Focus on finding a good fit and not just whoever makes it out of a strenuous day alive!

King Emperor's Hunt in India (LOC)This 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 Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, and tech. Here is how this person describes his or her experience with internships/volunteering:

1 year archives and library assistant (paid position) – The Phillips Collection
2 months full time paid internship – Smithsonian
4 months part time paid internship – Smithsonian
4 months part time volunteer – Wolf Trap

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

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

Positive workplace with competent co-workers with good attitudes, Stability, Pay a living wage

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA joblist, ARLIS jobs, LinkedIn, INALJ, listservs (multiple)

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?

Probably 20-40 hours and up on a single 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 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?

Quick process (otherwise the best candidates need to move on),
Good communication,
Respectful of the time and energy of applicants

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

Quick process (otherwise the best candidates need to move on)
Good communication
Respectful of the time and energy of applicants
Focus on finding a good fit and not just whoever makes it out of a strenuous day alive! (This is actually important… some people have medical reasons for not holding up well for an 8 hour plus interview with little to no breaks or snacks and really doesn’t reflect on their ability to do the job)

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I used to think it was knowing people. Now I just don’t know anymore. Possibly the ability to continue to pick yourself up and move forward after being knocked down over and over and over.

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

Question suggestion; What do you think is the biggest obstacle to your job search (not enough experience, lack a second advanced degree, etc.)

Thanks for doing this! I really look forward to seeing the results!

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, Northeastern US, Urban area

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