George Bergstrom took the job hunter survey on January 17, 2013. His responses appeared earlier today as Doing the Research.
How long has it been since you got your library degree?
I earned my degree in Spring of 2003.
How many years of library work experience do you have?
Two years part time from 1997 – 1999. Eleven years full time from 2000 – 2010. Now about a year and a half of part time (Fall 2012 – present) as a librarian and an adjunct instructor.
How many years of work experience outside of libraries do you have?
Just part time work in high school.
How old are you?
What’s your current work situation?
part time in both an academic library and an adjunct instructor
Are you volunteering anywhere?
Your Job Hunt
How long have you been job hunting at this point?
I looked very hard from early 2009 – fall of 2012, since getting the part time job I have slowed down the search.
What kinds of jobs are you currently applying for? (library type, position level, in or out of libraries, etc.)
both public and academic libraries, everything from entry level to mid management (I think the highest level position I have applied for was a branch manager position.) I am also looking outside of libraries in academia (career services/counseling, research analyst positions, etc.)
Approximately how many positions have you applied to?
In the five years or so, I would put the number over 100 but can’t be sure…
Approximately how many interviews have you gone on?
10 – 15
How do you prepare for interviews?
I spend a few hours getting familiar with the organizations website, mission, vision, etc. I check my network (LinkedIn, emailing former colleagues, etc.) to see if I can find an connections to the organization or people at the organization trying to gather insights. I spend many hours preparing for any teaching demo/presentation if they require one…
Have you traveled for interviews? If so, who paid?
Yes, both times they paid (and one other they would have paid, but I was local…)
Have you declined any offers?
What do you think is the biggest obstacle in your job hunt? How are you working to overcome it?
Early on it was the economy and the high number of qualified candidates. Then it might have been the employment gap (I did volunteer some during the gap) now I am more bound geographically, so I am applying more judiciously and am still seeing the high volume of qualified candidates.
Have there been any major changes in your job hunting strategy? Are you doing anything differently than from when we last heard from you?
The only major change is that I have slowed down. Partly because I am working ‘part-time’ (though this adds up to more than 30 hours per week between the multiple jobs) and partly because I am more geographically tied.
State of the Job Market
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen on a job announcement?
The long laundry list of required qualifications and desired qualifications that very few if any candidates could match.
What was your favorite interview question? What was the worst?
When it is early in the interview I don’t like the “Why should we hire you/Why are you the ideal candidate?” question, because I haven’t heard what they have to say, I haven’t had a chance to ask my questions, and I haven’t had a chance to meet people/see the facility.
But on the flip side when that question is near the end of the interview I like it. It allows for a chance to highlight my talents, demonstrate my understanding of the position and organization, and transition into the questions I may have about the position.
I wrote about this very thing on my blog.
Any good horror stories for us?
I once lost the sole of my shoe getting out of my car in the parking lot of the library (academic…), so being early (thank goodness) I went into the college bookstore and found superglue. I tried in vain to get the sole glued to the bottom of the shoe (it didn’t work!)
So I went through the entire interview with one shoe soleless… fortunately there was only walking around the library and not the campus.
Has job hunting been a positive or negative experience, for the most part?
mostly positive, just tedious.
Would you change your answer to “what’s the secret to getting hired”?
I think that networking and being prepared for the interview are key.
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.