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 more than 18 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 in the circulation department and doing programs.
This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Public library position where I can work directly with users.
Decent pay scale when compared to other libraries.
Good fit with the organization.
Where do you look for open positions?
Libraryjobline, ALA Joblist, Indeed RSS for library positions in my area and areas nearby, Government sites, individual library or district websites
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 spend about an hour fine tuning my resume and cover letter before starting the application. I also research the library to help me adjust my application answers to that particular job.
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 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)?
√ 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?
Post salaries in the ad and include summary of benefits if the organization has great benefits. If staff tends to have longevity at your organization mention that in the posting. Address the environment in the posting.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Make sure the posting mirrors the actual job you are trying to fill. Some organizations post a generic job description for multiple different positions. I interviewed once thinking I was applying for the job that was posted only to find out towards the end of the interview that the posting was totally different from the job. The HR department insisted it was easier to use a generic posting even if a branch’s job opening was 90% different than the posting.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Good resume and cover letter that is customized for each opening. Being relaxed and enthusiastic during the interview. Knowledge and experience in the appropriate areas. Connecting with the interviewers during the interview process.
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!