Volunteer Experience COUNTS!

Ida Leeson, 1933This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

Great personality
Experience
Strong work ethic

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

Misspelled words
Not answering the questions asked
Not capitalizing
Poor eye contact

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Exaggerations of ability, tell me exactly what you can do and not what you think or wish you could do. A listing of every single thing they’ve EVER done. A listing of every country they’ve visited, hobbies, etc.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

Whether or not their previous positions have been tenure-track and if they have earned tenure.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ As many as it takes, but shorter is better

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, but keep it short and sweet

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ As an attachment only

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

SMILE! Let me know that I will enjoy working with you.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

They come in unprepared and end up acting scared and unsure of how to answer.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

Not much.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Be enthusiastic. Find what you’re passionate about and volunteer somewhere if that’s what it takes to get experience. Volunteer experience COUNTS! I’d rather see someone who has volunteered for 1-2 hours a week than someone who’s done nothing while looking for a job.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

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