I Only Receive Job Offers When I Successfully Hide My Education and Personality

Hunting party, probably Christchurch district, [ca 1915]This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field) within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, School libraries, Special libraries, and nonprofits at the following levels: Entry level and paraprofessional. Here is how this person describes his or her experience with internships/volunteering: 3 month internship in a state government library and 3 month internship in a public library.

This job hunter is in suburban area in the Southern US and is not willing to move anywhere.

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

Stable hours and schedule, within 60 miles, and something I will like.

Where do you look for open positions?

Individual city, school district, higher education, and company websites. Paraprofessional level positions are rarely widely advertised or included in larger listserves.

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?

Visit the library, school district, college, or company’s website. Find independent reviews. Match my skills and experience to keywords in the job ad and make certain they show up in my application, resume, and/or cover letter. This often takes several hours.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

Other: I frequently omit my bachelor’s degree because I get more interviews when I exclude it.

When would you like employers to contact you?

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?


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?

Stop using ATS, which excludes qualified applicants. Include the salary range and the job location in the advertisement so applicants know not to waste your time or their own.

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

Communicate, even if it is a short email to say “Thanks, but no thanks.” I rarely ever hear from potential employers anymore, even following interviews.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I only receive job offers when I successfully hide my education and personality.

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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