Rewrite the Job ad for readability and with realistic expectations

A hunter and his dog quail hunting De Funiak Springs, FloridaThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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 Less than six months.This person is looking in Academic libraries, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, and Supervisory.

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?

1. A collegial environment where information is shared readily and all stakeholders are included without second thought.
2. A learning environment where professional development activities are encouraged.
3. An environment where taking on increasing levels of responsibility is possible and encouraged.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, INALJ, LinkedIn, LibGIG (on twitter), HigherEdjobs, SLA, LISjobs, #libjobs RSS feed. I also check on job posting pages of specific places I have researched as places I’d like to work.

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 first locate the employer. I am bound by location so the job has to be within commuter distance. Then I research the employer to decide if it will be a good fit for me. Then I study the job ad and redraft my resume to highlight those skills that match the job ad. Lastly, I write a cover letter for the job to emphasize how my skills and experience will contribute to the workplace. Lastly, I put all of that information into the job system if necessary. The whole process takes up to 4 to 8 hours.

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
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
Being able to present

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

Rewrite the job ad for readability and with realistic expectations. I find most job ads are dry reads with poorly constructed bullet point lists of qualifications. Many job ads have lists upon lists of qualifications that only someone in the job for 5 years could have. There doesn’t seem to be room for learning and growth on the job anymore.

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

The job systems are so difficult to get through. I wish there was a better way to submit applications.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Network, network, network. After that, a sparkling cover letter and resume that match the job ad perfectly.

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

Thanks for all you do to help library job hunters!

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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