Category Archives: MLIS Students

If I can find out from someone’s Facebook page that we have some interests in common … I will try and fit it in to my letter if appropriate.

Librarians, State Library of New South Wales, 1952This 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 More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

Though I am entry level from a library standpoint, I am a seasoned professional (read that as middle-aged and displaced) with experience in museum marketing and programs, as well as community college curriculum development. I have had no library related internships.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the  Southern US and is not willing to move.

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

Stability. Opportunities to learn. Ability to advance.

Where do you look for open positions?

Though I look at listings from professional sites, I find most postings by routinely checking the job postings at the websites of colleges, universities, and government institutions.

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?

Resume and cover letter tweaked for that specific position. Careful research of the company, and department heads if information is out there. (If I can find out from someone’s Facebook page that we have some interests in common (a particular hobby, sport’s team, charity, professional affiliation, etc) I will try and fit it in to my letter if appropriate. Preparing and applying for each job can take hours.

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

√ Other: I’ve never lied or exaggerated but I have left off many things, especially items that would reveal my age.

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
√ Other: The hiring process can sometimes take a month or more. The trend is towards less communication, but because of these potential delays, more communication is needed.

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 very candid in the job posting on exact qualification required. Vagueness attracts many applicants who are not certain whether they are qualified or not.

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

Provide as much information as possible. Communicate regularly. Ask interview questions that are meaningful instead of canned behavioral questions that only test our ability to memorize the proper answers. Part of knowing whether we are good fit for the job is in getting to know managers and coworkers.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

If I knew this answer I wouldn’t be looking for a job, now would I?

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, Southern US

I did not meet certain qualifications (though these were not originally in the job posting)

City, Public Library, 1956This 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, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I interned for six months at an archives/special collections that was part of an academic library. I have about 2 weeks of experience as a library clerk.

This job hunter is in a suburban area, in the  Northeastern US, and is willing to move within the East Coast.

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

Good work environment/friendly co-workers
Close to home

Where do you look for open positions?

QC Listserv, INALJ, ALA Joblist, Metro, LILRC, Indeed.com

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 have a resume and a cover letter written. I will adjust the cover letter depending on the job description. I can spend between 20 minutes to an hour on it.

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?

Accurately describe the position in the ad. I have applied to several jobs I felt qualified for only to receive an email stating that I did not meet certain qualifications (though these were not originally in the job posting).

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

Not beat around the bush about a time to meet. I have gone back and forth with several hiring commitees about dates and times. Never did they suggest a date/time and when I would make a suggestion it would be shot down and when I said I could meet a their convienence I was told to submit a date/time that worked for me.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Nepotism. Or luck. Sheer luck-I was interviewed and as I was leaving one of the librarians came after me to ask me to meet with the college President because they wanted me to start the following week.

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, Public, Special, Archives, MLIS Students, Northeastern US, Suburban area, Job hunter's survey

standing desks, work that doesn’t involve a desk, flex schedules

New York Public Library Central Information, n.d.This 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, Archives, Public libraries, Special libraries, retail, technology, museums, nonprofits at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I worked in libraries for ten years before completing my MLIS while working full time. I have 3 years of experience in archives, 4 in reference and instruction in academic libraries, and 3 in metadata and database management. I have been programming websites and doing graphic design on the side on and off during those 10 years, and my undergraduate degree is in graphic design.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in the  Western US, and is willing to move here, or back to my hometown.

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

Ability to interact with and impact communities and colleagues. Opportunities to advance further. Support for physical and mental health (work life balance – standing desks, work that doesn’t involve a desk, flex schedules)

Where do you look for open positions?

Go directly to the website of the library I’m interested in. Regional job lists. Friends and colleagues.

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 print the description and save a pdf copy for later reference in case I lose the paper version, make notes and highlight specifics, tailor my resume to match specific terms used in the description. Research the hiring institution well enough to write a cover letter that reflects similar values and mission. Fill out application if necessary and submit materials. 3-4 hours, sometimes less if there isn’t a long application form.

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 tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview

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?

I think employers are oversaturated with great candidates right now. I don’t believe that more steps in the application process is a good way to weed out candidates, though! My favorite job to date involved a group interview of 5 potential candidates together. It was a much more natural way to interact and really see everyone’s personality and ability to stay positive in a competitive group situation.

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

Communicate with candidates. It does not take a lot of time or effort to send a rejection email!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing people who know the hiring committee.

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

Thank you for blogging about the hiring process!!! It is always eye opening and has helped me to understand what goes on behind the scenes.

A question you might add is one that asked how many applications one has sent out (and how many interviews , rejections, radio silence / zero responses)

I am also interested in how other job hunters handle references; do they choose specific people for different positions or how do you keep your references in the loop when you are applying to so many jobs (without being a nag)?

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

Don’t make assumptions about why I applied for a job I’m overqualified for

Brian Hunter, 1984, Asst Librarian, Slavonic Collections, London School of EconomicsThis 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 Less than six months. This person is looking in Public libraries, 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 week practicum during library school. 7 years library paraprofessional before that.

 This job hunter is in a city/town, in the Canada, and is willing to move within the province.

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

A good work environment, the ability to advance/get promoted, a fair salary

Where do you look for open positions?

Provincial joblists, individual library websites, INALJ

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?

2 – 3 hours (but that’s probably way too long.)

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 clear and honest job postings. Don’t expect lots of experience for entry level positions. Be willing to look outside the tiny circle of people they know to some wonderfully qualified people they have not had the chance to meet yet.

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

Keep candidates updated throughout the process. I don’t mind a form letter telling me I’m not being called to interview–just let me know so I don’t wonder for weeks if they have even started the process yet. Post your salary range right in the job ad so I don’t waste my time and yours applying for a job I cannot afford to take. Don’t make assumptions about why I applied for a job I’m overqualified for or will have to move across the country to work at–if I took the time to apply, I’m willing to do it.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

A great interview where you can showcase your skills and get to know people.

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 Canada, City/town, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Public, Special

At this point, I’m leaning towards blood sacrifice

Mark Hall is a former middle-and-high school teacher who entered librarianship about 7 years ago. He just finished his MLIS through University of North Texas, and works as a “Library Service Specialist” with a Houston-area public library system.He has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months, in academic and public libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, and Branch Manager. Mr. Hall is in an urban area, in the Southern US, and was willing to move anywhere

but then I got married to someone with a tie to the area

Mr. Hall reviews books as The Library Ogre .

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

Right now
1) Close by. Personal reasons but I can’t leave the city right now.
2) Work seems matched to my skills and experience.
3) A salary I can live on.

Where do you look for open positions?

TLA Joblist, websites of local employers

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?

Somewhat depends on my confidence of the job. I will tailor my resume and draft a cover letter (if required), plus work through their application, double-checking that I meet the requirements.

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

√ Other: Only insofar as experience requirements go

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?

Be clear. If you’ve got standard salary ranges, make those easily accessible (a link in the post would be great). Be clear about your needs and requirements, and your preferences.

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

Communicate. Tell applicants what’s up so they can prepare or cross you off their list of people they’re waiting to hear from.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

At this point, I’m leaning towards blood sacrifice.

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, Public, Southern US, Urban area

Fitting in with the work environment you are applying for

Brian Hunter, 1984, Asst Librarian, Slavonic Collections, London School of EconomicsThis 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, Archives, 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. This job hunter is in an urban area, in the  Western US, and is not willing to move anywhere.

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

Location, flexibility, benefits

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional Listserv, specific employer website, graduate school’s career services

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?

Whatever the application calls for, I will do. 30 minutes to an hour.

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

√ Yes

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?

√ 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

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

Specifically list what they do not want in an employee in a “need not apply” section, maybe.

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

Give accurate times for how long the process will take.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Fitting in with the work environment you are applying for.

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, Archives, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Urban area, Western US

For Public Review: Job Hunter EH

Welcome to crowd-sourced resume review for LIS job hunters!

Please help the job hunter below by using the comment button to offer constructive criticism on her resume. Some guidelines for constructive feedback are here, and the ALA NMRT has brief tips for reviewing resumes here.

This 2 page resume was submitted by a job hunter who says,

This resume is aimed at securing internships or paraprofessional positions, as I’m still a student.  I intend to go into academic libraries when I graduate, particularly in digital services/emerging tech or digital archives

EH Resume p1 EH Resume p2

 

To submit your resume or CV For Public Review,

  • send it as a Word document or PNG or JPEG image to hiringlibrariansresumereviewATgmail.
  • It will be posted as-is, so please remove any information that you are not comfortable having publically available (I suggest removing your address and phone number at a minimum).
  • Please include a short statement identifying if it’s a resume or CV and
  • describing the types of positions you’re using it for (ie institution type, position level, general focus).
  • Finally, you will also need to confirm that you agree to comment on at least five other posted resumes.

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Filed under For Public Review, MLIS Students, Resume Review