This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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 six months to a year. This person is looking in Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the entry level. Here is this new grad’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I worked for 1 1/2 years as a circulation aide and graduate assistant. And 2 years as an intern.
This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
A position with training since it will be my first position. Opportunities to travel, grow, and manage projects. A livable salary.
Where do you look for open positions?
Everywhere! ALA Joblist, listservs, LinkedIn, various library associations and websites, Indeed.com, twitter, facebook, etc.
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Only for certain kinds of employers
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I tweak my resume/CV first to cater to the specific requirements, then work on a cover letter and pick my references. I usually spend a couple hours over the course of a day or two just tweaking things and picking out the best wording.
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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Definitely send out rejection emails. It may seem harsh, but it is so much better to know than to wait weeks/months wondering.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Having experience. Which makes it a tough market for recent graduates.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
I would interested to know how many applications other librarians put in before they found a job and how long it takes other applicants on average to find a job.
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!