This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking in academic libraries at the following levels: entry level, supervisory. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I have one year of experience working abroad at an academic library. Prior to that, I worked as a graduate student assistant doing reference in the graduate library at my school.
This job hunter is in an urban area in central Asia and is willing to move anywhere in the U.S..
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
- Great environment (innovative, friendly atmosphere)
- Access to professional development (support in going to conferences, etc)
- Exciting projects to work on
Where do you look for open positions?
Code4Lib, ALA Joblist, LIBJOBS 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?
I try to be both efficient and targeted. I research the library as I prepare my cover letter, but use excerpts from previous cover letters to work more quickly. I keep my CV and cover letters organized by job type, so that I can quickly grab the info when applying for a tech-heavy position or a reference position.
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?
√ Other: I appreciate notifications when the committee has started reviewing applications, and after the position has been filled. I don’t mind waiting in between – I assume that it means my resume is still being considered, even if I’m not first pick for interviews.
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
√ Other: Email! I’m living abroad at the moment, so telephone is too hard.
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?
Be very specific in the job listing; general descriptions are a bit of a red flag, and will elicit applications from too broad a range of candidates. Ask for specific knowledge.
In terms of listing times, I assume a short deadline means that the organization already has an in-house candidate in mind, but must follow protocol. I would say a month or so is perfect to collect enough solid resumes.
Salary listings also help immensely- I’m not looking for a lot of money, but I like to know what I’d be working with. I also hate negotiating salary, so it gives me a good framework.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Be clear, but also be kind. I recently received a great rejection letter from a university, stating that I had not been chosen for interviews, but that my CV was still in consideration.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Two years of post-MLIS experience! I see this everywhere (maybe I only notice it because I’m at the one-year mark).
Besides that, I think it’s really passion and putting yourself out there as often as possible. I know it’s not usually advised to submit tons of resumes, but you really just never know what’s going to stick.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
I think you could remove the question “have you ever lied on your resume or in a cover letter?”, as there’s really only one answer to that question. I always skip over it when reading others’ entries.
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!