You Just Need to Make Sure That They Understand Who You Are

Jade Valenzuela works for her hometown public library system, Riverside County, as a library assistant. She is a graduate of the University of Redlands (BS in Chemistry and Biology), and a recent graduate of San Jose State University (MLIS).  She has been job hunting for six months to a year, looking in academic, public libraries, and school libraries, for positions at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

No internship experience, I just volunteered at one of the local public elementary schools to get an idea of things.

Ms. Valenzuela is in a city/town in the Western US, and is willing to move anywhere. She shares her thoughts on books and anything that comes to mind involving libraries, whether it’s a neat article or a link to an upcoming webinar, on her blog at: .

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

First thing I like to look for is the location, of course, nowadays, you can’t be too picky, but I still wouldn’t want to work somewhere that I don’t care to live in.  Next I look to see if it’s a full time position and based on the job description, I want to get the feeling that I would be putting my learned skills to use.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA JobLIST, INALJ, as well as professional listservs

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

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

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

I usually read through the application packet first, just so I can sort of plan what I will need to put on it. I like to get things put down right the first time. Depending on how big it is, I like to take a day or so for the packet, if not faster, just so I know I’ve put in the best application possible.

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 tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage

√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone

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

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

The job description should be very clear as to what the job will entail as well as the qualifications they are looking for in an applicant.  It doesn’t have to be a giant summary of the job, but I think that possible applicants should know well what they might be getting into with the job and if they are even qualified to apply.

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

It would take some stress out of the process if the employers kept you informed as to the status of your application, if it’s moving on, or if you’re probably not going to get to the interview stage. Just so you’re not sitting in the dark waiting to hear any news.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think being honest, straightforward, and personable are the key components to getting hired. You just need to make sure that they understand who you are and hope that your possible employers will find you a good fit for the organization.

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

Thought it was a great survey! The questions were to the point but thorough.

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 City/town, Job hunter's survey, Public, Western US

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