Sometimes I see job ads with almost no information so I don’t even really know what I’m applying for.

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 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 and special libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory, department head. 

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is not willing/able to move for employment.

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

Type of position/area of library I’d be working
Support for professional development

Where do you look for open positions?

Indeed, ALA Joblist, listservs, state and local library websites

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’ll spend several hours on each application as I tailor my cover letter and resume to the job ad and what, if anything, I know about the culture of the establishment I am applying to.

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?

√ 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?

Thorough job ads. Sometimes I see job ads with almost no information so I don’t even really know what I’m applying for. The higher the title, the more responsibilities, the longer the ad should be.

Salary, even a range, would be nice but not necessary.

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

Alerting people when they don’t make it to the next round. Job hunting is stressful and often makes us feel like the insecure girl waiting for the phone to ring from the guy we really like. I recently received notification from a job I didn’t get and all I had done was send in my resume, but they still let me know that they had decided to not move me to the interview round and I appreciate that as I can now focus my efforts on other positions.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think personality plays a big key. Personality as seen in the resume and cover letter as well as how you connect or get along with the potential future co-workers you meet during the interview. Even if they don’t hire you for a particular position, if they think your personality will mesh well they may keep you in mind for future positions that are a better fit for your skill set.

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, Midwestern US, Urban area

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