Monthly Archives: April 2014

For Public Review: Job Hunter EH

Welcome to crowd-sourced resume review for LIS job hunters!

Please help the job hunter below by using the comment button to offer constructive criticism on her resume. Some guidelines for constructive feedback are here, and the ALA NMRT has brief tips for reviewing resumes here.

This 2 page resume was submitted by a job hunter who says,

This resume is aimed at securing internships or paraprofessional positions, as I’m still a student.  I intend to go into academic libraries when I graduate, particularly in digital services/emerging tech or digital archives

EH Resume p1 EH Resume p2

 

To submit your resume or CV For Public Review,

  • send it as a Word document or PNG or JPEG image to hiringlibrariansresumereviewATgmail.
  • It will be posted as-is, so please remove any information that you are not comfortable having publically available (I suggest removing your address and phone number at a minimum).
  • Please include a short statement identifying if it’s a resume or CV and
  • describing the types of positions you’re using it for (ie institution type, position level, general focus).
  • Finally, you will also need to confirm that you agree to comment on at least five other posted resumes.

5 Comments

Filed under For Public Review, Resume Review

Any event conducted during the interview requires interview-level clothing

8.36pm: Trying on potential job interview outfits by Flickr user webbyclareThis anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager. This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members in a Suburban area in the NorthEastern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ Other: If you have a shift under a blazer, it’s okay to take off the jacket and show your arms (assuming they’re in good shape).

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Yes, true professionals always wear pantyhose

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Excessive cleavage. Jeans. Remember that any event conducted during the interview requires interview-level clothing. Thus do NOT wear jeans to your interview dinner the night before the full interview. It shows a casualness you won’t shake even if you were a tux the next day.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ No

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable) 

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Earrings
√ Other: I can see candidates making a case for any jewelry, if it’s not taking precedence over the content of their interview.

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I expect professional attire, and it’s unfounded that a suit lacks personality.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

Suit, conservative hair and jewelry, comfortable shoes with a short heel.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply) 

√ Jeans
√ Flip flops
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans
√ Sneakers/trainers

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Other: Name tags sometimes

Do you have any other comments?

I’m amused by people who feel they need to be as quirky as possible at interviews because that is who they “really” are. I’m looking for an excellent employee who can balance all parts of their being, not someone who says “I’m quirky” every other minute (which a recent candidate did). That shows insecurity, not confidence. Know your institution’s culture, and if you can fit in, do. If you can’t, look elsewhere — there are lots of options and one spot is a perfect one for you.

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: 8.36pm Trying on potential job interview outfits by Flickr user webbyclare

4 Comments

Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Suburban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

For Public Review: Ethan Fenichel

Welcome to crowd-sourced resume review for LIS job hunters!

Please help the job hunter below by using the comment button to offer constructive criticism on his resume. Some guidelines for constructive feedback are here, and the ALA NMRT has brief tips for reviewing resumes here.

This 2 page resume was submitted by a job hunter who says,

I’ve been working in the corporate sector for several years and finished my MSIS in December. I’ll be using this resume to look for a job in an academic library or a library services company (like an OCLC). I’m interested in research but also outreach and education. I’m very anxious about my lack of in-library experience and I’m interested if my resume translates to people hiring librarians.

ethan fenichel p1

ethan fenichel p2

To submit your resume or CV For Public Review,

  • send it as a Word document or PNG or JPEG image to hiringlibrariansresumereviewATgmail.
  • It will be posted as-is, so please remove any information that you are not comfortable having publically available (I suggest removing your address and phone number at a minimum).
  • Please include a short statement identifying if it’s a resume or CV and
  • describing the types of positions you’re using it for (ie institution type, position level, general focus).
  • Finally, you will also need to confirm that you agree to comment on at least five other posted resumes.

2 Comments

Filed under Academic, CV review, For Public Review, Other Organization or Library Type, Resume Review

If that listserv has a twitter feed, for example, I will be more likely to see it

Kate McManus is an aspiring archivist who currently is underemployed at a community college library, in St Paul, MN. She is actively looking for new challenges while working full time and taking a full course load at St Catherine University. She has been looking for a year to 18 months, in Archives as well as Academic and Special libraries, for positions at the entry level and requiring two years of experience. Ms. McManus’ anticipated graduation date is May 2015. Here is her experience with internships/volunteering:

I have had several internships and have volunteered when my schedule permits. I work full time and am taking a full course load.

Ms. McManus is willing to move anywhere for employment. She also enjoys traveling whenever possible. Please visit her twitter or LinkedIn for more information.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Location
Duties outlined in the job description
Type of institution

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, professional listservs (local, national, and international), facebook groups (which tend to be informal but really good about updating), specific institutions

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?

Depends on what’s needed – I make a checklist and make sure that I can meet what they’re looking to see (writing/research samples, for instance). Then I write a new cover letter, tailor my resume to highlight things they might be looking for (if I have the experience they’ve specified), and carefully select who might be able to give me the best/most appropriate recommendations from my contacts.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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
√ 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

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Make sure the job posting is where the greatest number of candidates can find it- I don’t always have the time to go to every listserv, but if that listserv has a twitter feed, for example, I will be more likely to see it. And leave the posting open for more than 3 days!

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Be completely transparent, and don’t give pity interviews. I had a pity interview at my current place of employment and I was humiliated when they did not offer me the promotion. I almost wish I wouldn’t have gotten an interview when they clearly had no intention of hiring me. This is only one reason why I am looking for a new job.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Look good on paper so you can get an interview. Remember in an interview that they already like you and are trying to see how you might fit with their team. And if you don’t know something, stress that you’re willing to learn!

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Urban area

Stop looking for unicorns who will work for a pittance

Keene Grammar School Class, Keene New HampshireThis 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 six months to a year.. This person is looking at library vendors/service providers, as well as in academic, public, and special libraries, at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

During graduate school I was employed (4 years) as a library assistant, also volunteering with the local Friends group.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Western US..

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

At a library (rather than library-related)
Living wage
Excellent colleagues

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ
Individual city system websites
Joblist
Email from my master’s program
Friends

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?

Starting at half an hour and growing from there, I customize the message of cover letter, swap in and out relevant and irrelevant job description points, update my blog.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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?

√ Email

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

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Stop looking for unicorns who will work for a pittance.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communicate

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Diligence

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Urban area, Western US

If you live in a vanilla world, neapolitan won’t fit.

Work Interview Outfit in Buenos Aires by Flickr user Iluminado y Eterno MartinThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a Suburban area in the Midwestern US.  

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Other: You need to be coordinated and make a nice appearance. NOTHING less than Business attire.

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Other: Will work if does not look too casual

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ Other: So long as it is only the arms showing I don’t care

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Yes, true professionals always wear pantyhose

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ Other: Again, you want to look your best but not say party girl

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Jeans, shorts, capris, tank tops, low cut tops, flip-flops, nothing too tight, sweat shirts, beach attire or camping attire

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ Earrings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Attire is part of a first impression. Will they be accepted by the community?
If you live in a vanilla world, neapolitan won’t fit.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

suit, stockings, conservative appearance

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

4

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Jeans
√ Flip flops
√ Short skirts/shorts

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Name tags

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Work Interview Outfit in Buenos Aires by Flickr user Iluminado y Eterno Martin

1 Comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Suburban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

I would rather see a BS in library science.

Digital ID 434250. Girls in classroom, Traveling Library at Public School Playground July 1910.. Hine, Lewis Wickes Photographer. 1910This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

I have sat on panels for library assistants and librarians. I have directly hired librarians.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a suburban area in the Western US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Other: Some skills, particularly customer service, are absent from most candidates just out of programs.

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Yes. In libraries today a more appropriate degree for a head of a branch, department or system would be a MPA. A masters level education is not necessary for a librarian. I would rather see a BS in library science. A BS would give the candidate two full years of upper division education (rather than one and that mostly on-line in some programs) and would be less expensive (which would help considering what librarians make). Currently the MLS requirement is there because of the professions insecurity (and the fact that we all have one).

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Other: It depends on how the candidate presents himself. If they can demonstrate to me (in the thirty minute interview, which is difficult) they have the skills, then I don’t care where they acquired it.

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Depends on position and institution, of course. I would expect my new public reference librarian to know the common databases, have an idea about the structure, mission and organization of a public library. Being able to answer questions beyond “googleing” (knowledge of the Black Net, advanced search techniques and print material would be good). Personnel interaction, customer service is a large part of a new librarians work (used to be called “working with the public”)

Anything of “local practice” would be taught on the job. Quirks of our system, strange policies and such we would teach. The idea is that a MLIS should be able to get up to speed and be productive very soon. Unfortunately, increasingly, this is not the case. An experienced Library Assistant non MLIS usually gets up to speed much faster than your right out of the program MLIS.

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

Well, I could be biased, but UCLA had a good program. I think what made it useful was it was a two year program and internships were stressed.

On-line schools offer almost no real experience. They also don’t offer customer training and interaction which I have mentioned before are very important.

It also should be noted, it is the individual candidates not the school which are important. I have seen very bad candidates from the “best” schools (UCLA, Urbana, Pratt, CUNY) and great candidates from lesser known schools.

Are there any library schools whose alumni you would be reluctant to hire?

No, as stated above, a good hire will get the best out of even a lesser program and a poor hire, even one who went to a prestigious school, will still be a chump.

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Take internships! Establish those links in the profession. Learn through experience. It is much better to say in an interview that, “I was able to apply my LIS learning by doing “X” at the Mallville Public Library”.

Do you have any other comments, for library schools or students, or about the survey?

I think it is time we rethink library school education. Is the profession best served by requiring “master” level work? I know that my graduate program in history was much more intense than my MLIS work. I really think that the same, indeed better, training could be achieved as part of a bachelors education. Unfortunately, since for most hiring librarians that hold MLISs, going to a BS as the “union card” to enter the profession is unlikely to happen.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Public, Suburban area, Western US, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Think beyond libraries and have a clue about what the private sector is doing.

Work with schools, Hudson Park Branch : children gathered around librarian who is reading in the park, ca. 1910sThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Librarians – who may be Youth or Adult Services. We also occasionally hire for our IT staff – Digital Services, IT Services. We do not have subject specialists, although we are hoping to hire a Business Librarian to promote the library to local businesses.

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Yes

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

2

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Field Work/Internships

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

We expect that our beginning librarians won’t have much management or supervisory experience, so we provide opportunities for them to supervise aides and clerks. Likewise, they experience project management for smaller events, then work up to larger ones. And they get to serve on committees before they are asked to lead them. Lots of gradual experiences for this new learning for them.

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Internship or practicum

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

I couldn’t begin to pin it to any particular schools. It’s a combination of the person’s own enthusiasm/work ethic/experience with the degree. Frankly, we have a (somewhat) local MLS school, and rarely get candidates from any other schools.

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Get to know the professors – you’ll need them for references. And they won’t be a reference unless you are a committed, engaged and enthusiastic student! Go beyond the assignments and read until you understand the issues. Join some library listservs. Then think beyond libraries and have a clue about what the private sector is doing.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 200+ staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

For Public Review: Unnamed Job Hunter 4

Welcome to crowd-sourced resume review for LIS job hunters!

Please help the job hunter below by using the comment button to offer constructive criticism on her resume. Some guidelines for constructive feedback are here, and the ALA NMRT has brief tips for reviewing resumes here.

This 2 page resume was submitted by a job hunter who says,

This is my resume for academic or special library positions. As a new librarian, I am looking for jobs in everything from electronic resource management to reference and instruction.

unnamed job hunter 4 page 1 unnamed job hunter 4 page 2

To submit your resume or CV For Public Review,

  • send it as a Word document or PNG or JPEG image to hiringlibrariansresumereviewATgmail.
  • It will be posted as-is, so please remove any information that you are not comfortable having publically available (I suggest removing your address and phone number at a minimum).
  • Please include a short statement identifying if it’s a resume or CV and
  • describing the types of positions you’re using it for (ie institution type, position level, general focus).
  • Finally, you will also need to confirm that you agree to comment on at least five other posted resumes.

8 Comments

Filed under CV review, For Public Review, Resume Review

Although I used to dye my hair and had facial piercings, I wouldn’t ever think of coming to an interview with a piercing or dyed bright hair

interview outfitThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an Urban area in the Midwestern US 

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably not (but it’s ok if the candidate does wear one)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ I don’t care

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ No, but it’s not a dealbreaker

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Baseball caps, jerseys, shorts, extreme casual wear

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

I’ve been most impressed by the candidates that take the time to prepare and dress up. It certainly helps If their outfit is smart, stylish, and shows a bit of their personality, too.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ I don’t care

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

While my workplace is casual, I’d prefer that candidates dress more formally for the interview. You want to let your skills shine. Although I used to dye my hair and had facial piercings, I wouldn’t ever think of coming to an interview with a piercing or dyed bright hair. It’s fine to express yourself after you get hired and feel out your workplace’s culture.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

Formally, usually a dress shirt, slacks, jewelry, nice shoes, maybe some makeup

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Flip flops
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: interview outfit by Flickr user k_hargrav

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?