For Public Review: Crowdsourced Feedback on Your Resume or CV

Are you interested in getting a lot of eyes on your resume or CV?  

We’re launching a new series here on Hiring Librarians, called For Public Review.

Here’s how it works:

We’ll post resumes or CVs, and invite the public to respond with their feedback in the Comments section.  We’ve got a few ringers – people who hire librarians – who have agreed to regularly review and comment.  However, anyone and everyone on the internet will also be able comment (respectfully – we will do our best to moderate attacks and insults).

We will post resumes or CVs from any LIS job hunter who submits one. However, he or she must agree to comment on at least five other posted resumes/CVs.

To have your resume or CV posted,

  • send it as a Word document, PDF, PNG or JPEG to hiringlibrariansresumereviewATgmail.
  • It will be posted as-is, so please remove any information that you are not comfortable having publically available (I suggest removing your address and phone number at a minimum).
  • Please include a short statement identifying if it’s a resume or CV and
  • describing the types of positions you’re using it for (ie institution type, position level, general focus).
  • Finally, you will also need to confirm that you agree to comment on at least five other posted resumes.

Our first two resumes are up and ready for your help!  Take a look at Resume 1 and Resume 2

review

And while I have you here…

1. In other crowdsourced news, please consider this your monthly-ish reminder about the Interview Questions Repository:

Have you been on a library interview recently?  Or are you prepping for one?

Sounds like you could use The Interview Questions Repository!

If you’ve had a library interview recently, help this resource grow by reporting the questions you were asked:

http://tinyurl.com/interviewquestionsform

or by sharing this link widely with your friends and colleagues.

If you are about to go on an interview, use the spreadsheet:

http://tinyurl.com/InterviewQuestionsRepository

to help you prepare.

2. Looking for a new podcast?  The IP Address interviews different library professionals, exploring their perspectives on everything from the future of libraries to library hiring.  It’s a very interesting listen!

3. Hiring Librarians could happen live at the California Library Association Conference! Conference-goers are voting now to choose the sessions they want.  I’m on the team for two other presentations in the running: Silicon Valley Grows: Seed Libraries Unite and Ride On! Bikes and Libraries.  Could be a busy autumn!

2 Comments

Filed under CV review, For Public Review, Resume Review

It feels so political.

D.B. MacMillan (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in academic, public, school, and special libraries, archives, and library vendors/service providers, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

120 hours at a youth services department. Some other volunteer work in adult services and technical services. A 6 month paid temporary position working in technical services.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1) Ability to actually use my degree,
2) Be able to work with kids,
3) Enough pay so I can pay off my debts

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, RAILS–the library consortium in my area, occasionally ALA Joblist or the Illinois Library Association website.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I usually take one of the several cover letters that I have saved on my computer and adapt it to that particular job. I adjust based on the type of position and highlight different things. Then I double check my resume and cover letter before I send them in. Usually only takes me about 15-20 minutes. If it’s a job I really want I will spend more time on it.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Advertise in multiple places

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communicate!!!! Seems like your resume and cover letter go into a black hole never to be seen again.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I feel like it’s knowing someone at that particular library. I have been searching for 2 years and still have no idea why I never get picked. It feels so political.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Suburban area

If I need to exaggerate the truth, I’m probably not qualified for the position, and shouldn’t waste my time applying.

Czar Ferdinand hunting (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in academic and public libraries, at the following levels:full time cataloger.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move within two hours of this person’s hometown.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Something that matches my interests (cataloging), something that pays well, something that isn’t too far from my home.

Where do you look for open positions?

Listserv, PALA, and the occasional search engine. For somewhat internal positions, I check my county library’s website.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Other: It should be there, but it won’t prevent me from applying if I don’t see it.

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I have a general cover letter and resume available on my computer. I make changes to my cover letter to fit the description of the job I apply for, but this takes less than half an hour. I have the information of references saved, which I can provide via an email. The most time I would spend on an application would be completing the formal application, which could take at least an hour.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Other: If I need to exaggerate the truth, I’m probably not qualified for the position, and shouldn’t waste my time applying.

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: Whichever is easiest for them.

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be specific about what you want in an employer. Don’t say something vague like “good customer service and library experience”. If you’re only going to seriously consider people with 5+ years of experience and a LIS degree, say it. Include the salary in the ad, including whether it’s negotiable. There are a lot of experienced people without jobs, and it’s a waste of our time to have to send out resumes and applications without knowing all of the necessary facts.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Notify everyone who applies that you’ve received their information, the overall time frame, and whether or not they’ve been chosen to interview. After the interview, notify applicants in a timely manner whether they have or have not been chosen. The process is a lot more stressful for people applying for a position, especially one they really need, than HR may be able to remember. The necessary transfer of correct information is imperative.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

It depends on a number of elements, including the basic element of luck. I secured my first library job by having a great interview with the manager, who was close to my age and very easy to like. On a later interview, the question of who would be hired was determined entirely by the combined score achieved on the interview questions, calculated objectively by a group of three interviewers. References and likeability had no influence on the decision. You have to prepare beforehand for some “basic” interview questions, but you also have to be prepared to go with the flow. You might get hired by doing a lot of listening and little talking. Or, you might be expected to do most of the talking. You also need the qualifications stated on the advertisement, and then some.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

No.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Suburban area

For Public Review: Unnamed Professional 3

Welcome to crowd-sourced resume review for LIS job hunters!

Please help the job hunter below by using the comment button to offer constructive criticism on her resume. Some guidelines for constructive feedback are here, and the ALA NMRT has brief tips for reviewing resumes here.

This 2 page resume was submitted by a job hunter who says,

I am finishing up my last semester of grad school and I’m currently applying to jobs in digital collections, digital archives, and digital preservation. The positions I look for are entry-level positions in academic libraries and most require that the applicant be comfortable using new technologies to oversee the management of digital content campus-wide. This is the resume that I use as a template for the job application. I tweak it quite a bit depending on the job description, but this is a good summary of the work that I have done in libraries.

Unnamed professional 3_Resume_page 1 Unnamed professional 3_Resume_page 2

To submit your resume or CV For Public Review,

  • send it as a Word document or PNG or JPEG image to hiringlibrariansresumereviewATgmail.
  • It will be posted as-is, so please remove any information that you are not comfortable having publically available (I suggest removing your address and phone number at a minimum).
  • Please include a short statement identifying if it’s a resume or CV and
  • describing the types of positions you’re using it for (ie institution type, position level, general focus).
  • Finally, you will also need to confirm that you agree to comment on at least five other posted resumes.

2 Comments

Filed under CV review, For Public Review, Resume Review

Any job that lists foreknowledge of the library’s ILS as a requirement is probably being listed by an ineffective HR dept

Keene High School (old) Students, Keene, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager.

This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Librarians, coordinators and assistants.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a city/town in the Northeastern US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Digital Collections
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: Customer Service

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Customer service, customer service, customer service.

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

You can learn the ILS on the job. Any job that lists foreknowledge of the library’s ILS as a requirement is probably being listed by an ineffective HR dept. Likewise, a lot of tech can be picked up, but there also should be an understanding that new hires will develop new skills. So, if a position requires basic web design skills, I may still hire a candidate with little knowledge in this area. But I should be honest on the interview: “I expect you to study HTML and get up to speed.”

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum
√ Student organization involvement

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

No, but I’m sick of supervisors that say they wouldn’t hire a state university graduate because the market is flooded with local students and they’d rather hire someone else to get “fresh ideas.” I’m sure it totally feels like you’re being a trendsetter, but it’s just lazy shorthand to equate a distinct location with a distinct ideology. You’re not displaying innovation, you’re displaying bias, so knock it off.

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

No, of course not.

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

There are lots of other library school students who are going to be your friends, allies and colleagues all around you. Get to know them, and stay in touch with them. Someday, you’ll all be in charge of everything.

Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?

Yeah. Customer service. It’s absolutely crucial. I’ve been following a lot of online discussions about whether it’s really necessary to like people to be a librarian. Here’s the thing: it is. No matter what your job is (reference, children’s, archives or cataloging) if you’re antisocial, you will not succeed in this field.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, City/town, Northeastern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

You don’t have to be frumpy to be professional

Job Interview, remix by Flickr user grapefruitmoonThis anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an Urban area in the Northeastern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ True

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Yes, true professionals always wear pantyhose

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ Always

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Athletic wear of any kind

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Other: jewelry should go with outfit not distract

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

What a candidate wears will not necessarily make or break a hiring decision, but it does affect how one sees the candidate. Did they care enough about the job to come clean, manicured and pressed? Did they put effort into their appearance. If they didn’t do these basic things, will they put effort into how they do their job?

You don’t have to be frumpy to be professional. There are so many options for looking professional while not looking dowdy and frumpy. It’s o.k. to be stylish and conservative at the same time. Your outfit should compliment you not distract from the things that really matter like your intelligence, professionalism and personality.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

Professional. A dress or a suit.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Other: there is nothing written, but we are expected to be professional

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Job Interview, remix by Flickr user grapefruitmoon

2 Comments

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

No official dress code, but we tend to be conservative.

Christmas Party/Interview Outfit by Flickr user Graham BallantyneThis anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an Urban area in the Midwestern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ True

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Other: Either way-doubt I’d notice

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them. 

Since only a few select candidates are ever invited to an in-person interview, we expect them to be professionally dressed. I doubt anyone would be eliminated from the pool based on outfit alone, but t-shirts, jeans, visible tattoos, multiple piercings, etc would not go over well.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ No

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Earrings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Although we are a somewhat casual workplace, we also have a somewhat conservative culture. We would expect someone to have obviously made an effort to look professional, and fashion outside the mainstream would probably attract negative attention.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

I would not necessarily wear a suit to conduct an interview, but depending on the season I might. I’d never be more casual than business casual.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ N/A: We wear what we want!
√ Other: No official dress code, but we tend to be conservative.

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Badges

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Christmas Party/Interview Outfit by Flickr user Graham Ballantyne

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Your classmates will be your future professional colleagues, and can do more to support your career than you may realize.

This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee.This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

reference and instruction/outreach.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a rural area in the Western US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

3

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Grant Writing
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Research Methods
√ Outreach
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

More than anything, an inability to accurately (or even adequately) characterize their experience in job application materials, combined with an apparent unwillingness to have reviewers from inside and outside the profession give feedback.

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

It depends on the position. Instruction is one example where coursework is no substitute for practice (even though it can provide a good foundation). ILS- Specific skills are best learned on the job – there’s no real way to teach them in a classroom setting.

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

The school’s reputation doesn’t mean much to me. Candidates can have a prestigious degree, and still be inept or a bad fit.

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

Emporia’s online program.

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

First especially for online students, work hard to build your network. Your classmates will be your future professional colleagues, and can do more to support your career than you may realize. Take on anything that gives you hands-on experience, like projects, practicums, internships, or directed fieldwork. If you know what kind of librarian you want to be when you are done with school, look for opportunities to prove you can do that kind of work specifically – create them, if you have to. Take classes outside of your school/department. If you want to be an academic librarian, look for publishing opportunities early- poster sessions, reviews, etc.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Rural area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School