It’s being a young, recent MLS grad who is willing to take a smallish salary

Seminole woman and children gigging frogs near the Tamiami TrailThis 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, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Senior Librarian.
This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US, and is not willing to move.

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

It’s difficult to narrow it to 3, but I guess the first thing I look for is whether it is in the type of library where I’d like to work. Is the salary fair? What are the hours like? How close is it to home?

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Job Bank, professional association listservs, LinkedIn, other websites

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?

I spend at least an hour to 90 minutes per packet, and I have to admit, I don’t rewrite everything. If I did that, it would probably take me closer to 4 hours per packet.

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?

√ Email

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?

Offer fair salaries to attract the appropriate person for the job, not just someone they can pay the least.

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

Universities could have more user-friendly job application interfaces. Goldey-Beacom College actually has a good one, but most others are sooo painful!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I wish I knew. I’m probably a little bitter, but I think it’s being a young, recent MLS grad who is willing to take a smallish salary because it’s his or her 1st or 2nd job out of grad school.

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

Thank you for this opportunity! I hope it helps librarians’ job prospects! Happy New Year!

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!


Filed under Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Special, Suburban area

2 responses to “It’s being a young, recent MLS grad who is willing to take a smallish salary

  1. Anonymous

    I can tell you that definitely isn’t it, or I would have a job by now.


  2. I second anonymous! Of course I do think mobility is a key & unfortunately I don’t have much of that.


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