For Public Review: Job Hunter Brough

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

I am currently working as a high school librarian in a small boarding school in California but will be looking to move on at the end of the year. Ideally, I would love to work in a public library but I know that I’ll be applying to lots of high school school library jobs as that is what I have the most experience doing and it is something I enjoy doing. I’m drawn to private schools, but I’ve also worked in public education and like it, so both are options for me.

broughresume-0 broughresume-1

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.

7 Comments

Filed under CV review, For Public Review, Resume Review

For Public Review: Job Hunter JZ

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

This is a CV intended for an Electronic Resources Librarian position at a smallish (2,000 students) liberal arts college.

JZ-2 JZ-3

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

Get lots of exposure to the things that you love doing

Australian Institute of Librarians' inaugural meeting at Canberra, August 20, 1937. Photographer A. Collingridge, CanberraThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Subject Liaisons, Web Designers, Instruction Coordinators, Department Supervisors, Data Specialist

This librarian works at a library with 50-100  staff members in a city/town 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)

4

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

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Grant Writing
√ Project Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Programming (Coding)
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Instruction
√ Field Work/Internships

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

Data Management, Grant Writing,

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

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

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

Collection Management, Library Management

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

√ Internship or practicum
√ Conference presentation
√ Professional organization involvement

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

UT Austin
UCLA

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

Drexler University
San Jose State

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

Get lots of exposure to the things that you love doing. Take classes based on your interests and intern at any and every institution type you may want to work at in the future.

Also student organizations are highly recommended as are conferences to meet other librarians.

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 50-100 staff members, Academic, City/town, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Retirements are happening fast and frequent

Fruit and vegetable vendors, Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington

This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Academic librarians, mainly public service

This librarian works at a library with 200+ 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?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

All the required qualifications

How are applications evaluated, and by whom? For example, are a certain number or type of applications weeded out by HR before they even get to you? Are there rubrics? Committees?

No applications are weeded by HR, the search committee decides everything. First we all review them and identify applications to remove based on not meeting minimum criteria. Next we score all remaining candidates based on a each qualification separately.

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

Not meeting basic experience or educational criteria.

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?

Be clear about all job duties (teaching, collections work, and public service) for each job listed. For tenure track positions, list all publications and service in date order.

I want to hire someone who is 

Self-motivated

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

√ 7 or more

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 more 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?

Yes, there is no requirement, but our university provides financial incentives to the library budget to do so.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Library use is growing and librarians can do more than ever with digital information.

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

Retirements are happening fast and frequent

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey

Or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Suburban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

For an academic library position I’d expect the full treatment

Ptarmagin HunterThis 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, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

- Two student committee executive positions
– Internship at a government library
– Database management practicum at a university

This job hunter is in a city/town, in Canada, and is willing to move to other Canadian cities.

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

- Collegial atmosphere
– Challenging work
– Urban location

Where do you look for open positions?

- INALJ
– The Partnership Jobsite
– Archives Gig
– Personal & professional networks

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 write down a list of every skill and attribute mentioned in the job ad. Then I match each skill and attribute to an experience from my resume. I use this list to build my resume and cover letter.

This process probably takes me about 1-3 hours depending on how easily transferable my skills are. Then I let the package sit for at least 24 hours before I edit it and send it off.

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)?

√ Other: It depends on the job. For an academic library position I’d expect the full treatment. For a position in a smaller office where I’m being interviewed directly by the supervisor, the interview alone would be sufficient.

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

Offer a great job and be great place to work! Really, I don’t think employers have to work too hard to get highly-qualified applicants in this market. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to have a job ad that clearly states and prioritizes the duties and requirements, includes a salary range, and provides a firm deadline for applications.

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

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate
2. Don’t ask for reference letters at the application stage. I’m not going to take up a reference’s time unless I know I at least have a chance at getting the job.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Fit.

Just about every single open library positions gets plenty of excellent applicants. I assume that everyone who gets an interview is more or less equally qualified for the job, so I think the final decision comes down to who the interviewers think will work best with their coworkers and supervisors.

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, Canada, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Special

We look for someone with some prior experience while in library school

View of street vendors at 7th and B Streets, NW (Ca. 1880) Market

This 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:

due to several retirements, we’re hiring reference librarian, special collections reference librarian, metadata cataloger and branch librarian – all in one year. This is very unusual, typically we have only 1 or 2 hires a year.

This librarian works at a library  in an urban area in the Southern 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”?

met the minimum qualifications

How are applications evaluated, and by whom? For example, are a certain number or type of applications weeded out by HR before they even get to you? Are there rubrics? Committees?

search committee reviewed all applicants, selected those for campus interview. Committee provided strengths and weaknesses of each candidate to the dean, who made the decision

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

does not meet the min. requirements

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?

have the necessary skills
provide all requested info in professional manner

I want to hire someone who is _________

right fit for the job and the library

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?

√ 3-4

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?

√ 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?

We look for someone with some prior experience while in library school – perhaps as an intern.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

It’s a changing profession and the savvy librarians are developing new skills that make them valuable.

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.

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

Job Hunter Follow Up: Michael Grutchfield

Michael Grutchfield

Michael Grutchfield took the Job Hunter’s survey on January 7, 2013.

His responses appeared earlier today as I Want to Put My Training to Use.

Your Background

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

2 and a half years

How many years of library work experience do you have?

about four years

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

Well, my first job was 24 years ago, though to be honest, I’ve been in and out of school and unemployment, so it’s somewhat less than that

How old are you? 

44

Your Job Hunt

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

Two years

How many positions did you apply to?

104

How many interviews did you go on?

Six

What was your work situation while you were job hunting?

Mixed. I started while still in school, was employed part time part of the time, and self-employed part of the time.

Were you volunteering anywhere?

Yes.

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

I did travel, and in all cases I paid for it.

Did you decline any offers?

No.

Your Job

What’s your new job?

I have two now: the first is Reference Librarian for Rogue Community College and the second is Collection Development Librarian for Josephine Community Libraries

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

RCC is part time and temporary. JCLI is part time (expanding to full time some of the time) and permanent.

Did you relocate? If so, who paid?

I did, and I paid.

How did you find the listing for your job?

RCC was I think through the Pacific Northwest Library Assc. They were the ones who told me about Josephine.

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

Almost certainly yes to the first question. I don’t recall now, but I’d say at least half of the desired qualifications.

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

RCC: the application was the usual HR online form, followed by a single telephone interview. JCLI had a Word document I had to fill out and print to sign, then scan and send back to them. I had a screening interview with an HR contractor via Skype. Then they set aside a day for interviews in person. I think there were three distinct interviews that day: one by the current collection development librarian (that was more like an informal conversation about collection development and the reality of working here), one by several members of the staff, and one by a couple of members of the board.

How did you prepare for the interview(s)?

I seem to recall that the RCC interview happened within 24 hours of their first contact with me, so there wasn’t much time to prepare! I took some time to look at their website and resources, and to familiarize myself with the school’s website. For Josephine, I had more time, so I looked at their business plan and spent some time going through their catalog to get an idea what they had and where I might find “holes” in the collection.

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

No.

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

For RCC: yes. For Josephine, I’d be inclined to to say that I came in with less experience than would be preferable, but the opportunity for experience was too good to pass up.

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

RCC is higher than I expected per hour, but of course it’s only part time. Josephine is much lower than I’d have taken without the second job.

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

Probably living in an area with a LOT of unemployed/semi-employed librarians, and also a library school putting new people into the market each year

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

Well, apart from being personable and brilliant, I bring a certain amount of life-experience as an older candidate, which gives me a broader set of skills than many recent library school graduates.

State of the Job Market

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

I think I used it in the initial interview.

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

Ugh. Actually, I like the part where they ask if there’s anything I’d like to tell them about myself. Also, what’s my favorite book (my new manager admitted that my answer to this question sealed the deal for me). I hate the one about my biggest weakness, but it’s always going to be there.

Any good horror stories for us?

There’s one issue that’s bothered me for some time, which is the way HR depts at academic libraries are dismissing ALA accreditation. Because I went to school outside the country (Canada), I had to pay an independent company $200 to “evaluate” my degree in order to apply to most schools in California, and even some in Oregon. I think that’s a ridiculous requirement – the ALA has already “evaluated” my school, and they have far more qualification to do so than any contractor or HR dept does. I think ALA should issue a statement on this

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

Job hunting is not positive, but the interviews are usually enjoyable opportunities to meet other librarians.

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

I said “persistence” and I’d stand by that. Maybe I’d add “luck” and “flexibility.”

Anything else you want to tell us?

Nope, that’s it for now! Thanks.

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Filed under Academic, Job Hunter Follow Up