Sarah Deringer took the Job Hunter’s survey on 12/29/2012. Her responses appeared as Make Sure That the Candidate Knows That You Really Want Them to Apply.
Background and Situation
How long has it been since you got your library degree?
I will receive my library degree on December 20, 2013. I have been looking at library jobs while also earning my degree.
How many years of library work experience do you have?
I have been working at a small public library since 2009. For the first two years (2009 and 2010), I just had summer internships during June and July. But after I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree and moved back home in summer 2011, I started working part-time. Right now I’m a substitute aide for the library, and I have been since December 2012.
How many years of work experience outside of libraries do you have?
None. I went straight for the library because I knew it’s what I wanted to do in life.
How old are you?
25 years old
What’s your current work situation?
Part-time work. Looking for a job. Almost graduated from library school.
Are you volunteering anywhere?
I volunteer at my church with a children’s bible school class.
Your Job Hunt
How long have you been job hunting at this point?
I have been actively searching since January 2013.
What kinds of jobs are you currently applying for?
Public, academic, and school libraries
Librarian, social media specialist, Teen and / or youth librarian, User Experience Librarian, Web Resources Coordinator, Marketing Assistant, Small public library director
Also, outside of libraries where the jobs are similar in nature and internships that would expand my skills.
Approximately how many positions have you applied to?
25 jobs. I knew that I didn’t have to apply to as many until I graduate.
Approximately how many interviews have you gone on?
2 interviews. I also had an interview scheduled for a paid internship, but they suspended the position.
How do you prepare for interviews?
I look at often asked questions during job interviews. I think of ways to describe myself and how I would best fit the job.
Have you traveled for interviews? If so, who paid?
I have traveled up to an hour and a half. I paid for the gas.
Have you declined any offers?
What do you think is the biggest obstacle in your job hunt? How are you working to overcome it?
So far, the biggest obstacle has been that I don’t have my library degree. To combat that, I am honing my skills and branding myself to fit the job I’m looking for.
Have there been any major changes in your job hunting strategy? Are you doing anything differently than from when we last heard from you?
There’s not much that has changed, but I’m getting more and more serious about my job hunt.
State of the Job Market
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen on a job announcement?
I saw listed under the benefits a part-time job: “great parking space.” It made me giggle.
What was your favorite interview question? What was the worst?
Fave interview question: We’re looking to remodel the children’s and teen’s areas. What would you like to see included in the plans?
Worst interview question: So if this full-time library director job were offered to you, what would you do for health insurance since that’s not part of the benefits?
Any good horror stories for us?
The “worst interview question” made it feel like they were taunting me with the fact that they weren’t offering health insurance. The position was for a library director at a small public library. I knew that the board of directors were probably trying to be funny, but with today’s economy, it’s not funny.
Has job hunting been a positive or negative experience, for the most part?
For the most part, it’s been a positive experience. I’ve learned a lot from just the two interviews I’ve had, and I know I’ll learn a lot more as I have more interviews.
Would you change your answer to “what’s the secret to getting hired”?
I think it’s still having passion and enthusiasm for the career, but I also feel it’s about endurance. Don’t give up on your job hunt. There will be times when you feel like you’re not good enough, but the right job will come along if only you will keep looking, applying, and learning.
Anything else you want to tell us?
If you took the Job Hunter’s Survey some time in the last year and are interested in doing a follow-up, even anonymously, please contact me at hiringlibrarians AT gmail.