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