This interview is with job hunter Jennifer Crutchfield, a 2008 alumnus of Simmons college. She is currently a Reference/ Instructional Librarian and Archivist at Manchester Community College, CT, where she enjoys very friendly co-workers. She is a member of SAA, NEA, and ALA, and is looking for part-time or full-time archivist work. Ms. Crutchfield has been hunting for more than 18 months, looking in Academic libraries, Archives, and Special libraries for positions requiring at least two years of experience. This is what she has to say about volunteering:
I volunteer a lot. I’ve loved every place I’ve volunteered with. They all really appreciate you. But at some point you realize that you have to make some money. It doesn’t mean you have to stop volunteering, it just means you realize how hard it is to get a paying job in this field.
She is currently in a suburban area, in the Northeastern US and is willing to move within the Northeast.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Opportunity to grow.
Ability to be creative.
Where do you look for open positions?
INALJ, CT Library jobs, Archives Gig. Random web searches.
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 spend about an hour or so on preparing my application. It may take longer if it is an online application where you need to fill in a lot of information. The cover letter takes the longest for me because I try to tailor it to each job.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
√ Other: Maybe a little. I write this because sometimes you are capable of doing a certain task, but may not have had to do it in your current position.
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?
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?
I think they should have an open mind. Just because someone has 20 years experience doesn’t mean they are the best for the job.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Contact us no matter what!
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
It is who you know as well as what you know. Many jobs I have applied for left me thinking “Why didn’t I get this job?” When I ask for some of the reasons why I didn’t get the position, many times it comes down to the position being filled by an internal applicant or someone who has the qualifications and is recommended by the employee who is leaving the position. This is just my experience.
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!