“Anonymous 1” took the Job Hunter’s survey on January 4th, 2013. Her responses appeared earlier today as I was recently hired through a head hunter so I did not have to do this.
How long has it been since you got your library degree?
I was awarded my degree in 2007
How many years of library work experience do you have?
How many years of work experience outside of libraries do you have?
How old are you?
Your Job Hunt
How long did it take you before you found your job?
I hadn’t been actively looking just yet but I was contacted by a headhunter who had found me on LinkedIn while my my previous employer was undergoing some radical downsizing and relocation of staff. The timing was fortuitous because I was uncomfortable with the downsizing but there were other people who had been immediately affected in my department and they were actively job hunting. I did not want to compete with my soon-to-be-former colleagues. In the end, however, the position that the headhunter was offering was a unique fit to me and my own particular skills.
How many positions did you apply to?
Only the one
How many interviews did you go on?
What was your work situation while you were job hunting?
I was employed full time when my company announced the opening of a “service center” for their staff. This meant that some staff were being laid off, some staff were being forced to take retirement, some staff were offered new positions in a new state (to which I was not interested in moving) and some staff were forced to find other employment because they were not in a position to relocate. My department was decimated and while I was still employed full time throughout but I was uneasy about my future at that company.
Were you volunteering anywhere?
Did you travel for interviews? If so, who paid?
Did you decline any offers?
Not at this time.
What’s your new job?
I am a Corporate Librarian at a law firm
Is your job full or part time? Permanent or temporary?
full time, permanent
Did you relocate? If so, who paid?
How did you find the listing for your job?
A recruiter contacted me, it was not being advertised
Did you meet all of the required qualifications? How many of the desired qualifications?
I met all of them
What was the application process like? How many interviews did you do?
There was one interview with HR and then one with my manager
How did you prepare for the interview(s)?
I reviewed some of my more difficult reference requests from past positions
Did you know anyone in the organization that hired you? If so, how?
I did not.
Is your job commensurate with your skills, experience and expectations?
Yes it is.
Is the pay scale higher or lower than you were looking for?
Higher than I expected
What do you think was the biggest obstacle in your job hunt? How did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle for everyone in my field right now is the bleak outlook of the legal market. This means firms are not hiring much and are generally looking for any way to save costs on salaries, research and resources.
I was in the right place at the right time to catch my current job – it also helped that my head hunter was good at her job and could cold call so persuasively.
What set you apart from the other applicants? Why did they hire you?
I had a good history at a similar firm and was skilled in my particular area. I was also willing to work certain non-standard hours.
State of the Job Market
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen on a job announcement?
I think recently I saw one where they wanted an MLIS and a JD and something like 15 years experience and were offering a laughable salary in an urban market. It was a starter salary acceptable for someone right out of college, certainly not someone with two degrees and 15 years experience.
What was your favorite interview question? What was the worst?
I like when we can compare notes on vendors and talk about how to answer tough reference questions. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer in these things so I appreciate it when I can recognize that a potential manager just wants to see how I think.
The worst is when an interviewer picks up the phone during an interview. I already know it won’t be a good fit if that happens.
Any good horror stories for us?
Helplessly watching my colleagues go through all the stress and uncertainty at my last position when they were losing their jobs is enough to sustain me for a while.
Has job hunting been a positive or negative experience, for the most part?
It’s gone well for me for the most part.
Would you change your answer to “what’s the secret to getting hired”?
I don’t think so. I think being personable and a good communicator is hard to underestimate.
Anything else you want to tell us?
Just that I wish everyone the best and based on my most recent experience I would simply say keep your LinkedIn account up to date.
If you took the Job Hunter’s Survey some time in the last year and are interested in doing a follow-up, even anonymously, please contact me at hiringlibrarians AT gmail.