Go to professional meetings and see who’s there

October 28, 1902 via National Library of Ireland on the CommonsThis 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 More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, Special libraries, and

anyplace that will hire me

at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how this person describes his or her experience with internships/volunteering:

I had a archives internship and two graduate assistantships, one in archives one as a reference librarian before I graduated. Since then I volunteered for my local archives for 4 years, held about 5 temp positions in archives and worked for my local library part-time for about 4 years. I have become a certified archivist though my volunteer work.

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?

Someplace in the New York Metro area
With Decent pay, if it’s in NYC I would have to take a train in and that would need to cover it.
A place with a possibility of growth

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional Listservs, LinkedIn, INAJ, Archives Gig, METRO job bank, NY ART job bank

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 usually spent about an hour on it. I read the job posting and try to use the words in the posting in my cover letter. Sometimes I might see if I can find where the job is located and maybe some background on who works there. I used to address my cover letter to the director but recently I favor using Hiring Manger instead. Seems less stalker like.

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?


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

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

I think they should put the salary in the posting and decent one at that. They should talk about the probability of growth in the company. They might want to express their involvement in local professional organizations or conferences. Go to professional meetings and see who’s there. The people who go there already on their own dime are the people you want to work for you.

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

Keep in contact with the candidates. I wish they would be more upfront with your possibility of employment there. One place flat out told me they were legally obligated to interview anyone who showed interest in the position and that I probably wouldn’t be a good fit for what they were looking for. Yeah it was painful in the short term but I also wasn’t sitting by the phone waiting for them.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I have no idea, if I did I think I would be hired by now. That said I think research on the subject of the work you’re doing, and being personable helps.

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

I would add a question of what a job seeker learned since she/he started his search. I’m not the same person I was when I first started my search and I’ve become much wiser.

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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