Stop hiring temp after temp

Library, c.1981This 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, Public libraries, Special libraries and Government 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 did an 8-month paid internship while doing my MLIS and they kept me on for an additional 3 months. To be honest, it wasn’t the best experience, because my supervisor treated me like a personal assistant/gopher and the projects she told me I would be working on were actually assigned to contractors! But it was good to have a job in the field on my résumé and I made some good contacts there so it wasn’t all a waste of time.

 This job hunter is in an city/town in Canada and is not willing to move anywhere.

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

- Potential to learn new skills and move up within the organization
– Stable/long-term jobs (most of the library jobs in my area are contract positions that are 12 months maximum… it gets exhausting jumping from job to job)
– Location/short commute

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs
INALJ
jobs.gc.ca (for the Canadian federal public service)

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?

About 3-5 hours. I have a “master” version of my résumé and I tailor it based on the specific requirements in the job posting. That doesn’t take long, but I always struggle with cover letters.

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
√ 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?

Stop hiring temp after temp when the organization has money for a full-time permanent job! The best candidates aren’t going to apply for short-term contract work unless they have absolutely no other choice.

Improve communication with candidates. If an interviewer tells me “I’ll get back to you by the end of the week” and a month later I haven’t heard back from them, I will be hesitant to apply for a job with that organization in the future. It’s just common courtesy!

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

Similar to my last point – communicate better with candidates.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing how to market yourself and demonstrating that you have the skills and competencies for the position.

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

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

Further Questions: What “hot topics” would you ask candidates about in an interview right now?

This week we asked people who hire librarians

What “hot topics” would you ask candidates about in an interview right now (i.e. the new information literacy framework)? Or what topics have you recently included? What current issues in librarianship do you think candidates should be aware of and how can they best keep up on current topics?

My “hot topics” vary depending on the job, however, here’s what I usually look for:

General Public Service: Outreach and grant writing experience, familiarity and comfort with technology

Collection Development and Technical Services: Demand-driven acquisitions, RDA, cataloging experience

Reference: Traditional reference skills (being able to function without Google) but also technology experience-being able to work in both new and old reference styles is important-I like a librarian who can answer a reference question even if the network is down

And for all hires-customer service experience. We usually ask situational questions to gauge how someone would handle an issue with a problem patron, etc.

- Margaret M. Neill, Regional Library Branch Manager, Main Library, El Paso Public Library

J. McRee ElrodRDA is old news by now.  We would expect a new cataloguer to be aware of Bibframe developments.

 

 

 

- J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging

Jessica OlinHonestly, I don’t really care about “hot topics.” I care about how tuned in librarians are to research, who they read both in and out of the profession, and how they will fit with the rest of the staff. “Who influences your practice and why?” is a better way for me to get to know someone than “what are your feelings on X?”
- Jessica Olin, Director of Parker Library, Wesley College
Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email us at hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  If you liked reading, you’re going to really love COMMENTING.

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Filed under Further Questions

I can spend upwards of three hours per application

Civic library, Newcastle, 1957, Hood collectionThis 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, Archives, Federal Agencies, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience.  This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I never had to do unpaid work–I was lucky enough to find work in a library while doing my undergrad.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in the  Mid-Atlantic US, other: and is willing to move, but only within the region..

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

1) Competitive salary.
2) Reasonable hours.
3) Less than a one hour communte.

Where do you look for open positions?

My current employer’s job list and the job lists at other regional universities.

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 can spend upwards of three hours per application and I think it is very important to specifically tailor each application to each job. Typically, I print off the job listing and then write in the margins how I fit the description. I then use those notes to write my cover letter and adjust my resume.

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
√ Other:  I really, really hate lunch interviews…

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

Advertise the salary! You are not going to attract talent if you refuse to disclose the salary range. Very few openings at my current employer list the salary and I simply refuse to apply to them.

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

Just communicate, please. I recently interviewed at a new institution and my interviewer told me that he would have a decision for me within the week. However, it was three weeks before they contacted me again. I wish that he had just emailed me saying that it would take longer than expected, instead of radio silence…

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, Urban area

Luck!

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 Six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and School libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Supervisory. This job hunter is in Hawaii and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Scope of responsibility, location, pay/benefits

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, INALJ, Indeed, State government websites

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

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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

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 is the secret to getting hired?

Luck!

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, Public, School

Talk to your references and make sure they know who you are!

Library, 1959This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

all

This librarian works at a library with  100-200 staff members in a multi-type cooperative area in the Southern US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

3

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: common sense–but you can’t teach that

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Most of the people I interview think that cataloging is the ideal job. I hate to tell them this, but we’re about public service and everyone works the front desk/reference. We outsource as much cataloging as we can, and that’s no longer a professional level job for the most part. Lacking often are the presentation skills, the ability to speak coherently to a group, the ability to get an idea/s across. Can you tell a story? Can you present budget ideas? Can you write a grant proposal?

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum
√ Other presentation
√ Student organization involvement
√ Other: Direct public involvement

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

NA

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

No but I hesitate from those who do online programs only as they miss a lot of the intellectual discussion of ideas and theories. These online programs are fine to a point.

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Get involved in your community. Participate in some of the activities be it book sales, sports team coaching or whatever you’re interested in. And by all means, talk to your references and make sure they know who you are. Lately, I’ve had people use references that have claimed they didn’t know the person. Fatal flaw!

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses to this survey, or specific analysis of the responses discussing online school, the amount of coursework students should take, and preferences/reluctances for candidates from certain schools.

Do you hire librarians?  Tell us your answer to, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Public, Southern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

I hate when I have to refill out a separate application with all the same information.

Botany Library, Field Columbian Museum, 1912This 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, Archives, Public libraries, Special libraries, at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Senior Librarian. This job hunter is in an urban area: in the  Northeastern US, and is willing to move anywhere but, 

Only for the perfect job.

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

Location, type of position, salary

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ.com, ALA Joblist

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 spend between 15-45 minutes per application. I usually don’t rewrite my resume but recycle and revamp a coverletter template. I hate when I have to refill out a separate application with all the same information.

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
√ 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
√ Being able to present

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

Honestly, I’m not sure. I know the places I want to work and where I don’t want to work, so as long as it fits within the type of library I’ll apply.

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

PLEASE tell me when I don’t get a job. Also, be a little flexible with interview times, especially if I’m working.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Right place and the right time, persistence, patience.

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 Job hunter's survey