Be Sincere, Concise; Present Yourself Well, Be Nice

New York Public Library Building in the New-York Tribune, 1908This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of hiring committees, for a library with 10-50 staff members.



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

1. Did s/he meet the qualifications in the job description?
2. Did s/he seem willing and able to deal with multiple duties.
3. Was the candidate comfortable with the interview process, with the library and with the community?

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

Fancy paper. Fancy lettering. Trite phrases about the library community. every paper/article/ etc. they have written, coauthored or read.

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

Some personal library experience not related to working in one.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

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?

√ I don’t care

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

Be sincere;
concise;
present yourself well;
be nice.

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

Talking too much.

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

Too many applicants to not enough applicants to too many applicants to not enough applicants…

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

There are really good libraries and library jobs in places that are not big cities. Consider small rural areas. You might be surprised.

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

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