Resist being “fair” to all candidates

Rabbit hunting on the Otago Central Railway, ca 1900This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for a year to 18 months. This person is looking in public libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory.

This job hunter lives in an urban area the Northeastern US while working in a suburban area and is willing to move to a very specific place.

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

1. Duties to match my experience/strengths/interests
2. Fair compensation
3. Geography (work where I want)

Where do you look for open positions?

Lots and lots of places, but mostly referrals from professional colleagues (they found about/knew about open positions) and state and national professional organizations jobs list (e.g, Calix).

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 will print out application (even when I’ll ultimately need to send electronically) and fill it out with pen. The I’ll scan that and send to one or two trusted colleagues who will review with me. I may or may not agree with them, and so I’ll only make changes if I feel strongly they’re right. I’ll then upload before deadline but only having spent at least a couple days thinking about it. I may go through 2 or 3 revisions, depending upon how passionate I am about the position.

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

√ Other: Emphasize experiences especially when the position’s description calls for certain experiences over others. It’s never “balanced”, because no one position will ever be perfectly “balanced”–

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

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?

Post job openings in as many of the professional organizational websites as possible.

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

Resist being “fair” to all candidates–strict questions asked to all candidates in a measured way–and open a real dialogue with candidates. Make clear expectations of hiring–Cover letters? No cover letters? You’ll call if I make cut? Put these up front rather than anxious waiting.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I don’t know.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey!

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, Northeastern US, Urban area

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