Category Archives: MLIS Students

Nothing is worse than getting hired and then sitting around waiting for information about the hiring process.

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, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, School libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

6 years public library experience (through high school, college, and post-undergrad)
Marketing & Publicity Internship
Youth Activism volunteer

This job hunter is in a city/town, in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

 1. If it’s full time and if not, does it pay enough that I could survive for a bit while I look for a second job
2. If FT, benefits/sick/vacation
3. Location. I’m honestly not too picky about location, but it’s difficult to job-search across states as I’ve learned that many employers are very leery about hiring from out of state.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALAJoblist, INALJ (spanning several states), local library websites

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?

Hours: adjusting my cover letter, making sure my resume is up-to-date, making sure I crossed all of my ‘t’s and dotted all of my ‘i’s.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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?

√ Email

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 specific in what it is that you’re looking for in a potential candidate. Yes, being broad in what your post can attract a wide pool of applicants, but what if you get someone who’s great at one thing but downright awful at another? People will pick and choose what attributes of a job application they desire and you won’t get the full package you want.
Hire from outside. OR: do internal recruiting for a week. After a week if there are no internal bites, post the job publicly. It’s incredibly frustrating to apply for a job only to discover that the employer has gone with an internal candidate, despite the job being posted publicly.
Be honest in what is required of the job. Going to require 2 nights and one weekend a month? Mention that.
If it’s part time, will the opportunity arise for it to go full-time? Mention that — especially if it’s a position that could only go full-time if the applicant gets an MLIS.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communicate.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Communicate what is happening, where you are in the process, who you are in contact with and who, if anyone, I should be in contact with. Nothing is worse than getting hired and then sitting around waiting for information about the hiring process.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I wish I had a clear-cut idea. I wish I could say it’s ‘having a perfect resume!’ or ‘having a stunning cover letter!’ or ‘having TONS of experience’ but surely, it’s not just that. All I can say is be personable and passionate about your profession. Know how to market yourself. If you’re unemployed, learn a new skill, a valuable skill — web design, a programming language. These will make you more marketable and wanted in information professions.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Great survey. Loving reading through the responses.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, City/town, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, MLIS Students, Public, School, Special

Networking and knowing the right people is the secret of getting the job

Brian Hunter, 1984, Asst Librarian, Slavonic Collections, London School of Economics This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months . This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public library, Special library at the following levels: Entry level . This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I had a nearly three-month internship for my MLS at a community college library and I currently volunteer in circulation at a public library coming close to one year.

This job hunter is in an Rural area, in the Southern US, and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1-) A kind and collaborative environment.

2-) The ability to learn new skills and grow professionally.

3-) A living wage with benefits.

Where do you look for open positions?

Local and state government job sites, Indeed.com, state library job 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 usually use a recent cover letter and resume as a template, change the contact information, and address some of the job’s qualifications in the cover letter and resume.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ I do my best to tell the truth. I feel though that I may be exaggerating at times.

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?

√ Email

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

√ Being able to present

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

I think being open and honest about the position, what it entails, and its salary and benefits is important to get the best job candidates. The less you say about the position, such as wage/salary, the more suspicious I am going to be about it.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Employers need to have a more humane application process. This means letting people know where their application is in the process. I want to know as early in the process as possible if I have a chance or if I need to move on. Hiring managers need to be clear exactly what information/documents/whatever they want submitted, particularly if applicants have to deal with clunky application tracking systems.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking and knowing the right people is the secret of getting the job. Volunteering is a particularly good strategy as you can gain skills and keep in touch with the profession while also developing a network that can inform you of upcoming or hidden jobs.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Public, Rural area, Southern US, Special

if you are paying less than say, $50,000 for a full time librarian position

Geraldine Fain Browses in the Free LibraryThis 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 Academic libraries, Archives and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I’ve had two longer archives internships. I processed materials in both but one required me to do everything independently. I have volunteered and was part of the advisory board for a library professional organization in a major city and recently began volunteering with a regional archives organization.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US, and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

 Competitive pay in a (personally) desirable geographical
A healthy, pleasant, open work environment
A measure of autonomy and room to take risks

Where do you look for open positions?

Various professional listservs, Joblist, INALJ, Indeed.com, organization HR websites

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?

1 day to 1 week depending on deadlines and job. If I am really interested in the position the longer I may take. In those instances I will have a couple of people review my letter. However, I always take at least 1 day. As a general rule I will write a letter, then leave it overnight and return the next day to revise before sending.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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
√ 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

√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be clear and realistic in expectations. If you are not willing to hire recent grads or people with only internship experience, it would be nice to know up front. Also, if you are paying less than say, $50,000 for a full time librarian position or requiring and MLS for a part time position that’s paying under $18-$20/hour, and requiring a laundry list of qualifications to be filled and duties to undertake, you might need to rethink what you’re bringing to the table and who you are willing and able to hire/attract for such positions. Certainly there are constraints and what you need in a place like NYC or Chicago might not be the same in South Carolina or Montana for instance.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Being very clear in job descriptions by doing things such as providing deadlines for submission, review, and projected job start dates. Clarity in all details related to job descriptions is important. Beyond that I don’t know, overall it’s just a terrible experience.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I don’t know. I have been searching for the past eight months since graduating. I am someone with lots of relevant and transferable experience in addition to library training, a Master’s degree in another field, language experience, internships, experience volunteering with LIS professional organizations, etc. and I’ve had only two interviews. Only one was particularly relevant and though I made it to the list of final candidates I still didn’t get the job.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Northeastern US, Special, Urban area

Don’t plan to only hire MLIS students for shelving positions and leave no intermediate positions for students

HM Queen Mother at the formal opening of the new library in the Lionel Robbins Building, 10th July 1979This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has 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 Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

2.5 years experience in ILL in an academic library; 1.5 years in circulation in a public library

This job hunter is in an urban area, in the  Western US, and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1. A place to grow with my career.
2. A salary I can support myself on.
3. Location

Where do you look for open positions?

Library Jobline, INALJ, specific library websites (e.g. Denver Public Library)

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Other: Almost always yes, but I will still apply to a job if it’s not.

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I have a standard cover letter that I adapt based on the job, occasionally re-writing it completely. I don’t spend more than an hour on most applications, mainly because many government and/or library application systems are shared and remember my information so I don’t have to reenter.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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?

√ 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

√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be honest about the job opening and search for employers who fit the actual job. (Don’t plan to only hire MLIS students for shelving positions and leave no intermediate positions for students)

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Be more timely, i.e. not take 3-4 weeks just to get back to me with a “no”

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

be awesome and honest and find the right fit.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Public, Special, Urban area, Western US

Please, for the love of Pete, do NOT call a position entry level if it requires X amount of experience.

Library International Law Reading Room, 1964This 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 Academic libraries, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

Interned in an academic library’s archival department. Conducted a fieldwork project in same.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Western US, other: and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Compatibility, challenge, a chance to learn the ins and outs.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, INALJ, HigherEd Jobs, LinkedIn, Indeed, various listservs.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Other: Not sure it’s a red flag if salary ranges aren’t posted, but I sure wish I knew what the motivation is behind NOT posting!

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I probably spend at least a couple of hours per application. Crafting the cover letters take a lot of time. I try to highlight my accomplishments as they pertain to the job description.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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?

√ 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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

I generally think most employers include enough information in job descriptions to attract good candidates.

I have already filled out the survey recently, but I came back to it because I thought of another answer for this question.

The second-most frustrating thing about job searching, besides the application abyss I mentioned perviously, is filling out redundant online application forms. Everything relevant – my education, experience, contact information – is in my resume and cover letter. Is having to retype it all into some poorly-suited web form actually some kind of test as to whether I REALLY want the job? The hiring process would be less painful if these application forms didn’t exist.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Please, for the love of Pete, do NOT call a position entry level if it requires X amount of experience. If you are truly hiring for an actual entry level position, then weed out the applicants with a lot of experience. Level the playing field! Highly qualified candidates are in a much better position to find jobs matching their skills and experience.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I wish I knew!

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Maybe ask a question about acceptable salary ranges depending on skills and qualifications. Also, what kinds of questions are we being asked when we do get the chance to interview? What kinds of professional associations do we belong to, and does belonging to a professional organization make a difference in the job hunt? An open ended question about whether or not we feel we’ve exhausted all options as far as professional library positions are concerned, and what kind of work are we considering if not library work.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Public, Special, Western US

Having skills that match the position, being confident, and it never hurts to know someone involved with the hiring process.

Library in United States National Museum BuildingThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

Internship at an Academic library 2 nights a week for one semester.

This job hunter is in an suburban area, in the  Northeastern US, and is not willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Within my field/something that will help me learn skills that are applicable moving forward
Location
Salary/Benefits

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, Chronicle of Higher Ed website, individual college or library websites

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 would say that I spend about an hour. My resume is mostly the same for every job I apply for so I just take some time to read the job description and write my cover letter to highlight some of the activities I’ve done previously that would overlap with the job responsibilities for the job I’m applying for.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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?

√ 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?

Write detailed job descriptions so those reading it are clear as to whether or not they’re capable of doing the job.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Be more communicative.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Having skills that match the position, being confident, and it never hurts to know someone involved with the hiring process.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Northeastern US, Public, Suburban area

Fun coworkers!

Geraldine Fain Browses in the Free LibraryThis 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 Six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I provide reference services and teach workshops at an academic health sciences library. I also do original and copy cataloging for a local library resource group. In the past I have done reference at public and community college libraries, and cataloging at an elementary school.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in the  Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Opportunities to learn new skills and have increased responsibilities
The ability to support a mission and organization that I care about
Fun coworkers!

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ
State library consortium websites
Individual college and university websites
Indeed (search for metadata or cataloging, etc)

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 spend about an hour analyzing the job description and brainstorming the ways in which my skills and abilities would match what the employer needs, then I edit my resume and write a new cover letter for each job. I am a slow writer and it takes me more than 2 hours to write each cover letter.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Offer a salary commensurate with experience and education. In my opinion, $15 per hour is too little to pay a professional librarian who earned an MLS.
Write job descriptions that accurately describe the position and duties.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Please make your expectations very clear! I have had interviews where the department described a very different kind of job than the one I had applied for, i.e., the duties were not as described and were in fact, much more mundane. Also, please let me know when I am not chosen. A form email would be fine for this purpose.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think it is best if you have a close contact at the organization.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

I just want to thank you for continuing to update Hiring Librarians. It’s been very helpful to me as I finish library school and continue to search for gainful employment.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Northeastern US, Special, Urban area