I was dismayed by the very clear age discrimination that is apparent in our industry

The hunt for the Governor gang of bushrangers. A posse of mounted police, aboriginal trackers and district volunteers.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, school, medical and special libraries at any level.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere,

if they paid for the move, helped sell the house, and paid a great salary with superior benefits.

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

Great, friendly colleagues and healthy working conditions.
Opportunity for growth and development.
Professional pay and benefits commensurate with level of education and experience.

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional associations, indeed.com, and target local employers I know are great places to work.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Other: A range or salary band should be provided

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

1-2 hours to customize, complete all paperwork, take online assessments, research about the organization and try to use LinkedIn to connect with players.

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?

√ 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

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

Don’t write job descriptions so “tight.” Sometimes the best candidate is the one that can learn, fits the org culture, and brings new qualities/perspectives. Too many certs and lists of qualifications for near minimum wage pay is insulting and hurts the organization.

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

Be honest and keep the candidate informed throughout the process.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

No secret, but you must have connections/network, all the credentials (employers are simply unwilling to do any professional development), patience when completing the hours of paperwork to apply, nerves of steel to deal with protracted processes that seem to be designed around some “ideal” HR practice.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

I am middle aged. I came to librarianship late in life and just before the economy took a dive. When I was laid-off after spending money on graduate school and teacher certification (union job and I had low seniority – though stellar performance) I was dismayed by the very clear age discrimination that is apparent in our industry. Though I am older I learn and use technology with ease, but many hiring managers are unable to see that life experience and transferable skills from other careers can bring added value to their organizations.

I now work part-time selling pots and pans for $9.00/hr and don’t even get a response from my alma mater (where I earned a 4.0 gpa) for a circulation assistant’s job! What’s the deal?

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!

1 Comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Suburban area

One response to “I was dismayed by the very clear age discrimination that is apparent in our industry

  1. Todd Pierce

    Thank you for clearly articulating the unfair conditions that many applicants must face, especially if they are middle aged.

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