Rachel Chenault is a 2006 graduate of the University of Alabama SLIS. Although she was a children’s librarian for two years (where she discovered she loves story time), she now works as an academic reference librarian at South University. Prior to being hired, she spent six months to a year looking in academic libraries for reference or cataloging librarian positions. She is in a city/town in the Southern US, and when asked if she was willing to move for a position, said:
I recently relocated, so not right now.
Ms. Chenault is an active member of the Alabama Library Association and the American Library Association. She loves to cook, read British mysteries and watch Bollywood movies. She is also a Jane Austen fanatic and has a:
not so secret passion for cataloging.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Opportunities for Professional Development
Where do you look for open positions?
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?
Ensure resume is up to date.
Ensure reference contact information is up to date.
Reformat resume/CV as necessary.
Complete Cover letter.
Fill out all necessary paperwork.
Time spent 3-5 hours depending on what is needed.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
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?
√ Other: I do not have a preference as long as contact is attempted.
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?
Provide as much information as possible. At least provide a minimum salary. In today’s economy, candidates need to know if they will be able to pay their bills with the position or if they will need to secure supplemental employment, etc.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
We all know that everyone is busy and has too much to do. However, when you are looking for a job, you are already anxious. Any kind of contact throughout the process is helpful. The sooner the better. Not knowing where you are in the process is one of the worst parts of the hiring process. If a person knows they aren’t being considered for a certain position, they can move on and spend their energy on other leads for employment. If a person is waiting to hear from a prospective employer, they might be less apt to go after certain opportunities until they hear something.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Finding the right fit. When you meet the needs of the employer and they meet your needs as an employee. It just has to be the right fit for all parties involved.
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!