For Public Review: Job Hunter JB

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

I have been seeking entry-level positions at public libraries – I’m specifically interested in reference services, but am flexible in terms of the positions I would take.

JB Resume1

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.

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Filed under For Public Review, Resume Review

close to elderly parents

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 a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic, public, school, and special libraries as well as non-traditional library jobs, at the following levels: entry level.

This job hunter is in an city/town in the Northeastern US and is willing to move 

upstate NY close to elderly parents

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

1. encourages professional development
2. job requirements matches up with at least 75% of my skills and experiences
3. working with people who are professional and courteous

Where do you look for open positions?

1. networking with librarians, friends and family
2. professional listserv
3. Linkin
4. Library associations throughout US

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?

1. review it before I fill it out
2.organize the documents I need to fill it out
3. fill it out
4. type cover letter
5. put together required documents(application, cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation, licenses and any other items).
Application time: 1-3 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
√ Other: If I don’t get selected, being told that i would be contacted if another job opening occurs that matches my experience and training

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Mail

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
√ Being taken out to meal
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

1. use a variety of communication strategies to advertise job openings.
2. Be a company with managers and staff who have a reputation for teamwork and ehtics.

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

1. Let the applicant know: a. person(s) who will interview them b. any special location directions c. have the interview in a physical environment that is reasonably comfortable (chairs, round table, minimal noise from outside the room). 2. Lenth of application should be 4pgs max.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

1. I think many times the secret to getting hired can be very subjective in many cases. it sometimes could be being at the “right place at the right time.” Also, some people feel “it’s not what you know ,it’s who you know.” that is the secret to getting hired

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

It was very interesting and a good way to get honest feed back from applicants seeking library jobs in this present US economy.

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 City/town, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US

Librarianship is very much about technology and I feel that having a paper application reflects badly on the libraries that still require it.

Czar Ferdinand hunting (LOC)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 a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic and public libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience, Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

While I was fortunate to get my current position before I finished graduate school, it unfortunately resulted in me not being able to participate in any sort of practicum (in that I found out I got this job and was moving merely days after I had applied for a practicum). At work I have participated in our library volunteer program both by coordinating projects that employees volunteer for in community libraries and volunteering for several of those projects a year. One of my goals this month is to turn in an application to volunteer more regularly at one of my local libraries.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Room for professional growth, a salary that I can pay my living and educational expenses with and location.

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ.com, various professional organization websites and I’m on a job hunting listserv that my school has.

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?

It depends on the position. Usually 2-5 hours depending on if there’s an online application that I need to fill out. I usually tweak my resume and write a new cover letter for each position that I apply for.

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)?

√ 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?

I think that they should be honest and reasonable with the requirements. An entry level position should not require several years of experience and fluency in several foreign languages. Additionally, they should really take into account experience that is related but not specifically in a library. I have an MLIS but was considered unqualified for an entry-level librarian position because I don’t have a lot of actual library experience. I currently work for a company that compiles journal articles into databases that libraries subscribe to. Even though the experience is applicable, it doesn’t seem to be valued in a library.

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

Let’s get rid of the paper application. As far as I know, nobody wants to have to write in tiny tiny print to fill out all the relevant information and nobody wants to use a magnifying glass in order to read everything in those applications. Librarianship is very much about technology and I feel that having a paper application reflects badly on the libraries that still require it.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Unfortunately it truly seems to be about who you know.

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

No. I think that this was a well-written survey. Thank you!

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, Midwestern US, Urban area

I’d like to have applicants with credentials from various schools because schools have different strengths and weaknesses.

Westmoreland School House Number 9, New HampshireThis 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:

4 positions here – Director, Assistant Director, Youth Services/Outreach, and Adult Services/Reference.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural 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?

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Metadata
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Reference
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Other: Library Law and legal issues

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

Management/budgeting/accounting, library law.

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)?

Our particular computer system, our hierarchy, staff interaction.

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

√ Library work experience
√ Other: A grasp of the theory and history of libraries and librarianship coupled with practical experience in using libraries and library work.

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

We are located near Baton Rouge, so we see a lot of LSU applicants. I have four professional positions in the library; two have LSU degrees, one from elsewhere, one position is currently vacant. I’d like to have applicants with credentials from various schools because schools have different strengths and weaknesses; mixing it up gives us different strengths.

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

I would look carefully and investigate unfamiliar and unaccredited programs before hiring their graduates just to make sure the degree is not from some diploma-mill that doesn’t teach much. I need librarians who bring every skill and strength possible to the workplace because we are small – but mighty!

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

Open your head and LEARN everything you are exposed to. Get practical experience either before or during library school to go with the theoretical coursework you’ll have. Know your direction and pursue it avidly. Libraries are complex entities which offer the perfect jobs for many kinds of personalities – match yourself to the type of librarianship where you can thrive and enjoy your work – you’ll be working for a long, long time!

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

Prepare public librarians for the business side as well as the library side of the profession, especially if they have administrative aspirations (and even if they don’t, because the earning opportunity is far greater). Accounting basics (you can hire an accountant, but you’d better be able to understand what they do) and library law are MUSTS.
Also, accepting candidates to library school should screen potential students more carefully – I hate getting super smart candidates who are lacking soft skills and can’t function successfully in a public environment!

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from 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, Public, Rural area, Southern US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Be as much of your everyday self as you can.

Librarian working at the Pointe Coupee Parish Parish library in New Roads Louisiana in 1936This anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee.

This person works at a public library with 100-200 staff members.

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

1) Diversity of work experience both within libraries and outside of the profession

2) Embraces continuous learning

3) Drive and ambition

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

Not tailoring a resume to address the specific skills or experience described in the job posting

Only asking basic questions at the end of the interview: What’s your timeline? What is the benefits package? This is the candidates opportunity to interview the organization, please put some thought into the questions.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

I like to help people.
I love…..books, technology just fill in the blank
I am innovative.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

I wish more candidates would include their experience outside of libraries. It gives me a better picture of the candidate. It may also demonstrate important skills and knowledge that I would miss just considering their library experience.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ It depends on the position

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ As an attachment only

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Be as much of your everyday self as you can. Don’t try to tone it down or rev it up just to get the job. If I hire you based upon who you portrayed, then we will both be disappointed if that is not the real you.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

Not stopping to think about the questions being asked. It’s okay to ask for clarification. Better to do this than to appear like you have not addressed the question.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

Yes. The interview processes that I’m involved in will usually include some exercise to demonstrate a candidate’s familiarity with a specific skill, or process.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Learn as much as you can about the library and position. Demonstrate that knowledge in the interview in a way that shows that you did your homework.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses to this survey.

If you’re someone who has participated in hiring library workers, take this survey and share your viewpoint.

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Original Survey, Public

If we’re out, let us know we’re out!

Bryd, RichardThis 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 school, libraries, at the following levels: senior librarian.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Western US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Decent rate of pay
Affordable benefits
Companionable colleagues

Where do you look for open positions?

tons of library-related jobsites

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

√ Other: Yes, you can waste a lot of time pursing a specific position only to find out the salary sucks. This is costly for employers and a waste of time for both applicant and employer

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

Carefully read the job ad, adjust resume and cover letter to fit the position, fill out HR’s online application, present application materials. Takes anywhere from 1 – 2 hours.

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?

√ 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?

Write job ads that are easy to follow and read, that highlight the priorities, that list salaries and minimum qualifications, and give a “fill by” date.

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

Stop requiring us to fill out lengthy online applications that take forever to complete, inform us when they receive our applications materials and let us know where we are in the application process. If we’re out, let us know we’re out!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

A lotta luck and who you know.

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, Urban area, Western US

The expectations of librarians today is COMPLETELY out of sync with our salary ranges.

D.B. MacMillan (LOC)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 a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic, public, and school libraries, at the following levels: department head.

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

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

Salary
No nights/weekends (Stable schedule)
Less teaching

Where do you look for open positions?

My local paper
Monster.com/couple other apps.
Individual associations/libraries/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?

I will spend hours on it. Make sure my letter is tailored to my skills and to the job description. I take applications very seriously.

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
√ 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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Raise salaries.

Ask for less – too many library positions read like outrageous wish lists – e.g., the candidate will do this, this, this, this, work weekends and nights and, oh by the way, we’ll pay you $30,000 a year.

Try to focus the job descriptions more narrowly. I’m an experienced librarian (21 years) looking for a new position. I no longer want to teach, work reference, liaison to a department, do collection development, manage a department, etc., etc., etc. If you want a good reference person, write the ad that way and if you get someone with teaching experience, great. If you want a teacher, same thing. But, I have found the expectations of librarians today is COMPLETELY out of sync with our salary ranges.

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

Shorten visits. (I once spent 3 days at an interview…) Be as proactive and clear about the entire process as possible. Keep interviewees informed.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Making a connection with the people with whom you interview. Be professional, yet friendly. Be prepared!

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!

1 Comment

Filed under City/town, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US