Any Level of Experience IS Experience, So No

LandscapeThis 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, Archives, Library vendor/service providers, Public libraries and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level , Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, and Branch Manager. This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move for employment.

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

opportunities for advancement
opportunities for professional development
opportunities to go above and beyond the stated job duties

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, Missour Lib Association, Kansas Lib Association, Monster, LinkedIn,, Career Builder, I Need a Library Job, Local library/college websites, SLA career center, PreserveNet, GWLA, Kansas State Jobs, Kansas State Historical Society, Missouri State Jobs, Kansas City MO city employment, Overland Park City Employment, Johnson County KS employment, Jackson County MO employment

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 have several resumes ready to tweak and send out. Some focus on teaching skills, some focus on tech skills etc.

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

√ Other: any level of experience IS experience, so 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
√ 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?

√ 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?

Tell us more about the environment, professional development opportunities, etc. We know the job will likely involve reference and circulation duties. We don’t know what kind of play you’re operating. If it’s a public library, is the community involved (or the library involved in the community)? If it’s an academic library, are the students actually using the resources? Are there bibliographic instruction classes being held?

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

Contact at all points, even if it’s just a form letter letting us know that we haven’t been chosen for interviews or that they’re taking some extra time to decide who to hire. Stop leaving us hanging for weeks!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Good question. I think the job search process is a more grueling version of dating. You just have to hope that the magic happens. Even if you’re over qualified and they know you’d do a good job, they may not want to spend 8 hours a day in the same building as you.

Another thing – a lot of the large library systems here seem to only post a job opening because they’re required to. They usually only hire within the system. You have to know the equivalent of the Pope to just get an interview. I know they get a lot of applications, but they need to consider letting in some fresh blood.

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

Thank you for listening!

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, Midwestern US, Urban area

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