Tired of Seeing “I Love to Read so I’d be Perfect for This Job”

New York Public Library Central Information, n.d.This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at an institution with more than 200 staff members.

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

Passion for libraries and community engagement
People skills
Reference/readers advisory skills
…Also, management skill if it’s for a management position

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

Sloppy writing, misspellings, directing the application to someone at another library (as in, I’m applying to every library in the country)
You don’t have to be a fashion plate, but be clean and neat.  You’d be appalled at what I’ve seen.

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

I love to read so I’d be perfect for this job

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

Leadership experiences outside their job that might give them a boost when I’m reading…

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, but keep it short and sweet

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?

√ I don’t care

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

Do your research–you are a librarian.  Look up info about our library and this location, and come prepared with ideas about how you could make it better.

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

See above–they make no effort to learn anything about my library, but they want me to hire them?
Telling me they want this job because it’s a step up for them, not what they can offer us

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

We look more at soft skills than process skills


Filed under 200+ staff members, Original Survey, Public

2 responses to “Tired of Seeing “I Love to Read so I’d be Perfect for This Job”

  1. Carrie

    ooh, sounds like a challenge: “You’d be appalled at what I’ve seen.” That’s just screaming for details. Regale us, don’t tease us.


  2. Thanks for sharing this – it’s really helpful. I must re-draft my cover letter!


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