Please note: this is an anonymous response to an online survey; I do not have any way of contacting the respondent or verifying responses. Their answers may reflect good, bad, or middling job searching practices. I invite you to take what’s useful and leave the rest.
Your Demographics and Search Parameters
How long have you been job hunting?
√ A year to 18 months
Why are you job hunting?
√ Looking for more money
√ I want to work with a different population
√ I want to work at a different type of library/institution
√ I want to work with a different type of collection
√ Looking for remote/virtual work (or at least hybrid)
√ My current job is awful/toxic
√ I need more flexibility in my schedule (to care for dependents or otherwise)
Where do you look for open positions?
INALJ, ALA JOBList, professional listservs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, state job boards.
What position level are you looking for?
√ Requiring at least two years of experience
√ Department Head
√ Branch Manager
What type(s) of organization are you looking in?
√ Academic library
√ Library vendor/service provider
√ Special library
What part of the world are you in?
√ Mid-Atlantic US
What’s your region like?
√ Urban area
√ Suburban area
Are you willing/able to move for employment?
√ Yes, within my country
√ Yes, to a specific list of places
How many jobs have you applied to during your current search? (Please indicate if it’s an estimate or exact)
What steps, actions, or attributes are most important for employers to take to sell you on the job?
√ Pay well
√ Having (and describing) excellent benefits
√ Introducing me to staff
√ Having a good reputation
√ Prioritizing EDI work
√ Prioritizing work-life balance
Do you expect to see the salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not
Other than not listing a salary range, are there other “red flags” that would prevent you from applying to a job?
Negative reviews on Glassdoor or Indeed.
How much time do you spend preparing an application packet?
3 hours minimum
What are the steps you follow to prepare an application packet?
Connecting with people on LinkedIn to get an idea of what the work environment is like, tweak my resume, tweak my cover letter, connect with the hiring manager, and square away my references (if necessary).
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
When would you like potential employers to contact you?
√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if the search is at the interview stage, even if I have not been selected
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
How long do you expect an organization’s application process to take, from the point you submit your documents to the point of either an offer or rejection?
How do you prepare for interviews?
Practing alone out loud, practicing with a friend.
What are your most hated interview questions, and why?
Any weird question with zero relevance to the job itself. “If you could be a color, what color would you be?”
During your current search, have you had any of the following experiences:
- Submitted an application and got no response √ Happened more than once
- Had an interview and never heard back √ Happened once
- Interviewed for a job where an internal candidate was eventually chosen √ I don’t know
- Asked for an accommodation for a disability √ Not Applicable
- Withdrawn an application before the offer stage √ Happened more than once
- Turned down an offer √ Not Applicable
If you have ever withdrawn an application, why?
Yes, twice. I was offered two interviews at separate institutions, and both disrespected my time. The first institution only offered one date and time for the interview, and the second institution took a month to get back to me to set up an interview.
What should employers do to make the hiring process better for job hunters?
Decency goes a long way in the hiring process. Do I expect to get ghosted after submitting an application? Yes. Now, if I drive 5 hours to your library and you ghost me after an interview? Yikes. Sending a rejection email would take less than 5 minutes. Am I really not worth 5 minutes?
You and Your Well-Being
How are you doing, generally?
√ I’m somewhat depressed
√ I feel alone in my search
What are your job search self-care strategies?
Taking breaks when necessary. Only applying for jobs that resonate with me.
Job Hunting Post Graduate School
If you have an MLIS or other graduate level degree in a LIS field, what year did you graduate? (Or what year do you anticipate graduating?)
When did you start your first job search for a “professional” position (or other position that utilized your degree)?
√ After graduating with my MLIS/other LIS degree
In relation to your graduation, when did you find your first “professional” position?
√ I was actually hired before I graduated
What kind of work was your first post-graduation professional position?
√ Full Time
Did you get support from your library school for your first job hunt (and/or any subsequent ones)?