Stats and Graphs: 101 Responses

Remember how we were at six last week?  That’s kind of a big jump, right? Librarians are helpful people!  Established librarians *want* to share their perspectives with the rest of us.  I am very grateful to those hiring managers, etc. who have responded.

Distribution of Responses Over Time

These responses were collected between February 24 and March 14th, 2012. The charts and tables in this post are automatically generated by the Google Form.  So there are a few problems, including the truncation of labels on the charts. Apparently Google thinks I’m too verbose…

I also want to bring up the strength and the limitation of this blog: the anonymity.  Because even I have no way of identifying who the respondents are, there is no guarantee that they are actually hiring managers. It could all be some guy in Hoboken who thinks he’s funny.

Additionally, the responses are collected using nonprobability sampling, so it is inappropriate to assume they are representative of the entire population of library hiring managers, etc. As with most career sites, I consider Hiring Librarians to provide advice, which should be completely disregarded when appropriate.

That being said, here are the aggregated results:


How many pages should a cover letter be?

Only one! 50     50%
Two is ok, but no more 24     24%
As many as it takes, but shorter is better 18     18%
As many as it takes, I love reading 1     1%
Other 8     8%

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

Only one! 3     3%
Two is ok, but no more 26     26%
As many as it takes, but keep it short and sweet 50     50%
As many as it takes, I want to look at every accomplishment 10     10%
Other 12     12%

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

.doc 0     0%
.docx 1     1%
.pdf 26     26%
No preference, as long as I can open it 66     65%
Other 8     8%

The Other category includes the two responses from before this question was added.”

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

Yes                            9
No                            48
I don’t care                            35     35%
Other                            9

The Other category includes two responses from before this question was added.

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

chart of answers to how should the cover letter be submitted for emailed applications

In the body of the email only 3     3%
As an attachment only 33     33%
Both as an attachment and in the body of the email 16     16%
I don’t care 34     34%
Other 15     15%

The Other category includes two responses from before this question was added.


What library/institution type do you hire for?

Academic library 46 46%
Public library 29 29%
School library 0 0%
Special library 8 8%
Archives 2 2%
Other 16 16%

 The other category includes one catalouging agency, one consultant, one library network, and two non-responses. It also includes six academic, four public and one special library.  I changed this question after those responses had been submitted, adding the word “library” (as well as an “archives” option) so these responses were bumped out of their original categories by the Google Form.

How many staff members are in your library?

0-10 staff members 24     24%
10-50 staff members 42     42%
50-100 staff members 14     14%
100-200 staff members 10     10%
200+ staff members 9     9%

Are you a librarian?

Yes 96     96%
No 3     3%
It’s complicated 1     1%

Are you now or have you ever been:

a hiring manager (hiring people you directly or indirectly supervise) 87   87%
a member of a hiring committee 81   81%
human resources 5   5%
Other 5   5%

People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

Thank you again to everyone who responded!

Dutch Women Voting for the First Time

I am planning on exporting my data into Excel and doing a little more examination. For example, I would like to break out responses by demographic group (responses of academic only, etc.). I’m not sure when that will happen, but it will happen.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you noticed any interesting commonalities among the longer interviews? Is there advice you agree or disagree with? Did anything particularly surprise you?  Please leave a comment.

Thank you for reading!


Filed under News and Administration, Stats and Graphs

5 responses to “Stats and Graphs: 101 Responses

  1. There is one hiring issue that is not covered in your (wonderful) survey that is right now a bit of a hot button topic: social media & hiring practices. This issue of asking (forcing) applicants to disclose their social media habits and even show a hiring committee one’s private page (I’m thinking Facebook here or a private Twitter) is very scary to me. Now I don’t post questionable content to any of my social media (I’m friends with my parents and grandparents so it is all family friendly), but I find it a huge violation of my privacy.

    I haven’t seen much mention of such tactics as a “Facebook Score” being used in the library world when hiring new employees, but I rather find out now then be surprised while sitting in an interview. I’d hope that our professional ideals of privacy toward our users and information freedom would nip this sort of practice in the bud, but better to be safe than sorry.

  2. That’s a great point! I’d love to know if and when library hiring managers are checking out candidate’s online presence.
    For example I discovered recently that due to my efforts to promote a blog feature I used to write for the science library where I worked, one of the results for Googling my name is: “Emily Weak – Google+ – Have you guessed who pooped yet?”
    Perhaps not the most professional foot to put forward.
    And what is a “facebook score”? Is it like a credit score? Is there a company rating Facebook profiles?
    Anyway, I’m still trying to work out how to work these reader questions and respondent suggestions into the blog. At this point I’m leaning towards trying a second survey and seeing if i get any bites.

  3. Anonymous

    What confuses me about this is that I thought PDFs were not preferred for sending resumes and documents, but this says it doesn’t matter and might be better.

  4. Pingback: Stats and Graphs: 160 Responses to the Original Survey | Hiring Librarians

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