This is a stupid fear we keep telling ourselves.

At center market. 11 year old celery vender. He sold until 11 P.M. and was out again Sunday morning selling papers and gum. Has been in this country only half a year. Washington D.C., 04131912This anonymous interview is with an archives library  employee who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. When asked, “Are you a librarian?”  this person responded, “It’s complicated.” This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Archivists

This person works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Northeastern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Can write a cover letter, skills listed on resume matched job description, correct degree.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

My institution is small without a lot of policies/HR involvement. I review all the applications for the positions on my team.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Terrible writing/cover letters.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: Only if they ask

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Learn to write a cover letter.

I want to hire someone who is

curious

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ I don’t know

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Totally depends. In the past our lower-level (paraprofessional, but we don’t use that term to describe them) jobs didn’t require an advanced degree. While they still don’t officially, many people with advanced degrees have applied and are in those positions. Professional positions (asst. level) do require a degree. Minimal experience is often listed as well, but that usually can be satisfied with internships or positions held during graduate school.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

This is a stupid fear we keep telling ourselves. Relevancy is based on our ability to adapt to new circumstances, and there’s a large amount of evidence that we’ve been able to do that.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Thank you for making the survey interesting and conversational. I think I elaborated more than I would normally because of that!

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Archives, Northeastern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

There may be librarians in the future, but they will need different skill sets from the past.

Man selling artichokes at vegetable market in Stockholm 1951This anonymous interview is with an academic library employee who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

subject librarians
technical services
archives
preservation
repository

This person works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a rural area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Score about 75% on our qualifications matrix.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

By a search committee using a job skill matrix based on job requirements, but required and preferred.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Doesn’t score high enough on our matrix.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: If contacted

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Make sure resume and letter of introduction speak to the job requirements.

I want to hire someone who is

collaborative

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 100-200

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 3-4

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No

Is librarianship a dying profession?

Yes

Why or why not?

Technology is automating many of the traditional roles of the librarian. There may be librarians in the future, but they will need different skill sets from the past.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

Leave a comment

Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

Further Questions: How can a resume/CV show subjective skills or qualities?

This week we asked people who hire librarians

Let’s talk about resumes and CVs. Many skills and qualities listed in articles targeted for job seekers include traits that are fairly subjective: leadership, written communication, presentations, problem solving, work ethic, motivation, etc. How can a resume or CV be used to demonstrate those skills, or is it more appropriate to leave it to examples in cover letters and/or recommendation letters? Additionally, how do employers recognize those skills?

Marleah AugustineIncluding specific projects or instances in which you’ve actively demonstrated those qualities is the key. Personally, I have no preference as to whether they show up in the cover letter or on the resume. I think the best plan is to pick one or two instances and really go into detail about those in the cover letter; the other instances can be listed as bullet points in your employment history on your resume. Maybe you saw a need for a change and took the lead in creating a new metric in your department — that could be a way to show leadership and problem solving. Listing a committee on which you’ve served could display motivation and leadership. Taking the time to go in-depth and illustrate HOW you display these skills also would help me see your level of commitment and motivation.

– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Further Questions

Practice interviewing; be comfortable talking with people (or at least appear to be).

Man selling dill at vegetable market in Stockholm 1951This anonymous interview is with a librarianworking in consortium offices who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Systems Librarian, Cataloger, Para-professional, Applications Specialist (technology degree or library degree)

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Required ALA MLIS degree or equivalent. Communicated and interviewed well. Relevant experience or demonstrated aptitude to handle new technology.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applications are seen but HR systems marks ones that already did not meet posting requirements for degree or are missing other required pieces of information such as resume or cover letter. A committee is used for position that is hired. They review the application materials and select candidates for phone interviews. Usually 2-3 individuals are then invited for campus interviews. Final references are usually also contacted by the committee. The committee makes a final recommendation to the Director/Board.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Lack of proper degree. Poor resume.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: Usually only if asked by candidate.

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Make a professional looking resume. Practice interviewing; be comfortable talking with people (or at least appear to be).

I want to hire someone who is

capable

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: None

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: None

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Work experience is not required for an entry-level position but a minimum of a practicum, internship, or volunteer experience is preferred if an individual has not had a paid position. It is very important for anyone working on an MLIS to either actually work in a library or get some sort of experience in a library before graduating and looking for a job.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: It is a changing profession.

Why or why not?

I don not think the profession is dying but rather it is changing. If this does not change it will die.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Experience and technology are key. Even if the experience was not a job.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Northeastern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

For Public Review: Job Hunter JF

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 4 page resume was submitted by a job hunter who says,

The job I’m applying to is one that I desperately want but I haven’t looked for jobs in over four years. The job is for a Digital Archivist at a small, liberal arts college. I have to apply by September 1st.

The qualifications for the job are: “Required qualifications: Master’s in Library Science from an ALA accredited institution, or equivalent combination of education and experience.  Experience working in archives with collection management applications; understanding of digital preservation standards and their application; excellent organizational and problem solving skills; strong written and verbal communication skills; flexibility and enthusiasm to accept, manage, and incorporate change and ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities in a dynamic environment. Desired qualifications:  ability to collaborate with technical colleagues; project management; familiarity with ArchivesSpace.”

Instead of redacting personal information, I changed the information because I still want feedback on font size, type, layout, etc. I realize my Skills section in my resume is long, but there are many skills I learned in class that I didn’t get through work experience and I want to highlight that somehow.

 

Hiring_Librarians_Cover_Letter   Hiring_Librarians_Resume_JF_revised-0Hiring_Librarians_Resume_JF_revised-1Hiring_Librarians_Resume_JF_revised-2

To submit your resume or CV For Public Review,

  • send it as a Word document, PDF, PNG or JPEG 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.

3 Comments

Filed under CV review, For Public Review, Resume Review

Tier ranking. Usually lack subject specialty.

Market before PassoverThis anonymous interview is with an academic 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:

catalogers, acquisitions

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 51-75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Accredited degree.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Search Committee. No rubrics.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Tier ranking. Usually lack subject specialty.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Watch details in the resume and cover letter.

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are the same number of positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Not usually, but may happen in practice.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

New entrants to the profession have the enthusiasm to build it and maintain it.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Rural area, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015

No, sir, you will not get $55,000 for 32 hours a week

OUTDOOR MARKET AT HAYMARKET SQUARE. PUBLIC PROTEST KEPT THE SQUARE FROM BECOMING PART OF AN EXPRESSWAY, 051973This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian at a for-profit academic library who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Generalists

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Meets minimum qualifications, wrote specifically to the job description (was actually focused on *this job* not any job), had realisitic understanding of how much librarians are paid. (no, sir, you will not get $55,000 for 32 hours a week)

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Applications were reviewed by the Head Librarian. (We are a small, two-person library)

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Lack of a degree, poor writing/editing, did not address the job specifically in the cover letter, too focused on their accomplishments, but not on how those accomplishments could serve our library/students/faculty

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Show how your strengths/accomplishments have prepared you to fufill the needs of the library. Make it a no brainer – this person has what we need, let’s make sure we interview them.

I want to hire someone who is

skillful

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Not an official requirement, but our last hire had grad assistant experience. I did pass on a candidate once who had great grades, but had never had any intern/work experience in a library.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area