This anonymous interview is with someone who has been a hiring manager and a member of hiring committees at an Academic library with 50-100 staff members. One of the questions on the survey is “Are you a librarian?” We all know this can be a bit of a loaded question. Many people feel strongly that only someone those with MLS/MLIS degrees can be librarians, even though someone might have decades of experience working in a library and performing librarian duties. Conversely, people with MLIS/MLS degrees may work in positions outside a library or without “librarian” in the title. So I have provided the answer choices: “yes,” “no,” and “it’s complicated” (thanks, Facebook). That’s the long way of explaining that this is our first “it’s complicated” respondent! This person ultimately reveals that s/he is an archivist.
What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?
…(in that order)
Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?
A poorly written cover letter or if the person strikes me as a wallflower.
What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?
Non-relevant work experience–i.e. barista at Starbuck’s; non-relevant interests.
Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?
Technical skills (though lots do put this, but not everyone).
How many pages should a cover letter be?
√ Other: One for entry-level; one to two for anything else.
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?
Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?
√ I don’t care
If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?
√ Other: Submit cover letter and resume as one PDF, as an application packet.
What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?
Smart, sense of humor, confident, and humble.
What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?
They get very nervous during their presentation, which makes us nervous.
Has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?
Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?
I am an archivist. We are looking for people with electronic records management experience so we can continue to bury our heads in the sand about it.