Be prepared to teach yourself new skills while preparing for your interview.

Picnic lunch on a hunting party, Queensland, ca. 1912This 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 archives, library vendors/service providers, and special libraries that require at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move, salary contingent.

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

  1. Daily challenges and rewards. Meaning, each day I will do and learn something new for myself, and also for any patrons or users.
  2. Flexibility in schedule- I am not interested in a strict 9-5
  3. Career growth. I want to know that this job has potential to earn more money than I assume is advertised (if even posted)

Where do you look for open positions?

Mass Board of Library Commissioners, ALA JobList, AALL Jobs, SLA Jobs, Simmons JobLine, HireCulture, Craigslist

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 spend 20-30 minutes on an application if all that is required is a cover letter and resume. I have 2-3 resume varieties ready at any point in time. Right now I have a ‘tech’ resume, and a ‘information literacy’ resume. I also usually have a resume ready for non-traditional library jobs, like start-up operations, but it isn’t currently updated.

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

√ Yes

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?

√ Email

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Employers should be explicit in their job posting if they are not going to hire people who do not have X background. If they leave it more open ended in order to receive a large pool of candidates, they should be prepared to communicate effectively with each candidate that applies.

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

NO ONLINE APPLICATIONS. I know they need to have certain pieces of information for legal purposes, but, for the love of god, invest in technology that reads my resume and identify those points. They can also be more upfront about things like salary, the number of other candidates, what realistic timelines are for hearing from them. Many of these things can be done automatically, and we are approaching the point where it is really unacceptable if an employer can’t even control information overload.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Sadly, I think real experience is the key. An included in that is the ability to work for free at some point in training, which is completely lame. I’m trying to move from corporate libraries to digital/digitization and it is next to impossible without an internship I should have done 5 years ago! Employers don’t want to spend time training you, so, either learn the skill in school, or be prepared to teach yourself new skills while preparing for your interview. Obviously, certain things can be learned faster than others, but that is my general sense.

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

I think this survey is great! It would be helpful to know when people graduated (like the actual year).

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!

Leave a comment

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.