This anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a member of a hiring committee.
This person works at an academic library with 0-10 staff members.
What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?
– Solid employment history – few short-term positions, no or few gaps
– Library experience, even if it’s just an internship
– Technology skills
Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?
If you show up and dress or act unprofessionally (e.g. chewing gum, sloppy clothing), I have a hard time getting past that.
What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?
I know you are applying for a job in a library, but I don’t care that you love to read. Lots of people love to read, but that doesn’t make them qualified for a position that involves customer service, technology skills, instructional abilities, etc.
Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?
Put those customer service jobs, like barista or store clerk, on your resume, especially if you held those positions for a long time. Customer service skills are a big part of librarianship.
How many pages should a cover letter be?
√ Two is ok, but no more
How many pages should a resume/CV be?
√ As many as it takes, but keep it short and sweet
Do you have a preferred format for application documents?
√ No preference, as long as I can open it
Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?
√ I don’t care
If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?
√ As an attachment only
For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses to this survey.
If you’re someone who has participated in hiring library workers, take this survey and share your viewpoint.