This anonymous interview is with a job hunter 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, archives, library vendors/service providers, special libraries, law libraries, museums, corporations with knowledge management departments, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
During my course I took on two volunteer jobs- one in an art gallery that needed it’s reference collection classified and cataloged and the other in a local history museum requiring help organizing a large digital photograph collection in preparation for migrating it to a new cataloging system. I chose these roles to gain experience in areas that my professional background did not cover.
This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move to certain areas.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Opportunities for growth/professional development
Where do you look for open positions?
ALA Joblist, INALJ, Simmons Jobline, Indeed, State job board, USAJobs
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I typically spend a few hours on each application, mostly on researching the hiring organization, writing tailored cover letters, and fine tuning my resume. I never submit my application materials on the day I prepare them, taking another hour or two the next day to proofread and finalize them before submission.
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)?
√ 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?
Stress flexibility with job requirements. I have a solid skill set that was developed in a professional but non-library setting. Though my background was in a professional reference role, the fact that it was not actually in a traditional library seems to be a hindrance, though my skills are transferable. The rigidity of some experience requirements has discouraged me from applying for certain positions. Flexibility and open-mindedness toward experience requirements would attract more candidates with relevant abilities.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Communicate more. Contact people when they have not been chosen for an interview so they are not left waiting and wondering what the status of their application is. If known, provide dates that hiring decisions are expected to be made.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
I’m really not sure. I suspect it is a combination of meeting the right people at the right time and coming to a meeting of the minds regarding ability, potential, and enthusiasm for the role and organization.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
Perhaps something exploring emphasis on educational versus professional backgrounds/experience in job applications and recruitment.
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!