This 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 less than six months. This person is looking in academic and public libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I had a reference graduate assistantship at an academic library for one semester where I performed the basic duties of a reference librarian on a daily basis.
This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
– Room for advancement
– Professional development opportunities
– A positive environment
Where do you look for open positions?
individual institution websites
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Only for certain kinds of employers
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I revise my resume to fit the position, and write a cover letter that specifically speaks to the requirements of the position and how I fit it. Then I complete the rest of the application as required by the institution. I usually spend at least two or three hours on this to make sure I get it right.
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?
Accurately describe the position as best as possible, but try not to make the requirements so detailed as to scare off potential “good fits.”
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Communicate! I hate waiting for months just to get the rejection. If I’m not selected to interview, I would like to know as soon as it’s possible to tell. Likewise, if I am selected to interview, I’d like to know when a decision is going to be made. I’ve been kept waiting on that front for upwards of a month, and when you’re a job seeker, that is interminably long. It can also keep you from applying to other positions because you’re not sure if you’re going to get the one you interviewed for. I know this level of communication isn’t always possible, but sometimes I think it could be much more improved.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Perseverance and attention to details. It’s easy to get down-hearted in this market, especially if you’re tied to a specific geographic area. If you keep working at it and make sure that you’re addressing the employer’s concerns in your resume and cover letter, hopefully good will come of it. But it’s also important to network!
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!