I’m a Fast Learner and am Looking for a Place to Stay, Get Me While I’m Young

mary michelle mooreMary-Michelle Moore is a library assistant at the UC Irvine’s Langson library with a background in interlibrary loan and circulation.  She is currently working towards her MLIS through Rutgers State University of New Jersey and will be graduating in May 2013. Ms. Moore has been looking for a new position for less than six months, in Academic and Special libraries, at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience (she is transitioning from staff to librarian). Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

– 5 years experience working as a paraprofessional – primarily in access services, with some student worker supervision experience
– Digital reference internship with the ipl2

Ms. Moore is in a city/town in the Western US, and is willing to move

Anywhere in CA and Western US or to the Smithsonian or American Museum of Natural History

She serves as Webmaster for the Rutgers Association of School Librarians (RASL) and as an Online Student Representative for the Student College, Academic and Research Librarian Association (SCARLA).  She volunteers with I Need a Library Job and Reading to Kids.

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

– room for advancement/ professional development support

– interesting job duties

– location

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA JobList

INALJ.com

– professional listservs

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?

~5-10 hours: read through job description, look up the library and find out a little about the institution, update the resume/CV, create cover letter, send CV & cover letter to friend w/ job description for proof reading, contact references to verify their willingness to vouch for me.

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 acknowledge my application

√ 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)?

√ 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?

– give candidates enough time to get a application packet together, short advertising times are difficult for everyone involved

– talk a bit about the work environment, work is important but if you do social activities, this is a big plus

– write better job descriptions, some of the descriptions are either too broad or too specific – if you’re willing to mentor a new librarian, please let me know, I’m a fast learner and am looking for a place to stay, get me while I’m young so I can learn the habits you want in the position instead of waiting to train me out of old habits

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

– Be more communicative, even if you just send a generic trigger email, let me know you have received my application, an approximate start date for the interview process, and follow up when the position has been filled.  I’ve applied for jobs in the past and received a “we regret to inform you we’ve gone with another candidate” letter in the mail more than a year later.  If you expect me to jump through hoops, please at least be polite about it.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Choose jobs carefully so you are excited about what you are applying for and can generate some genuine enthusiasm. Apply to positions that may not be a perfect fit based on the job description, you may find out more about the position when you get to the interview that is more encouraging.  Don’t get discouraged when you aren’t called back, there are a lot of people going out for these positions and you cannot know what everyone is looking for, chances are it’s nothing you’ve done anyway.

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

Maybe a section on soft skills and a section on publications?

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 Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Special, Western US

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