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 more than 18 months. This person did not respond to the questions about library type, position level, and volunteering/internship experience. This job hunter is in a rural area in the Western US and is willing to move:
most places, but not anywhere
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Job responsibilities I can get enthusiastic about
Where do you look for open positions?
Higher Ed Jobs, ALA Joblist, LibGig, LIS Jobs
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I usually print out the job listing, so I can check off each required item as I complete it. First, I go over my resume and update it if necessary. If there’s an actual application, I usually fill it out next. Then I write the cover letter, checking it against the job listing to make sure I cover all the points. I read over everything and ask someone else to look it over for errors. I go back and check everything one more time then submit the application.
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 tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
√ Phone for good news, email for bad news
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?
Be upfront about job requirements. They should be realistic in their candidate requirements. Often the years of experience requirement is too high. When I was job hunting, I saw job listings asking for 5 to 7 years experience for a regular librarian position. I’d read that sometimes employers will list a minimum # of years of experience, but they’ll accept fewer. I think employers should be realistic and should be honest in their ads.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Be very clear in the job listing of requirements, job duties, and application process. They should communicate with all applicants whether they are chosen to be interviewed or not. It would also be nice if the process wasn’t drawn out over months.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Knowing someone who works at the hiring library, having the qualifications ( or most of them, having a good rapport with the hiring committee.
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!