This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has 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 libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience and senior librarian.
This job hunter is in a city/town in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
1. Strong library leadership
2. Strong campus admin support for library services and funding
3. Collegial working relationships among librarians and between faculty and librarians
Where do you look for open positions?
individual college 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 tailor each cover letter and resume for that job, using language mentioned in the ad and addressing my fit for the position directly. Probably spend an hour on each packet.
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?
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
√ Being able to present
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Be honest during the phone interview what their current limitations/issues are. If there is poor support from the current administration, say why and what’s being done to change it.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Provide details of the interview schedule and presentation requirements as far in advance of the interview as possible. If the committee is taking an unusually long time to make a decision, send an email apologizing for the delay but that my candidacy is still strongly being considered. I once received a rejection letter 8 months after I applied for the job!
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
It all comes down to personality and fit. Once you’re on campus, they’ve already decided you’re qualified for the job. I am a naturally friendly and outgoing person and I make sure they know exactly who I am and what I want. Just be you!
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!
One response to “If there is poor support from the current administration, say why and what’s being done to change it.”
Re: “It all comes down to personality and fit… Just be you!”
Unfortunately I have to disagree with this point. “Being yourself” is just not going to cut it for those of us who are more introverted and project less energy in most situations. Although I am well-qualified on paper, I feel like I am at a huge disadvantage as someone who is not super outgoing, especially as an entry-level job seeker. I am friendly, like my job, and like working with people but I just don’t have the bouncy, “energizer bunny” personality that just about all employers (in all fields) are looking for. If I don’t hide that and hide it well, I don’t think I will ever get a job.