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 less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, and Special libraries, at the Entry level and for positions requiring at least two years of experience.This person’s experience with internships/volunteering is:
I part-time interned at a county archives. I volunteer when I can at an elementary school library.
This job hunter is in an urban area of the Southern US, and is willing to move,
but within the Southern US
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
A position that:
1) best fits my skills and work experience (cataloging and archiving).
2) is located in the Southeastern U.S., where I live currently.
3) is a good fit for someone who is fresh out of library school.
Where do you look for open positions?
ALA JobList (Twitter & RSS), professional listservs (ALA, SAA, regional organizations), Archives Gig, I Need a Library Job, professional career job listing sites.
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 type up the job listing in a Word document in bullet points so I know what skills/experience the institution is looking for. I then edit my resume and write an application letter based on those bullet points. I edit both like crazy afterwards, so it takes several days before I feel like I’m ready to submit the packet.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
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?
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?
Employers need to be very specific about their expectations and desired skills/experience they want from candidates. The more detailed the better, and no extra “competencies” that are not relevant to what the daily tasks are for the position.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Please please please contact the candidates in a timely manner when the institution has made a decision on who to hire. So far in my job search, I have had one institution not contact me at all, two that waited two months to notify me “Sorry, but no” and one that immediately told me “Sorry, but no.” One position that I did have an interview for told me to expect a response within two weeks, and I received a “Sorry, but no” within one week. By receiving notification, I can keep chugging along applying without worrying whether or not I got a job somewhere else.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Keep trying, because there’s bound to be a job that best fits somewhere. Also, I try not to pigeon-hole myself to only a few kinds of positions because that limits where I can work.
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!