We Have Very Little Turnover with Full-Time Staff

A librarian and a teacher, New Ulm Minnesota, 1974


This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager.  This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members.

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

Cheerful attitude, enthusiasm for librarianship, stellar customer service skills

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

Failure to follow directions

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

“would like to work in a quiet atmosphere like the library” !!!

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

Why they got into librarianship in the first place

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?

√ 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?

to smile and be enthusiastic

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

not asking questions
assuming libraries are quiet places
assuming that because they were teachers, they would be a good fit in a library

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

We have very little turnover with full-time staff and lots of turnover with part-time staff. We also have a lot of full-time staff facing retirement in the next 5-10 years.

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

Enthusiasm matters more than library experience. And customer service anywhere is important.



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

2 responses to “We Have Very Little Turnover with Full-Time Staff

  1. Reblogged this on Annette J Dunlea Irish Author and commented:
    Hiring Librarians Blog on interviewing library staff


  2. Pingback: Another great resource for the library job hunt « Katie-Rose Repp

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