredjobs.com. Here's the posting's descriptions of the "basic qualifications" needed to fill this role of an adjunct lecturer in non-fiction writing (emphasis added):
The successful applicant will have at least 25 books on topics ranging from the history of Silicon Valley to the biography of microprocessing to interviews with entrepreneurs to the history of human and mechanical memory; will have been published by presses such as Harper/Collins, Doubleday, Random House, St. Martin’s, and SUNY Press; will also have e-books on topics such as home life in the US, home life in the UK, and water conservation; will have worked as both a journalist for a print newspaper and for magazines; will have hosted television and radio productions for PBS, cable television, and ABC; will have worked in electronic media such as being editor of Forbes ASAP or a weekly columnist for ABC.com; will have founded or co-founded at least two start-ups; will have professional connections to Oxford University in the UK as well as to numerous media (print, electronic, and television) in the SF Bay Area and beyond. The successful applicant must have demonstrated experience in teaching nonfiction writing and internship classes for undergraduates, must have demonstrated success in helping undergraduates secure internships in public writing that lead to jobs, and must be committed to working with undergraduates.
It didn't take long before Internet-sleuth extraordinaire (and frequent Atlantic contributor) Yoni Appelbaum figured out who would get the job: Michael S. Malone, whose qualification not only miraculously mirrored the job description, but who actually already holds the position.