Category Archives: MLIS Students

Where you start is not always where you end up.

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 and Special libraries, at the entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience

I have worked an academic library internship that turned into part time employment. I also organize a volunteer program to a library that serves underprivileged children.

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

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

Since this will be my first job in the library field I am mostly looking for job responsibilities that match my strengths and interest. Everything else is just nice to have and/or could be addressed later in my career. Where you start is not always where you end up.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, SLIS Listserv, INALJ

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?

The amount of time I spend on an application really depends on how much time I have available and the job description. I have a few CV’s. All of the information is the same but they are organized to emphasis a different skill set.I also have a cover letter template and a bank of paragraphs that cover common requirements of the types of jobs I am applying to. I generally use one or two points from the bank and the rest is written specifically for that job.

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

In addition to honest and descriptive listing of the required job requirements and the preferred requirements, a short description of an ideal candidate would be useful. Something along the lines of “we need a person that is comfortable building relationships with X” or “this position requires someone that is able to take the initiative in doing X”.

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

I will echo what most people have said and reiterate having an accurate timetable for the hiring process does wonders for relieving anxiety. Also being open and friendly during an interview, don’t be so obvious and robotic about reading your questions from a script, helps a lot.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

A often overlooked trait that helps is the ability to show how great of a candidate you are in such a short amount of time.

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

Having the opportunity to describe the frequency of interviews might allow job seekers to gauge their own job seeking behavior.

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, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Special, Suburban area, Western US

Timely follow up

Australian Institute of Librarians' inaugural meeting at Canberra, August 20, 1937. Photographer A. Collingridge, CanberraThis 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  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:

Five years experience in a technical library. Received MS in Library Science in 2013.

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

Where do you look for open positions?

Library and other job boards, SLA, private company websites, government sites.

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?

Some packets may only require a basic resume, others require a highly detailed application process. Some require online formatted resume builders. In essence it could take 30 minutes or three hours, depending on the requirements.

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Provide detailed descriptions of duties and requirements

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

Timely follow up

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 Archives, City/town, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Special, Western US

Being able to fill every requirement perfectly

Folger Shakespeare Library, ca. 1932-1950, from the collection of Cornell UniversityThis 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 A year to 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, 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:

I interned at my undergraduate university’s Archives and Special Collections department, primarily transcribing oral histories and managing the front desk. During library school, I worked in the Manuscripts department of the rare books and special collections library and interned at the university’s office of archives and records managment.

This job hunter is in a suburban area, in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Living wage
Position that builds on what I have learned in library school and furthers my skill set
Location (to a certain degree)

Where do you look for open positions?

Alumni listerv
INALJ
Archives Gig
ALA Joblist
Local library and university 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?

Depending on the job requirements, I take anywhere from two hours to a day or two on the application. I read over the list of requirements and match up my skill set to those listed. Look over the institution website and adjust the cover letter accordingly. Review my resume and make changes if needed.

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

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?

Advertise more widely

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

Get rid of online applications that require you to fill out all the same information that would be found on your resume/CV and cover letter. Follow up after an interview (by phone or on site) to let us know if we’ve made it to the next round.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Already knowing someone at the place hiring, timing, and somehow being able to fill every requirement perfectly…

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, Midwestern US, MLIS Students, Public, Special, Suburban area

Compromising is extremely important .

Employment Bus Interior by Flickr user Metro Transportation Library and ArchiveThis 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 Six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives,  Public libraries, and Special libraries, and Nonprofits at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience

3 years as a collections assistant in my undergrad university’s special collections department.
1 year as a teaching assistant for kids 2-18 years.
6 months in the digital preservation and conservation departments of the same school.
3 months as a collections/metadata/preservation intern at a film archive.
2 months (ongoing temporary) as photography/techical services/metadata assistant in a private. institution.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move, in the long run, but right now, I haven’t found a job worth the move..

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

1) Salary commensurate to my skillset.
2) Either full-time with good pay, or part-time, and willing to compromise so I can have another part-time job.
3) Co-workers and superiors who are interested in a doing a good job, and seeing their peers succeed as well.

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, RAILS, craigslist, individual organizations’ pages.

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 have three standard resumes and cover letter templates – one for a technology librarian assistant, one for a youth/children’s library assistant, and one for a collections assistant. If there are particular skills that need highlighting, I spend half an hour to an hour tweaking my resume, and no more than 45 minutes on my 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?

√ 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?

Compromising is extremely important – if I’m compromising on pay, part-time/full-time positions, permanent/temporary positions, I want to know that I’m being valued in some way other than just being a warm body. I need to be making connections, getting training, and, hopefully, making some money that allow me to do my job without constantly worrying about finding a new one.

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

Online applications are a joke. Of my more successful jobs, the people in the hiring departments have never used online application forms. A cover letter and resume do the job just fine, and I get the (secondhand) comfort of knowing that they truly appreciate every single candidate they interview, even if they aren’t ultimately right for the job.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think its a combination of knowing the right people, persistence, and being in the right place at the right time. Or maybe it is just luck.

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

I really appreciate this survey, and it’s helped me not only hone my application/interview skills, but also to ask more important/relevant questions in interviews. And, after having read some of the more ghastly interviews with hiring managers, I feel like I better understand how to look out for people I don’t want to work 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, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, MLIS Students, Public, Special, Urban area

After 6 years of searching, I will take the very first full time job offered, no matter what.

Librarians, State Library of New South Wales, 1952This 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 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:

My internship and volunteering was great, I got to do a lot of things and came out with strong references from people I still consider friends.

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?

It’s full time.

It’s not a children’s librarian position.

I’m qualified to do it.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA joblist, inalj.

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

√ Other:  I don’t consider it a “red flag” necessarily, but sometimes a posting won’t have a salary OR say whether it’s part time or full time. In those cases I’m not sure if I’m wasting my time or not, since I can’t afford to move out of state for a part time salary.

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

Depends on the application. Filling one out online can be excruciating. Sometimes it’s fairly painless, but sometimes I have to dig up info I don’t have on hand for most of the questions, or they ask something in such a way that I can’t answer it, yet it’s a required field.

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)?

√ Other: I’m in no position to turn down a full time job. Nothing will sway me from accepting if it’s ever offered. After 6 years of searching, I will take the very first full time job offered, no matter what.

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

Post well in advance, not when you want to start making choices next week.

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

It would be nice if they just decided on a salary they were willing to pay, rather than asking us what salary we want. If they would make that decision first, we could look at that salary and decide to apply or not, rather than us taking our time to apply, then them taking their time to look at our application and decide if that salary is in their ballpark.

Besides, all I want is a living wage, I’m not trying to play hardball here.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being literally anyone but me. Other than that, know people and hope the people you know will be hiring, or will know other people who are hiring.

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, City/town, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, MLIS Students, Public

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!

Leave a comment

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