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 less than six months. This person is looking in academic and public libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I have volunteered at a public library for two years, a museum library for one year, and an academic library for one year. I currently have two graduate assistant ships and a graduate hourly position (all in libraries) and will be completing a practicum at a public library in the Spring of 2014.
This job hunter is in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Compatible workplace culture
Opportunities for professional development.
Where do you look for open positions?
ALA Joblist, INALJ, Mountain Plains, NOLS, indeed.
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Other: I definitely do, but a salary range NOT being listed doesn’t mean I won’t apply.
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I tailor my cover letter (I have one for public libraries, and one for academic) to the job and then check over my CV and resume to make sure everything looks good. It usually takes about 2-4 hours.
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
√ 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)?
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
I’m sure I’m biased as somebody who’s ‘entry level’, but I think that the 3+ years professional experience requirement is a mistake. I know a lot of people who have interned and worked as a graduate assistant who would be 100% qualified for tons of jobs if it wasn’t for that “professional” aspect.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Communicate. It feels terrible to not hear anything for weeks at a time!
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
I think it’s partially who you know, and partially luck.
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!