Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age or the Length of Your Career

John Rouse librarian


This anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a Special Library with 0-10 employees.

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

1 – Attention to detail, including grammar
2 – Eye contact (in person)
3 – Tailored cover letter/resume

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

Application packet:
Poor grammar / doesn’t spell my name right
Cover letter boasts of skills clearly not needed in the job

Poor eye contact/ interpersonal skills

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

Recently I’m seeing education degrees listed with no dates given. Don’t be ashamed of your age or length of your career, it’s worse when you try to hide it.
Tired of seeing Objectives that say they want a job in my organization. Not true. You want a job. Skip the Objective if you have nothing broader to say.

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

Oftentimes, they skip what software they have experience with and I’d like to see that.

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?

√ .pdf

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?

Be confident of your skills but not cocky.
Listen as well as talk.
Match your relevant experience to my questions, even if the experience is pre-MLS.
Tell me how you can help me, what skills you have that will make us more successful.
Ask at least one or two questions about the position or the work environment to show me you’re thinking about it seriously.

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

Answers are too brief.
No eye contact.
No understanding of the context of the job.

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Original Survey, Special

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.