Fewer “Must Have” Requirements and More “Desired” Qualifications

Man and Hunting Dog: Tallahasee FloridaThis 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 A year to 18 months. This person is looking in Library vendors/service providers and Special libraries, at the following levels:Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Senior Librarian.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.

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

1. Salary at least on par with the area.
2. Benefits at a decent cost and decently generous (e.g. more than 2 weeks PTO, health premiums less than 10% of salary)
3. Flexible time and/or work location.

Where do you look for open positions?

LinkedIn, Indeed, INALJ, SLA Job Board,

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?

Depends on the size of the packet and the type of firm. For a special library I spend an hour or two on the cover letter crafting to fit the ad specifications. For government jobs more time spent on KPIs and showing where my qualifications fit each position point.
Generally would say I spend 3-4 hours on an application.

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 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 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)?

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?

Fewer “must have” requirements and more “desired” qualifications. This way people who have say 2 years instead of 5 years but every other desired qualification may apply.

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

Contact us when we’re not getting a shot. Most firms now have emails into their contact databases, it would be easy to send out thanks but not at this time letters en masse.
Acknowledge when things don’t go forward. Sometimes I have had a great interview, the recruiter is very positive, but something happens and I’m not the candidate. I simple, we’ve gone another direction is very useful at that point.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I don’t think there is one, I think it is more of a match. I got my recent job because they needed someone they didn’t have to train much to stabilize a situation. I had worked at the firm in the past, left on good terms, and was trusted by the project head.
If your personality doesn’t match the firm’s culture it simply won’t work and that is really one of the most important pieces in today’s workplace.

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, Other Organization or Library Type, Special, Urban area

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