Confirm with references that they are available

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F12-1This 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 special libraries, at the following levels: entry level, 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?

1) Pleasant co-workers 2) Decent salary 3) Opportunity to innovate

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs, the NOCAL AALL job list, sometimes ALA Joblist, sometimes LibGig

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 re-write my entire cover letter, tweak my resume as appropriate, confirm with references that they are available, and do a final search of the job ad for keywords that I try to insert or refer to in my cover letter. I usually spend between two and four hours on it. I probably used to spend more time, but now I have a job and am looking for another one, so I have less time to spend than when I was unemployed.

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
√ 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)?

√ Being taken out to meal
√ 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?

I don’t think they’re having a huge problem with that one, honestly.

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

It would be so much simpler if it were possible to email candidates who weren’t selected for a phone interview and inform these candidates that the search has moved on and that the institution can be crossed off the consideration list. Often phone interviews happen a full month (or way more!) before final consideration and really, it’s a kindness to let non-advancing candidates know.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

If I knew, I wouldn’t have so many failed applications.

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

Thanks for asking!

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!

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1 Comment

Filed under City/town, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US

One response to “Confirm with references that they are available

  1. “It would be so much simpler if it were possible to email candidates who weren’t selected for a phone interview and inform these candidates that the search has moved on and that the institution can be crossed off the consideration list. Often phone interviews happen a full month (or way more!) before final consideration and really, it’s a kindness to let non-advancing candidates know.”

    I keep seeing the request to let everyone know who wasn’t considered that the process has moved on. Love the way this one was phrased! I agree it is a kindness. When I was looking for my first library job, I had ONE interviewer let me know he had moved on and it was so late that I’d already been hired somewhere else when it happened. I had one interviewer call all of my references before they set up an appt with me. This also included my then employer who didn’t know I was looking. This is a strange process.

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