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 six months to a year. This person is looking in academic libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I started my library career as a technical services intern at a special library. I translated that experience to a reference assistance position at a mid-size suburban university.
This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
1) Professional pay
2) Opportunity for professional growth and responsibilities
3) Respectful environment
Where do you look for open positions?
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 research the library and prepare a cover letter based on the perceived needs of the library. I tweak my resume/CV to reflect how my education and experience align with the needs of the library.
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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
I think employers should list the minimum salary for posted position and explicitly note that posted salary is negotiable based on experience and other assets that potential employer may bring to the library.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
I don’t think the hiring process is painful.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
I think the secret to getting hired is getting one’s name and reputation out in the field. In other words, I think networking is key. Before I went to library school, I would sometimes get jobs based on my skills, credentials, experience, and my relationship with key people in organizations.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
I think you should add a demographics section. This may help you determine strategies across gender, age, and ethnicity lines.
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!