This 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, archives, library vendors/service providers, public, school, and special libraries, at the following level: entry level: Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
Archives, corporate, public, school. All volunteer/unpaid except one paid corporate internship. Time spent in each library was sustained, from at least three months to three years with weekly contributions.
This job hunter is in a rural area in the Southern US, and is not willing to move.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Within 30 miles of home, strong leadership en situ, evidence that present employees are happy in positions.
Where do you look for open positions?
ALA, local job sites, State listserv.
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?
One hour, if straight forward. Much more time if a presentation pitch is involved.
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?
√ 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?
Think outside of the LIS box! Hire professionals with qualifications in other fields who have deliberately obtained a LIS education. Stop hiring your neighbor or cousin or fellow church member. Hire OLDER new librarians, not every librarian needs to be a HIPSTER to appeal to young patrons. Have the guts to shake up the present status quo in the library and bring in new librarians with strong technical skills and IDEAS.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Be polite and respond to email, snail mail letters, and phone messages. Send an email, if that is all there is time for, but show some basic manners and respond. Do not complain that ‘we are too busy to respond’,,,, that is your job. If a hiring librarian manager can not find the time to respond to applicants and all interviewees, then you do not need to be in that position.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
It is NOT what you know,,,, it is WHO you know. In Georgia public libraries, being an out of work, college dropout relative of a public official or library board member or a fellow church member of the library director is a straight-line pass into a m-f 9-5 library associate job. Being a summa cum laude graduate of an ALA MLIS program with two undergraduate degrees, a second masters and 3 years of library ‘volunteer intern’ experience may get you an interview but never a job offer for any level of employment.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
Do you think your State (or local government) library association is doing everything possible to increase 1) library jobs for professionals, 2) support new graduate hires 3) encourage libraries to hire educated librarians.
Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!