Neyda Gilman has a VERY recent MLIS, as her degree was conferred February 1st! Librarianship will be a second career, after working as a medical technologist for five years. She is a graduate reference assistant at the University at Buffalo’s Health Sciences Library Ms. Gilman has been looking for less than six months, in academic libraries, archives, and special libraries, at the entry level. Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:
I currently work part time at a library on campus. I have also done practicums at a public library, hospital library, and in a special collection. When my part time work ends soon I plan on continuing to volunteer there until I can find a job.
She is in a city/town, in the Northeastern US, and is willing to move anywhere, although
location is important so if I don’t think I could be happy living there I probably won’t take the job.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Type of library – I am interested in Academic (especially health sciences) or hospital
Location – I am looking nationwide (and Canada), but only apply to places in locations I think I would enjoy living
Mentorship/guidance – this is not necessary, but being a new grad I feel better applying to jobs that indicate they are a place to grow and learn
Where do you look for open positions?
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?
One application will take at least a day, usually more, depending on what they want. I start with my resume or CV (whichever one they specify) since that is the easiest – I use a similar resume/CV for most applications and it doesn’t usually take long to customize it for the specific job. Next I work on my cover letter and this is that part that takes the longest. Last is compiling my list of references – I have a list of about ten people who have all agreed to be references and I choose from that list depending on the job. The exception to this is if the job wants an actual letter or form filled out; in these cases the first thing I do is contact my references.
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?
Put the posting out in as many areas as possible. Don’t have too strict of requirements. Having a lot of preferred qualifications is good, but I get really discouraged when I don’t meet one qualification out of a long list of required qualifications. There have been jobs that I know I would be good at and would love doing, but didn’t apply because there was one or two qualifications that I didn’t fully meet.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Keep the lines of communication open. If I am not a top choice, fine but let me know. Even if I am still being considered but not in the first batch of interviewees I want to know where I stand.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
I’ll let you know when I get a job.
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!