You need to follow Strunk & White’s rules for parallel construction. FYI.

View of a Pine Crest School student reading in the library Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1966 or 1967This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring committee, and a library director.  This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members.

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

Ability to do the work, willingness to be a part of a team, and excellent rapport with the patrons we serve.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

No, not really, but if an application is riddled with typos, grammatical errors and the like, I’m going to knock it out of th [response ends here].

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

I don’t know. I get kind of tired of seeing lists of classes that the applicant took in library school, but I can see where others would find that valuable.

I will say that if you’re using bullet points (and if it’s a resume, you are) then you need to follow Strunk & White’s rules for parallel construction. FYI.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

If it’s an academic library gig, *everything* goes on the CV.

Library schools need to stop advising graduates to use 2-page resumes. Applicants should be more interesting than can be detailed in just two pages.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ As many as it takes, but shorter is better

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, I want to look at every accomplishment

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ Other: I have no preference as a hiring agent, but I recommend PDF so the applicant can “lock down” the formatting to their tastes.

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ I don’t care

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

I don’t know. I think this question assumes that there *is* such a thing as winning someone over, and I’m not sure that’s really true.

That said, acting like you have a big ol’ stick up your butt will almost certainly have the opposite effect, so there’s that.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

In the past, the directors before me just hired whomever they wanted. I wanted more voices in on the decision, so I always charge a search committee to recruit some candidates, rank their capabilities, and give me some options in hiring. Making the process a collaborative one is the right way to go.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Interviews go both ways. It’s as much about finding the right fit for you as us finding the right applicant.

Be patient. The right job is very much worth every bit of your patience in finding it.

Do you hire librarians?  Share your perspective with job hunters by taking this survey:


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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

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