Job Hunter Follow Up: Lauren Bourdages

Lauren Bourdages

 

Lauren Bourdages took the Job Hunter’s survey on December 12/29/2012.

Her responses appeared as Preparation, Research and Enthusiasm.

Your Background

How long has it been since you got your library degree?

About a year and a half.

How many years of library work experience do you have?

2 years.

How many years of work experience outside of libraries do you have?

12 years of part-time and seasonal work.

How old are you? 

Late 20s.

Your Job Hunt

How long did it take you before you found your job?

Getting to the full-time position I am in now took 4 years, I started hunting in mid 2010 (after finishing my BEd and before starting the library technician program), along the way I did manage to get related part-time positions though.

How many positions did you apply to?

At least 163 (there are more but I can’t be sure how many because for school board positions you use a single application package for any openings they have through applytoeducation)

How many interviews did you go on?

45? For the same reason as with applications I can’t be 100% certain about the amount of interviews I went on.

What was your work situation while you were job hunting?

In school, full-time distance program, the entire time. My employment during that period was a bit of a journey. I started out in a movie theatre for a year before I finally got hired as a Page at a public library. I paged for a year and did my first of two field placements during that time. After that I then moved into a salaried part-time position managing a donor information database for a university, and did my second field placement during that time.After a year at the University I got a second job as a Supply School Library Technician. In February of this year I was laid off from my University position, and then while I was on seasonal layoff from my school board job I was hired for my current full-time position.

Were you volunteering anywhere?

Yes, I started off volunteering at the public library and then they hired me. I volunteered briefly with the organisation I did one of my field placements with and briefly at a school library in the board I was supplying with; and I also volunteer for INALJ and professional associations.

Did you travel for interviews? If so, who paid?

No, I only job hunted locally the furthest I had to go for an interview was 45 minutes one way.

Did you decline any offers?

Yes, 2. The first back in January of this year because the commute + the duties + the pay they were willing to offer and not budge on was not something I could see myself being happy with at all, especially not long term; and the second because it was a relief/part-time position and I had a second, better offer at the same time.

Your Job

What’s your new job?

I am a Reserves and User Services Associate at the Wilfrid Laurier University Library.

Is your job full or part time? Permanent or temporary?

Full-time permanent with a 9 week seasonal layoff every year.

Did you relocate? If so, who paid?

No! In fact I’m back at my alma mater with a 10 minute commute which is right up my alley!

How did you find the listing for your job?

Checking the University’s job page daily was something I did for both myself and for my role as the Senior Assistant for INALJ Ontario.

Did you meet all of the required qualifications? How many of the desired qualifications?

The only desired qualification I didn’t have was experience working with ARES, but I was able to showcase how quickly I pick up new software.

What was the application process like? How many interviews did you do?

The University uses an ATS where you submit your resume and cover letter and fill out the standard ATS information. After the deadline they were very quick getting out invitations to interview. There was only 1 interview with 4 people, because it’s a split position I report to 2 supervisors so the interview was with them, the Library’s Administrative Manager and a representative from the University’s HR department. To put into perspective how fast everything moved, my cover letter is dated July 21, the application period ended on the 22nd, and I started in the job on August 18.

How did you prepare for the interview(s)?

I asked a colleague from the library at the University where I worked in fundraising who works with ARES to tell me about ARES so I could get a sense of the reserves process. I also asked a colleague at the hiring University who I already knew from a professional association committee to give me the inside scoop on things I should know about the current direction/inner workings of the library. I spent some time on the new library website. I didn’t have to do as much prep for this interview as I have had to for others because I am already incredibly intimate with the library at this University having been a student there for 6 years.

Did you know anyone in the organization that hired you? If so, how?

Yes, as I mentioned above I previously worked with one of the Librarians on a professional association committee.

Is your job commensurate with your skills, experience and expectations?

It most definitely is. It’s a library technician level position and I am a trained library technician. It’s entry level, and as it’s my first full-time position that’s exactly what I was after.

Is the pay scale higher or lower than you were looking for?

It’s what I was looking/hoping for but is higher than I was expecting based on other salaries in the industry that I have come across in this geographic area so I am happy with it.

What do you think was the biggest obstacle in your job hunt? How did you overcome it?

The biggest obstacle for me was just the market saturation in my area. I’m not actually able to relocate, and I don’t handle commuting well, so to actually find a position in my current geographical area smack in the middle of two cities offering MLIS programs, with a College that offers the Library Technician program meant I was constantly up against really stiff competition and routinely lost out to people who had many more years of experience than I do. Like the time I interviewed for a part-time children’s programmer position at a rural public library branch, I was one of 140 who applied, only 4 of us got interviews, the person they ended up hiring had 8 years of experience in children’s library programming compared to my similar years of experience in children’s programming outside of libraries.

What set you apart from the other applicants? Why did they hire you?

For this position it was my knowledge of and comfort with this particular University’s library that sealed the deal. I was talking to one of my coworkers the other day and he actually said to me that it was a coup to get me for this position because of how familiar I already am with the system.

State of the Job Market

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen on a job announcement?

As a volunteer for INALJ I look at A LOT of job postings but I can’t think of anything ridiculous that I’ve seen unless you mean ridiculous job titles in which case the most ridiculous one was the most awesome one there was a local tech company looking to hire someone under the title Data Geek.

What was your favorite interview question? What was the worst?

I don’t think I ever encountered any questions that really deviated from the standard type of interview questions. I always enjoyed explaining the work I do for INALJ so that was probably my favourite thing to be asked. The worst? For me it was any time someone seeing the BEd on my resume just assumed that having it meant I wanted to be a teacher, it is not fun to be regularly asked in an interview some variation of “So what would you do if someone offered you a teaching position tomorrow?” It’s just really frustrating to hear because it feels like it should be obvious that since I‘ve earned my library technician diploma AFTER my BEd and all of my listed work experience is in libraries and library related jobs that I clearly have no interest in teaching elementary or secondary school. I don’t regret doing my BEd because my instructional skills will be incredibly useful in libraries, but I do get irked with the constant questioning of why I have it.

Has job hunting been a positive or negative experience, for the most part?

For the most part it was a positive experience, you know aside from being long.

Would you change your answer to “what’s the secret to getting hired”?

I still believe that preparation, research and enthusiasm are 3 of the most important things to getting hired but I would also add connections and industry involvement.

Anything else you want to tell us?

Get involved with professional associations!! Seriously, being engaged in the profession can only benefit your personal job search and by getting involved you’re helping to keep professional associations running which benefits everyone in the industry.

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Preparation, Research and Enthusiasm

This interview originally appeared on February 4th, 2013.  I am reposting in light of her follow-up interview, which will run in just a few moments.
Lauren Bourdages

This interview is with Lauren Bourdages, who will be graduating from the Library and Information Technician (LIT)**, and Records and Information Management programs at Conestoga College in Kitchener ON in the spring of 2013. Ms. Bourdages was hired into her first “real” job in the industry in June of this year, as the (part-time) Advancement Assistant, Gift Processing and Records Management for St. Jerome’s University.She has been job hunting for a year to 18 months, in Academic libraries, with library vendors/service providers, public libraries, school libraries, special libraries, companies with info management needs, and anywhere with a fundraising department, for entry-level and positions requiring two years of experience. On internships/volunteering, Ms. Bourdages has this to say:

I am a new grad from a Canadian Library Technician program; for this program I completed 2 internships. For the first I was the sole Library Technician under a Research Librarian in a small special library (we were the only two staff) for a world renowned global policy think tank. For my second internship I focussed on information architecture and management as a SharePoint Development Intern with the Office of Advancement at a local University. During the first year of my two year diploma program I also volunteered weekly as a Book Reserves Assistant at the local Public Library.

She lives in a city/town in Canada, and is not willing to move.  She has two upcoming projects, writing a book blog called Novel Concepts, and heading up the soon-to-launch INALJ Ontario.

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

Flexible hours

Variety in tasks

Mainly working on a computer

Where do you look for open positions?

Specific library and company websites, eluta.ca, The University of Western Ontario FIMS job board, The University of Toronto iSchool job board

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?

Customising resume and cover letter to reflect the job posting and organisation’s needs/how I fulfill them. Takes me about 2 hours.

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?

Create extremely thorough job description postings that always include the salary range. Ensure their postings appear on relevant industry job boards such as UWO FIMS and UofT iSchool. Advertise their organisations through industry professional association publications.

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

Open the lines of communication as much as possible to keep all applicants in the loop.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Preparation, research and enthusiasm.

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

I think a question about previous related work not involving internships would be a good question.

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

**Lauren also says:

LIT programs are governed and accredited by the Canadian Library Association in the same way that MLS/MLIS/MSLS programs are governed and accredited by the American Library Association. Here in Canada you can and will find Technicians and Librarians working side by side at every level in the Library and Information Industry, in both the traditional and non-traditional settings.

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Communicate the status every few weeks.

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F12-2This 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. entry person is looking in academic libraries, public libraries, and academic departments at the entry level.

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

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

1. Salary, 2. If the job requires working predominantly with computers/websites (versus with people), 3. Location.

Where do you look for open positions?

LibraryJobline.org, listservs, LinkedIn, ALA Joblist.

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?

For an academic packet, 5+ hours. Others, 2 hours.

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?

Highest salary possible; include tuition waivers; offer funding for conferences.

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

Communicate the status every few weeks.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

If the employer thinks you are the right fit.

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

What kinds of questions do you ask the potential employer during interviews?
What books have you found useful?

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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I was interviewed by 10 people for 1 hours and during the interview some people left the room one by one… it was weird

Brian Hunter, 1984, Asst Librarian, Slavonic Collections, London School of EconomicsThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who 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, and School 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 at a court law library. This job hunter is in a city/town, in the  Western US, and is not willing to move.

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

creativity freedom
organized company
supportive team members

Where do you look for open positions?

cable network websites
school websites

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

√ Other:  Yes, It helps me decide if I want to apply or not

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

sometimes a day or more. I update my resume for that particular job, change certain statements on a cover letter, and use that info to help complete the application.

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
√ 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)?

√ 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?

Clearly describe what the tasks for that position entail, and what accomplishments they want from the new team member.

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

Not have 6-10 people in the interview. I was so nervous when I was interviewed by 10 people for 1 hours and during the interview some people left the room one by one… it was weird.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

smiles, and prepare to answer all questions asked.

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

maybe add a section where you ask “what’s the best advise that has been given to you”.

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, City/town, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, School, Western US

many have applied for a paraprofessional position that specifically noted that MLS holders were not being sought

Lagere school in woonwagenkampThis 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:

general academic librarians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Western 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)

2

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

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Research Methods
√ Reference

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

critical thinking

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 skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

specific systems, programming languages, acquisitions, outreach, grantwriting

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

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum

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

brick and mortar

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

fully online degree

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

fully comprehend the principles of librarianship and learn how to apply (good) theories; this is what separates professional librarians from paraprofessionals

Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?

In my locale there seems to be a glut of junior librarians; many have applied for a paraprofessional position that specifically noted that MLS holders were not being sought. I think there’s one or more online college nearby churning out librarians needlessly. On the other hand, it’s very difficult to recruit seasoned librarians with experience under their belts.

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

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

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

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Urban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Researcher’s Corner: Job Ads and Academic Standards and Proficiencies

I am pleased to bring you this look at the types of skills mentioned in ads for academic librarians.  I think that you will find the results illuminating, and that you will appreciate their analysis.  If you’d like to read about this work in it’s full scholarly glory, please obtain a copy of: 
Gold, M. L., & Grotti, M. G. (2013). Do Job Advertisements Reflect ACRL’s Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators?: A Content Analysis. Journal Of Academic Librarianship, 39(6), 558-565. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2013.05.013


Background

Standards and proficiencies documents are one way library science organizations communicate key skills and general values to the profession and to the world. Our interest in examining the relationship between professional standards and job advertisements arose out of committee work that focused on revising and critically examining the Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators, one of the many sets of standards drafted by the profession. These standards help direct librarians’ professional development activities as well as guide those who are looking to fill positions with qualified applicants. Given the goals of such standards, we wondered if there was any clear relationship between the key skills identified by the profession and the skills deemed most important by those seeking to fill instruction positions. As new-ish librarians just emerging from the journey of the academic job market, this line of  inquiry was particularly interesting to us.

Methods

Specifically, our research examined whether the areas of focus within the Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators were represented in instruction librarian job advertisements from US academic institutions. We used a content analysis approach, in which we scrutinized job advertisements that appeared on ALA JobLIST during a six-month period (January 1 to June 30, 2012).

Proficiency Categories from the Standards:

1) Administrative skills

2) Assessment and evaluation skills

3) Communication skills

4) Curriculum knowledge

5) Information literacy integration skills

6) Instructional design skills

7) Leadership skills

8) Planning skills

9) Presentation skills

10) Promotion skills

11) Subject Expertise

12) Teaching skills.

Using these categories, we examined about 50 job ads in a pilot study in order to develop the coding guide for our analysis. The creation of the coding guide and the many spirited discussions that it sparked between us was one of the most difficult, fun, and lengthy portions of the project.

Results

Our results included an analysis of 230 job advertisements for words or phrases relating to the 12 proficiency categories. Institutions posting ads ranged from doctorate-granting universities to associate’s colleges and special focus institutions. Ads represented jobs in 46 states with the majority of ads (54%) indicating no requirement for years of experience.

  •  Administrative skills were mentioned in the highest percentage (82%) of job ads and were mentioned consistently across institution types.
  • Subject expertise (56%) and Leadership skills (52%) were also mentioned in the majority of job advertisements.
    • However, a much smaller percentage (19%) of associate’s colleges’ job ads mentioned Subject expertise compared to other institution types.
  • Instructional design skills were mentioned in 46% of ads.
  • Presentation skills were mentioned the least, in only 8% of job advertisements.
  • Teaching skills were only listed as a required skill in 13% of job ads.

Implications for Job Seekers

Though exploratory in nature, our study can be informative for job seekers interested in discovering which skills are in-demand. It is clear that employers place an emphasis on Administrative skills, which for this study meant working well in a team and communicating instruction goals. A high percentage of ads also mentioned the importance of professional development, scholarly research, or seeking out instruction opportunities, which were classified as Leadership skills. Though the desire for these skills may not be surprising, the explicit mention of them in these ads highlights the importance for job seekers to incorporate these qualifications into their application materials.

Also of note for job seekers, Subject expertise was mentioned in a higher percentage (65%) of ads from institutions offering doctorates than those not offering advanced degrees. Additionally, most ads that mentioned Subject expertise listed it as a required or preferred qualification rather than mentioning it generally in the body of the job ad.

It was surprising to see Instructional design skills (e.g. experience with lesson planning, developing learning outcomes, or course content) mentioned in more job ads than Teaching skills. However, this was likely related to the recent emergence of librarians as instructional designers and our strict definition of Teaching skills, which required knowledge of pedagogy or learning theory and was beyond mere teaching experience.

Conclusion

We feel that it is important to note that the low frequency of mentions for some skills in job ads is likely not due to employers valuing these skills any less. We believe a lack of mentions may have been due to the limited space available within job advertisements and the inclusion of institutionally prescribed language, as well as the fact that certain skills (e.g. presentation and teaching) are more effectively evaluated during campus interviews rather than through application materials. Thus, it is important to remember that job ads are only one indication of the skills that may be important for a particular position. We suggest that professional standards can provide additional guidance regarding specific competencies that go above and beyond the language of job ads. These can help applicants to articulate and identify key abilities that they have when writing cover letters or responding to the general language found in these ads.


Grotti_Meg-2013-06-- smiling only

 

Meg Grotti, Coordinator of Library Instruction, University of Delaware Library

Meg Grotti’s research interests include instructional technology for libraries, information literacy pedagogy, and assessment of student learning.  Meg has served on numerous professional committees at the national and local level, including work for the ACRL’s College and Research Libraries publication and the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries initiative.

 

profilepinkMelissa Gold, Assistant Professor and Science Librarian at McNairy Library, Millersville University of Pennsylvania.

Melissa Gold’s research interests include information literacy pedagogy, using professional standards in practice, and the value of the library building. She serves on committees within the instruction section and science and technology section of ACRL and regularly presents at national conferences. Melissa has also served on multiple search committees and enjoys giving feedback to job seekers. Feel free to contact her about academic job searches.

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Filed under Guest Posts, Information Literacy Instruction, library research, Researcher's Corner

Chosen as an ALA Emerging Leader, but I’m still struggling to find a decent position.

ConDev5378A Hunting Dog, 1945, Washington County, NCThis 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, public, and special libraries as well as non-librarian jobs in related fields such as technology project management. at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Southern US, and is willing to move to many places

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

- Interesting, varied duties
- Reasonable opportunities for growth/advancement
- Staff commitment to the mission of the organization

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, Libgig.com, LISjobs.com, regional/state listserves

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?

For every cover letter, I copy and paste the requirements from the job description into my word document so that I can check them off as I address them in the letter. I generally use the same CV/resume for all positions, and just look over it once a month or so or when I know I have something to add.

How long this takes really depends on the position. I never completely reuse a letter for more than one application, but since many positions have similar requirements I can often reuse chunks from previous letters and that will speed things up. Maybe 1 to 1.5 hours if I’m starting from scratch.

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?

√ 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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Advertise broadly, allow a reasonable time frame for submission of application materials, and keep the process as straightforward as possible.

For example, if your employment/application site asks me to input my last ten years of employment history, please let me know whether I need to actually do that or if you are just going to get that information from my CV. Those things can take HOURS and I always secretly suspect that no one is looking at anything but the cover letter/CV.

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

Just communicate more and be as clear as possible about the process and time frames / where you are in the search. I once received a response from a library where I had applied around the holidays explaining what their holiday closure schedule was and how the search committee would not be meeting until after the start of the year. This was SO NICE. I know that many jobs receive huge amounts of applicants, but little communications like this are incredibly helpful and make the process less stressful. I’d settle for a simple email letting me know that I’m no longer in consideration.

Additionally, being as clear as possible about salary points. I understand the reasons why you might not post a salary range in the advertisement, but this information should really be communicated by the time you are inviting candidates to interview.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I’ve served on a few search committees so I feel like I have a better perspective on the process than a lot of entry level candidates, and this has helped me take rejections much less personally. So much of it seems to come down to the personalities of the people on the search committee, or intangible aspects of “fit” that no one can predict. I find this to be unfortunate and wish that more positions were filled strictly on the professional merits of the candidates, but that’s how things are. A lot of it is luck, or knowing someone within the organization who can help you navigate this tricky “fit” stuff.

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

I’ve been in a contract position since finishing library school that ends in a few months. The budget situation at my current employer is such that they will likely not be able to offer me continuing employment past the end of my contract.

In my first job search right out of school, I was very idealistic about the kind of “academically significant” career I wanted to have. However, the past 3+ years of pretty much consistently job searching have really beaten me down. I’ve done pretty much everything “right,” moved for the first good opportunity that presented itself, focused on getting good experiences in a variety of roles, published and presented, stayed professionally involved and was even chosen as an ALA Emerging Leader, but I’m still struggling to find a decent position.

At this point I would be happy with something that is just stable and not a complete dead-end. It’s sad to say that, but I’ve come to realize that opportunities for the kind of work that I initially wanted to do are so few and far between that I am unlikely to be happy with the rest of my life if I try to hold out for one of these.

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, Southern US, Urban area