Maria Lin completed this survey on February 13, 2013. At the time, she was currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), had not been hired within the last two months, and had been looking for a new position for less than six months. Ms. Lin was looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she described her experience with internships/volunteering:
Interned as a lone archivist at a small nonprofit for three months, and spent a month doing scanning and web design for another nonprofit abroad. I’ve also had the good luck to work an informal internship at a local archive, where I stop by and process stuff in return for tutelage.
Ms. Lin was in a city/town in the Western US, and was willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Good relationship with colleagues, Meaningful and rewarding work, and a living wage
Where do you look for open positions?
INALJ, my school listserv, library jobline, NJSLA jobs, libjobs-l, careers in federal libraries, archives digest, among others
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 create a resume by pulling relevant information out of a master resume file, then write up a cover letter responding the the specific requirements listed in the job posting. I usually let that sit for a day and then go over it all a final time before sending. I’ve never timed myself but I used to send out three or four applications a day.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
√ Other: I described myself as “fluent” in a language and then choked when ask to read something during an interview. I learned my lesson.
When would you like employers to contact you?
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
√ Other: To tell me when I might expect an interview call, if one comes.
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
√ Other: Explanation of workflow and structure
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Hire for work ethic first, past achievement second. I think both candidate and employer can learn the most from each other by going into the work environment of the job they are applying for and seeing how the applicant interacts with it.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Give us a timeframe for how long we should expect to wait before any decisions have been made.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Once you’re clear of doing things that might mark you as an immediate no, there’s nothing left but tenacity and luck.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
Aprox. how many jobs have been applied to.
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!