When I Receive Dozens of Resumes as Attachments, I Would Like to Find Yours Easily

James Library, Madison, New Jersey, ca. 1900This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.


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

enthusiasm for the advertised position
required skills and experience or the ability to relate your skill set to the advertised position
good communication skills

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

I understand you’re applying for many positions, but make sure your letter is addressed to me and my institution! I’ve received letters applying for the job at College X and I’m at College Y.
Don’t be late for an interview but don’t show up 1/2 an hour early either.

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

I’m tired of applicants not addressing the advertised position. I’m tired of applicants using the cover letter to reiterate what’s on their resumes. Tell me why you want THIS job.

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

This comment isn’t about what they include, but what they name the resume. When I receive dozens of resumes as attachments, I would like to find yours easily. So please name it  “jones barbara resume.doc” rather than “resume2.doc.”

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

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?

Be enthusiastic and curious. Ask questions. It’s ok to take your time and give a thoughtful answer to a tough question.

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

Giving one word or one sentence responses – I want to hear about your experience and accomplishments and ideas.
Not having any questions for the committee.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Good luck!!

1 Comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

One response to “When I Receive Dozens of Resumes as Attachments, I Would Like to Find Yours Easily

  1. One word responses are a nightmare for an interviewer and give the impression that the candidate is lacking in confidence or lacks experience, it could really be just down to nerves, but one word answers usually don’t do the candiate any favours.


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