I would have been better off skipping grad school and becoming a waiter/dishwasher.

OP_82 US Cavalry Hunting for Illicit Stills in SC 1870This 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 more than 18 months. This person is looking in academic libraries for a position requiring at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Basically a full-time job itself; benefits; a liveable wage. I graduated with a 4.0GPA from Wayne State University in December of 2008 and have only found a 15 hour/week job that pays about $14/hour. I would have been better off skipping grad school and becoming a waiter/dishwasher.

Where do you look for open positions?

WSU listserv job list; Indeed.com; ALA joblist; SLA joblist; TLN job board; and I routinely check about a two dozen local public library and college ‘career’ websites. There is just not that much to apply for in the past 4 years.

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?

1-2 hours. Fill out application, rewrite cover letter for each specific job, then either mail printouts or email PDFs/apply online.

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 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)?

√ Tour of facility:

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

List the amount of hours/salary: most do not do this, then you find you’re interviewing for a very limited position that doesn’t even pay for gas/parking.

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

List the steps/time-frame of the interview process (are you interviewing now and hiring in 2 months or in 8 months); don’t bother taking me and the other 6 candidates to a 2 hour HR meeting that explains the paperwork I’d have to fill out *if* I get the position. A meal is nice-but I don’t need to waste an extra 1.5 hours if you’re not even hiring anyone ‘at the moment’ and just mining resumes *in case* they get funding.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Show up; if you have a rapport with people and can do the work it’ll be fine. If not, you weren’t a ‘fit’ anyway. Stay calm.

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

I’ve worked in libraries since high school. After undergrad I worked in library reference publishing (Gale Research, now Cengage Learning). After getting an MLIS from WSU with a 4.0GPA I make about $10,000 a year and am living paycheck to paycheck while working as an ITT learning resource center assistant. Even my boss (another degreed librarian) is just scraping by and she worked for GM for years~tons of experience. The libraries in Metro Detroit hire librarians part-time and force them to show up many days a week, but for only a couple hours a day–making it impossible to hold two part-time jobs. Buying food is difficult.

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!

1 Comment

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

One response to “I would have been better off skipping grad school and becoming a waiter/dishwasher.

  1. Anonymous

    I don’t have anything that can help, I just want to say I feel your pain.(as a ’10 UM grad in pretty much the same boat – the MI market is abysmal). I will be sending good vibes your way and I hope things work out soon.


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