I loved being at the desk

This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed, 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, Library vendor/service providers, Public libraries, School libraries, and in Content Writing/Editing, at the following levels: entry level and requiring at least two years of experience.Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I worked on my school’s scholarly repository standardizing metadata, working with XML files, and updating procedures. This wasn’t an internship per say, but the school called it a graduate hourly position.

I also did a practicum at the local community college. I worked on their reference desk two days a week. I loved being at the desk. I also did a special project where I created a LibGuide for their Urban Fiction collection. In the project I also did some collection development for the Urban Fiction collection.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Midwestern US and when asked if willing to move, said

I strongly prefer to stay nearby home, but am looking in limited place elsewhere.

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

1) Reference & Instruction positions
2) Location
3) Is this an environment I want to work in?

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ.com, RAILS website, listserv – cjc-l & ili-l, library websites, my alma mater’s jobs board

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

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

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

I reread the job description. Then I work on my cover letter. Send the cover letter to a colleague or friend to take a look at it. Consider any advice that the people who looked at it gave me. Make changes accordingly. I will spend some time with my resume – making sure that I am using keywords that fit the job description. I usually spend a minimum of two hours on an application packet, but that varies from application to application.

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?

√ Other: Phone or email

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?

Make their job descriptions as clear as possible. This helps candidates to identify the expectations employers have for this position. Sometimes I will read a description once and think, oh I can do this. Then I go back to it and realize that on my first reading I didn’t notice something.

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

I really appreciate it when employers acknowledge receipt of my application. I know librarians are already overworked, but even a form notification is helpful because it lets me know the application went through.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I don’t know if there is a specific secret. I think it is a combination of having the right skill set, experience level, and personality for the organization and the position. I know that my own personal struggle has been being a new graduate. I don’t have professional level experience and it is making even getting to the interview level exceedingly challenging.

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

Thanks for doing this survey. It is nice to feel like my voice is being heard.

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!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Urban area

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