Don’t Make Applicants Guess

Portrait of Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904), Explorer


This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field) and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in Special libraries at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager, and Director/Dean. The job hunter is in an urban area of the Southern US, and is not willing to move.

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

Interesting environment with smart people asking tough questions
Management that sees the Library as a tool for user excellence and not just a cost
A place that is not an information vacuum, where you are suposed to pick things up by osmosis, apparently

Where do you look for open positions?

AALL, SLA, professional listservs

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

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

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

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

Write good job descriptions and note the requirements that are desired and not just those that are required. Also, write the description in such a way that it is clear what qualifications will be necessary, not just the ones that go into every description. I would also like to know how flexible the requirements and qualifications are.

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

Provide feedback. While no might not be the answer you want, it is an answer and provides closure to the process. Don’t make applicants guess.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Presenting yourself well and truly knowing what the job requires and what you can offer to improve the way the library works.

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, Southern US, Urban area

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