Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Brief Interlude of Ranting by Emily

This is my response to the person whose survey response is here. As I said in the intro to that post, I go back and forth sometimes about how vocal to be on this blog.  I’m really interested in getting a variety of viewpoints, and in providing a forum for people to be honest.  I don’t want to discourage people from sharing their perspectives by being disrespectful or discouraging to the respondents. That being said, I also have a viewpoint, and to be totally honest, this respondent made me mad.  So I’m going to go ahead and comment on this one. If you are considering taking one of the surveys, please don’t let my scathing wit scare you away.  I’m grateful really.

 

Dude.

I don’t know if you actually are a pompous jerk, or if you’re just coming across as one due to being a poor communicator. Let me address three of your responses.

1. In regards to your PhD:

Here are a few articles about PhDs on food stamps
NPR
HuffPo
Chronicle of Higher Education

Please note that during the recession the number of PhDs on food stamps more than tripled, while the number of Master’s on food stamps only nearly tripled. Are you really being picky, or are you just not facing the fact that your PhD may not provide you any particular advantage in the job market?

I applaud your hard work, and honestly I believe that education is always enriching, even if it doesn’t land you a job. I think more people should go for PhDs and that people who have them should be congratulated. But be real.

2. In regards to your declining to name your job ad sources:
Personally, I’m not looking for the same kind of work that you are, so I don’t need your sources. INALJ probably already has your sources. I asked Naomi how many she had and she said:

wow- it is in the hundreds I think- I assign 64 to senior editors, then roughly 5-15 for states editors (each) plus listservs… I will be tabulating it all for the Feb 4th launch of my new INALJ states pages. I also instruct the editors to Use The Source url (do not go hunting for a better job link, if you found it on ALAJobList or MPLA then give them credit by using their link) Something I feel strongly about

Isn’t she collegial and generous? Anyway, if you read this blog, please stop. If you want to take advantage of free resources that are founded on the idea of people being willing to share information and experiences, you gotta share too.

3. In regards to your comments about the survey:
Fair play. I’m not a researcher, and I don’t have a PhD. I do pilot my surveys by sending them to test subjects, but this is pretty informal so I don’t worry too much about how scientifically valid my data is. I do like to improve. If you want to make specific suggestions, that would be helpful. Telling me to consult a survey design expert is not. It’s just kind of snarky.

Ok, I’m done.  Sorry. The survey is still open, by the way, so if you want to see if you can out snark this last person, and get me all fired up again, well, CHALL-ANGE!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Op Ed

Since I Have an Advanced Degree (Ph.D.) in Addition to the LIS Degree I am Pickier Than Most

So, I go back and forth sometimes about how vocal to be on this blog.  I’m really interested in getting a variety of viewpoints, and in providing a forum for people to be honest.  That being said, I also have a viewpoint, and to be totally honest, this respondent made me mad.  So I wrote a separate post responding to this person. Read it after you read this, if you want.

 
Goose hunting in Klamath County, Oregon, OSU Special Collections via Flickr CommonsThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Analytics

(since I have quant and qual research skills),

at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager. This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US, and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Since I have an advanced degree (Ph.D.) in addition to the LIS degree I am pickier than most.

Where do you look for open positions?

My list includes over 30 sources. Will not divulge. Take that INALJ.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Depends on how much I am interested in the job. I have already prepared 5 versions of my cover letter and resume, so I will tweak one of the existing versions. Read it, review it, read it again. Get someone else’s feedback. So, all in all, maybe a couple of hours.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be specific in the advertisement.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Be specific about hiring timeline.
Acknowledge receipt of application materials.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking. It’s all who you know. Especially in the NYC area.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

From a research perspective, your survey questions/question elements need some fine tuning for collecting valid data. Please consult a survey design expert.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Other Organization or Library Type, Public, Urban area

I Think the Biggest Issue is Whether You’re Going to Fiddle with It

Going to an Interview {Outfit Post}

 

 

This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Urban area of the Midwestern US .

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ I don’t care

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ False

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Other: don’t care

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

I’ve never seen anyone come to an interview in anything that I even particularly noticed. Most either wore professional dress (suits or coordinated blazer/slacks/skirts sets) or dress in what I affectionately call “hipster librarian.” I have always worn a slacks style suit to my interviews and do usually get the job.

RE the bare arms comment: I did have a shell under my suit and did take my jacket off for the teaching presentation. It hadn’t occurred to me that bare arms could be an issue. I’m at an academic (community college) library.

RE hose: I personally am more comfortable in tights, and I had a career center person say you should always wear hose, but I don’t think I ever even noticed whether candidates were wearing hose or not.

RE: jewelry – I think the biggest issue is whether you’re going to fiddle with it. If I wear jewelry, I will play with it, so I wear none when I interview. I have taken my facial piercings out for interviews and I’ve never seen anyone interview with them in, but I’d probably think it was cool since I have them. If you stretch your ears you’ll look better wearing plugs than taking them out and having weird looking holes.

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

Again, I’ve never seen anyone dress to such an extreme that it made a conscious impression on me one way or the other. Presumably I have subconscious biases, but attitudes have always stuck out for me much more than attire.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Nose Ring (nostril)
√ Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
√ Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ I don’t really care how a candidate dresses

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I think the biggest thing is that the candidate appear confident and comfortable. If dressing completely against character will affect performance, don’t do it. But do dress your personal best and your personal best attempt at professional. Also remember that you are interviewing them. If it is a deal breaker that you be valued for your funkiness it might be worth the risk of not getting some jobs to find a place that values that. If it’s not a deal breaker, it’s probably better to play it safe. I interviewed with brown hair and no facial piercings but now have blue hair and lip rings and no one cares. But looking more normal probably did help me get the job. But I’ve never seen anyone interview with wild hair colors or very noticeable piercings. (I find nose rings practically unnoticeable, so I think I may have seen those in interviews.)

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

I wear the nicest end of the spectrum of my typical work clothes. This generally falls into the same “hipster librarian” style I mentioned above. Cute skirts with stylish blouses. Though lately I’ve been doing more slacks and very tailored dress shirts.

RE: the khaki question below – it’s not too dressy or undressy, just kind of boring.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ N/A: We wear what we want!

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Name tags

Do you have any other comments?

Just because I don’t feel strongly doesn’t mean that your safest bet isn’t to dress as professional as you think the job requires.

Also, I’ve heard stories of people saying things like, “don’t wear a suit, it shows you don’t know our library.” I think there are probably different standards for different types of libraries, but we have definitely hired people who wore suits to the interview, then had them show up in suits and ties to work and suggest they dress down in the future. It seems odd to me that a hiring committee member would think that wearing a suit to an interview is somehow inappropriate just because you wouldn’t wear one day to day.

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Going to an Interview {Outfit Post} by Flickr user ellevalentine, under creative commons license

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Researcher’s Corner: Job Trends in Music Librarianship

I’m a generalist, but I always like to peek into the different library specialties.  In this piece, Joe Clark reports on vacancies for Music librarians, describing changes in the number of posted jobs, in what types of organizations are posting, and even in the nature of the work being advertised.  His findings make me curious to see if these types of changes are occurring all over.

A more formal write-up of his research was published in Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, and if I’m parsing Project Muse correctly, it’s open access, so you can read his article here for free.


The graying of the library profession and recession of 2008 piqued my curiosity about the number of available positions in music librarianship over the last decade. Position announcements seemed fewer in 2009-10 than when I was looking for my first position in the early 2000s, but I did not have empirical data to back up this suspicion. This entry provides an overview to the study investigating my question, some key findings, and additional data from research I have done since.

Methodology

Vacancies in music librarianship are posted in numerous places; however, the most comprehensive sources is the Music Library Association’s (MLA) Placement Service Job List. The Job List was a subscription-based service before the early 2000s, at which time it was moved online and made freely available. Hiring institutions can post announcements at no cost, and access is free to employment seekers.

Because 2002 was the first full year that all job openings were included on the web page, it marks the first year of my study. Each Job List posting from 2002 through 2010 was classified into type of position (professional librarian, para-professional, appointment in professional organization, etc.). Professional and paraprofessional employment was grouped by hiring organization category (academic, public library, government, etc.) and type of work (reference, cataloging, etc.).

Findings

The total number of job postings varied widely from year to year. Advertisements were most plentiful in 2002, 2006, 2007, and 2008, with 102, 101, 95, and 92 respectively. While the number of available positions was lowest in 2009 with 50 (followed closely by 2010 with 58), the numbers were similar to those in 2003. Of the positions posted on the Job List, most (63%) were for professional librarians and required an American Library Association accredited Masters degree. Twenty-three percent of the listings were for paraprofessionals, while a small number (under five percent) fell into one of the other categories (such as an officer position for professional library organization, work for a scholarly organization, or a music-related position not involving library work).

Eighty-two percent of the professional library positions were in academic institutions. Eleven percent were in public libraries, and 5% were in non-profit institutions (most of these were in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum and Archives). Vacancies in public libraries were 11%,  down from previous Job List studies. Renee McBride’s 2004 book chapter “What Employers Want Now: A Survey of the MLA Job List” (in Careers in Music Librarianship II: Traditions and Transitions, ed. Paula Elliot and Linda Blair, Scarecrow Press for the Music Library Association, 2004) found 14% of listings in public libraries. Reference, cataloging, and administration positions each accounted for approximately one quarter of professional employment. The remaining quarter offered work in archives, digital specialization, or hybrid positions involving cataloging and public service.

The percentage of professional jobs in public libraries decreased over the nine years of the study,  as did listings in corporate environments. Due to the staffing of the newly opened Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives in Cleveland, Ohio, the number of positions in non-profit environments rose sharply during 2007-2010. Cataloging jobs declined as a percentage during the nine years of the study. Advertisements in archives and hybrid positions (those involving both public service and cataloging) increased dramatically between 2008 and 2010.

Research conducted since the original study reveal that professional vacancies in music librarianship hit a low in 2011, with only 25 Job List advertisements. 2012 witnessed 60% more professional positions, with 40 announcements, which was slightly lower than 2010’s total. Distribution of the 60 professional jobs by type for 2011-12 are as follows: 35% reference, 25% administrative, 17% archival, 13% cataloging, 7% hybrid (includes both cataloging and public service), 2% digital, and 2% scholarly work. Eighty-eight percent of these posts were in academic institutions, 7% in public libraries, and 5% in non-profits.

Hiring institutions for paraprofessional openings were more varied than professional positions, with approximately one-third in academic, one-third in performing organizations, and the remaining third in government/military, corporate, non-profit, and public libraries. Forty-one percent of paraprofessional posts involved ensemble librarianship. The duties of the remaining posts were distributed among seven other job types.

The other position types included officer positions within professional organizations (mostly from the Music Library Association), non-library posts in music settings, non-music library positions, and organizations that create scholarly materials used by music librarians. These accounted for up to ten percent of Job List postings in any given year.

Conclusions

The original study’s data spanned December 2010; however, the recent number of Job List postings continues to be lower than those from 2004-08. While there were 67 jobs listed in 2011, that year marked the smallest percentage (37%) of professional vacancies during the eleven years under study. Due to the high number of job seekers lacking library experience, the Placement Officer during this period included paraprofessional positions whenever possible. Fifty-eight positions appeared on the Job List in 2012, the same as 2010.

The complete study, entitled “Job Trends in Music Librarianship: A Nine-Year Analysis from the Music Library Association’s Job List,” was published in Notes 69, no. 1 (September 2012). I also wrote the follow-up article “What Employers Want: Entry-Level Qualifications for Music Librarians,” which examines the qualities hiring institutions want in new librarians. It will be published in Notes 69, no. 3 (March 2013). Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.


Joe Clark

Joe Clark is the Head of the Performing Arts Library at Kent State University. He has published articles in Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, Fontes Artis Musicae, Serials Review, and Journal of Library Innovation. His research interests include employment trends in music librarianship, collection management, library administration, and American music.

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Filed under Academic, Public, Researcher's Corner, Special

Library School Career Center: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Here is this week’s installment of the Library School Career Center feature, which is presented in partnership with the folks from the blog Hack Library School.  If you’re interested in library education, or in new ideas and the future of the profession, you should check it out.


This interview is with Lori P. Haight, Ed.D., Career Services Coordinator, School of Information and Library Science, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Ms. Haight is a department of one, so in this interview, we’ll use the term “career services,” rather than “career center.”

manning hall

Career Services Information

Can you describe the management and organization of career services at SILS?

Career Services at SILS encompasses individual career counseling and career advising sessions, career assessments, resume and cover letter critiques, and networking events. Our goal is to offer career development guidance and services for students to gain the relevant experience they need during their program to be successful in their post-SILS positions.

Are there “career experts” on staff? What are their credentials?

I am the only staff member for Career Services. My academic credentials include a masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration. My background includes student services experience in career services, as well as advising and student activities positions at several colleges and universities.

Do you provide any of the following:

√ Job Listings   √ Resume/CV Review   √ Help writing cover letters
√ Interview Practice   √ General Career coaching   √ Networking events (virtual or in-person)

Do you provide in-person services?

√ Appointments   √ Speakers, or programs that present experts
√ Mixers or other networking events    √ Job Fairs
√ Drop-in career center, hours: whenever I’m not with a student

Do you provide online services?

√ Website with resources   √ Twitter: @UNCsilsCareers    √ LinkedIn

How can students best utilize career resources at SILS?

Students are introduced to Career Services during their Orientation. They are welcome to make individual appointments, join the jobs listserv, and attend any sponsored events they wish during their time here. We also work closely with the UNC UCS (University Career Services) for additional services (including on-campus recruiting), employer databases, and additional programming.

May alumni use career resources?

Yes.

Are there any charges for services?

No.

Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using the career center?

I have been in this position for one year, but have already had several examples of students and recent alumni who have heard about a position through our job listserv, and were then hired! I’ve also had examples of students who had questions about the job search process. After I was able to answer their questions and provide additional resources, they felt much more confident in their ability to be successful in their job search.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers about your services in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?

While there are certain building blocks to career development (preparing job search materials, practicing interviewing skills, etc.), there is no ‘one path’ to finding your next opportunity. Networking with colleagues can be extremely beneficial to not only help you clarify your career goals, but connect you to new projects along the way.

Students’ Career Paths

Can you share any statistics about employment rates after graduation?

One of my goals is to have my complete statistics for our recent graduates in the near future. Right now, both the Graduate School and the University Career Services office collect ‘first destination’ information from graduates, but it is anonymous. Our students overall are very well positioned to find jobs after they graduate. It is more a question of their preferences (including geographic and function area) being met.

Can you talk a little bit about the school’s approach to internships, practicums and/or volunteering?

SILS strongly believes in the value of practical experience for students through internships, field experiences, and volunteering. While it is not required, the majority of our students take advantage of these experiences.

Does the school have a stated approach or policy on helping students to find careers?

SILS is very proud of our academic program, and feels that we are educating the next generation of information professionals. We want to offer students the resources to be prepared for their professional development, as well as the opportunity to make connections with both alumni and employers in the information setting of their choice.

Does the school have any relationships with organizations that offer fellowships or other post-graduate opportunities?

With our long history in educating information professionals, SILS is frequently tapped by fellowship and other post-graduate employers to get the word out to students about their opportunities.

Demographics

How many students in the library school?

308 master’s degree students, 47 doctoral students, 42 undergraduate majors, and 29 minors

What degree(s) do you offer?

Undergraduate:
Bachelor of Science in Information Science (BSIS)
Minor in Information Systems

Graduate:
Masters in Library Science (MSLS)
Masters in Information Science (MSIS)
Post-Masters Certificate in Information and Library Science (PMC)
Ph.D. in Information and Library Science

Is it ALA accredited?

Yes

What are the entrance requirements?

For graduate school entry:
• a bachelor’s degree (based on a four-year curriculum) completed before graduate study begins or its international equivalent with an accredited institution
• an average grade of B (cumulative GPA 3.0) or better
• GRE (general) score within the last 5 years
• application materials: transcripts, resume, Statement of Purpose, 3 letters of reference

When was the library school founded?

Fall of 1931

Where are you?

√ Southern US

Where are you?

√ City/town


julia feerrar

This interview was conducted by Julia Feerrar, a first year master’s student at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Her professional interests include academic libraries, research and instructional services, and digital humanities. Follow her on Twitter @JuliaFeerrar.

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Filed under Library School Career Center, Southern US

Keep Trying, Because There’s Bound to be a Job That Best Fits Somewhere

Hunter and Daughter before Sunset Waiting for a Deer...National Archives at College Park via Flickr commonsThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, and Special libraries, at the Entry level and for positions requiring at least two years of experience.This person’s experience with internships/volunteering is:

I part-time interned at a county archives. I volunteer when I can at an elementary school library.

This job hunter is in an urban area of the Southern US, and is willing to move,

but within the Southern US

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

A position that:
1) best fits my skills and work experience (cataloging and archiving).
2) is located in the Southeastern U.S., where I live currently.
3) is a good fit for someone who is fresh out of library school.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA JobList (Twitter & RSS), professional listservs (ALA, SAA, regional organizations), Archives Gig, I Need a Library Job, professional career job listing sites.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I type up the job listing in a Word document in bullet points so I know what skills/experience the institution is looking for. I then edit my resume and write an application letter based on those bullet points. I edit both like crazy afterwards, so it takes several days before I feel like I’m ready to submit the packet.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Employers need to be very specific about their expectations and desired skills/experience they want from candidates. The more detailed the better, and no extra “competencies” that are not relevant to what the daily tasks are for the position.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Please please please contact the candidates in a timely manner when the institution has made a decision on who to hire. So far in my job search, I have had one institution not contact me at all, two that waited two months to notify me “Sorry, but no” and one that immediately told me “Sorry, but no.” One position that I did have an interview for told me to expect a response within two weeks, and I received a “Sorry, but no” within one week. By receiving notification, I can keep chugging along applying without worrying whether or not I got a job somewhere else.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Keep trying, because there’s bound to be a job that best fits somewhere. Also, I try not to pigeon-hole myself to only a few kinds of positions because that limits where I can work.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Make Sure That the Candidate Knows That You Really Want Them to Apply

This interview is with Sarah Deringer, a graduate student at the University of Kentucky. She is concentrated on Children’s and Young Adult Literature and is earning an MSLS with School Media Specialist certificate. Ms. Deringer graduated from Murray State University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a focus on Secondary Education. She is a student member of ALA, and has served as an intern and a part-time library aide at Paoli Public Library in Paoli, Indiana. She has this to say about internships/volunteering:

I’ve had internships during the summer at the same local public library. I learned about InterLibrary loan, copy-cataloging, and other library skills. I was working part-time for them from June 2011 until a couple of days ago; they had to let me go because of low funding.

I also volunteer at my church’s library to help put books away and catalog books and media.

Ms. Deringer has been looking for a new position for Less than six months, in Public and School libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience. She is in a rural area in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere.
Ms. Deringer enjoys connecting with others through social media. Connect with Sarah via Twitter and LinkedIn.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

– continuing education, skill development, and making a difference
– connecting with other professionals
– money to make ends meet

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, LinkedIn, USAjobs, INeedALibraryJob, newspapers, KDLA’s job listings, etc.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

1. Resume
2. Cover Letter
3. Recommendations
4. Any other paperwork that they require
– I usually spend 1 to 2 hours working on it and making sure that every part is right before I send it.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

They should make sure the requirements are clearly stated and post the job opening on as many websites and other media as possible.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Smile. It makes everything less threatening. Make sure that the candidate knows that you really want them to apply, so that the candidate doesn’t feel like just another thing that the employer has to deal with.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think the secret to getting hired is having enthusiasm and passion about the job / company / field. Also, it’s important to be able to connect with the employer and / or interviewer.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Public, Rural area, School

It Wasn’t Part of the Discussion. Though We Didn’t Have Anything Really Outlandish

job interview outfit by flickr user misterjt

 

 

This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an Urban area in Canada.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

False

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

Other: pantyhose, tights or bare legs are all fine.

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

I’ve seen a range from suits to less-formal but still work appropriate clothing. The clothing candidates wore was not part of the discussion when we were hiring.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
Nose Ring (nostril)
Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
Earrings
Multiple Ear Piercings
Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)
Other:

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

I don’t really care how a candidate dresses

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

It wasn’t part of the discussion. Though we didn’t have anything really outlandish.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

Better than I dress for day to day work but not a suit.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

Other: something between casual and business casual.

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

N/A: We wear what we want!

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: job interview outfit by Flickr user misterjt

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Filed under Academic, What Should Candidates Wear?

Don’t Try to be Funny

National Archives Staff, 1984

This anonymous interview is with someone from an Academic library who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee.  This person’s library has 100-200 staff members.  When asked “Are you a librarian?”, this person left the answer blank.

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

They are specifically interested in and qualified for the job
They are able to make a case for their specific experience qualifying them for the job
They have demonstrated initiative in their previous work or academic experience

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

Not making it clear they are interested in THIS JOB as opposed to any job; not having done much (or any) research about my library before coming to interview. Well, and not having whatever experience we’ve indicated is required.

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

Humor. Don’t try to be funny. Don’t try to be clever. No pictures!

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

Occasionally people fail to explain what they did in a given position, at least insofar as it relates the job they are applying for. Also, please tell me if the job was full or part time.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Other: One for an entry-level position, more as the position goes up the ladder.

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ Other: As many as it takes, but enough is enough. It doesn’t have to be short and sweet, but I don’t need to know minor committees you were on.

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?

√ As an attachment only

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Answer my questions (it’s okay to have to ask me to repeat a multi-part question). Don’t just use buzz words or jargon: convince me you know what it means by also using normal language. Give me solid examples that illustrate what you are talking about.

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

Trying to be someone they aren’t (which includes asking what my ideal candidate would be like). Not having good questions for me.

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

We used to call references before we did on campus interviews (weird, I know); now we do phone interviews with short-list candidates instead. We stopped requiring transcripts as part of the application process.

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

Help Wanted, and Other Blog Admin

Hello Friends,

Remember how that last Stats and Graphs post for the Job Hunter survey was based on 360 responses?  In fact, as of 1/27/2013 we had increased to 377 responses. Add that in to the majority of 234 responses to the What Should Candidates Wear? survey, as well as all of the other various posts I want to do, and I’m looking at some logistical issues.

You may have noticed that I’m posting more frequently – I’ve been doing about two a day.  I’ve realized that I need to step it up if you’re going to get a chance to see everything in a timely fashion.  If you’re getting this by email, and I’m clogging up your inbox, I’m sorry!  I read all of my blogs by feedreader for just this reason.

I’ve also decided to find someone to help put this thing together.  I’m looking for someone to do two things, one of which might be kind of boring and one of which might be kind of exciting: to help transcribe surveys, and to create a good index to the posts.  I’d like to make it easier for people to find content, and I’d like to provide a structured listing of the post titles. I’d also like to spend less time transcribing surveys. Here are the details:

  • You must be willing to commit to spend a minimum of four hours a week on this project.
  • You must know how to work in Google Spreadsheets, Google Docs, and WordPress.
  • You must know how to parse HTML.  You don’t have to write it, you just have to understand how it works and maybe know a few of the more common tags.
  • You must know how to create a good index. You should have either a project you can share with me, or coursework, or both.  I don’t know much about it, so you’re going to be the expert.
  • You must be able to work well with me virtually, and be a good email communicator.
  • You must be committed to maintaining the confidentiality of survey respondents.
  • Bonus Points: Being an expert at analyzing and presenting data using Excel. You know, making charts and stuff.

If you are interested, please fill out this form.  I will keep it open for a week, then I will shut it down to look at the responses. I will give you an update within one week.

If you want to be considered, you need to fill out the form by Midnight (PST) on January 27th, 2013.

Please don’t send me anything else, just fill out the form.

I’m sorry that I’m just looking for one person right now.  To be honest, I’m nervous about letting someone mess around with my blog-baby.

I’m sorry that there is no money at all to pay you.  This blog costs me money to run as it is, and I’m an underemployed librarian.

If you have questions, please leave a comment.  You should be able to do this totally anonymously.

YOUR PAL,

EMILY

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Filed under News and Administration, Op Ed