Communication Skills, Computer Skills, and a Focus on the Mission

Children Lined Up at the Librarian's Desk, NYPL ca. 1910This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager at a library with 10-50 staff members.

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

Communication skills,
computer skills,
and a focus on the mission.

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

Cover letters and resumes with no details (e.g., resumes that are nothing but a list of employer-title-dates). Weak conversation skills in the interview.

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

Lack of detail. Objective statements that are either copy the job description verbatim or consist of nothing more specific than “I want a job.” Lists of personal qualities (e.g., prompt, professional, motivated, etc.) with nothing in the packet to back it up.

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

Too many people emphasize their previous job descriptions and omit their accomplishments in those positions.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

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?

√ No

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?

Show that you want this specific job and that you are capable of handling its responsibilities.

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

Being too nervous. Not being able to give developed answers to common interview questions.


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

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