This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in academic and special libraries, at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I worked in an academic library’s digital collections department; I am currently a graduate teaching assistant at my university; I am about to start a volunteer internship at an academic medical library.
This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move to certain Northeastern cities.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
professional development opportunities,
Where do you look for open positions?
Student listservs through my university, local listservs and individual websites, and INALJ
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 typically spend several weeks on it- longer if possible. I am currently working on two applications due within the next 4 weeks, and I have been working on them for two weeks now. Both positions are extremely important to me, so I wanted to give myself time to write and rewrite cover letters, as well as have my family and friends give me feedback.
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
√ Other: All information is useful!
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)?
√ 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?
I think employers need to offer good benefits and opportunities to their employees- I am much more likely to work hard to apply for a position at an institution where I can see myself bettering my professional and personal life. For instance, I am applying to an institution that offers great medical coverage, tuition remission, good salary ranges, upward mobility, etc. I can see myself staying there for a long time and being able to improve myself.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Keep people informed! Waiting weeks and weeks to hear that someone else was hired is painful, frustrating, and degrading- if you don’t want to hire me, I’d much rather know immediately, rather than waiting and waiting to hear that you hired someone else. Please, tell me either way!
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Networking. I think that meeting people, as many people as possible, not only improves your chances of meeting someone who could lead you to a position but also helps to inform what positions you want to look for. Talking with professionals in the field about their jobs has helped me figure out what I want to do in my future job, and has allowed me to meet a variety of professionals at different institutions.
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!