I Work in Business. Don’t Immediately Call Me By My First Name When I’m Your Possible Boss.

Geraldine Fain Browses in the Free LibraryThis anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a special library with 0-10 staff members.

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

1) Relevant experience in the industry (healthcare) — do not apply if you have only worked in an art museum. Please.

2) how GOOD is your resume? This is you #1 way to sell yourself to me initially. Is it flashy or staid? Is everything spelled right (Dialog versus Dialogue). Does it explain clearly yet succinctly what exactly you did without crappy management speak that tells me nothing?

3) Etiquette: I work in business. Don’t immediately call me by my first name when I’m your possible boss or say “ta-ta” on the phone.

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

RESUME: how GOOD is your resume? This is you #1 way to sell yourself to me initially. Is it flashy or staid? Is everything spelled right (Dialog versus Dialogue). Does it explain clearly yet succinctly what exactly you did without crappy management speak that tells me nothing?

If you cannot provide me with a solid resume free of spelling errors and formatting issues, how reliable will you be as a candidate who says “detailed focused.”

And is it a blank generic resume that you blast everyone with all the time? Take a few moments to tailor it to the job. If you really want the job, take 5 minutes. Trust me, we’ll know.

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

Management speak. Cut the crap about “dovetailing” and “value-added.” Great. WHAT was the value add? Tell me exactly what is it is and how you did it. And make it applicable for the job at hand.

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

What systems/database do they know that are applicable to the job they are applying to get? Skip Microsoft — what about a library software, perhaps InMagic or Dialog or Nexis or an IMS Health product.

So many blank resumes these days.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ .pdf

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

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

√ Both as an attachment and in the body of the email

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

Know the company. what we do, who we do it for. Read the damn website. Show you have some sort of interest. At least know the industry that we work in (it’s just one, it ain’t hard to figure out).

If you show you know who we are, that you took the time to check us out, that goes a long way into showing that you are willing to make an effort.

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

1) addressing me by my first name without permission

2) dressing in casual clothes such as jeans. Really, people.

3) asking me “So, what does this company do again?”

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

More phone screens up front to eliminate the people who are not really suitable. And man, that’s a lot.

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Original Survey, Special

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