There are many of us who are being pushed out of our institutions.

Hunting guide Mr. Brown with wild turkeys near Green Swamp, FloridaThis 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 six months to a year. This person is looking in academic, public, and special libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience and other: research librarian.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and may be willing to move depending on the position.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1. A supervisor who actually understands how to manage knowledge workers.
2. Minimalist amount of B.S. in the system.
3. Good benefits and salary.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, I pull several RSS feeds into my reader and I have a search set up on Simply Hired.

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?

2 hours

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

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 the position where it can be seen – not on narrow cast job boards.

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

Write job descriptions that are clear in expectations. I’ve seen some that look like absolute word salad and give the impression that they either have an internal candidate in mind or they are completely clueless about that they are trying to achieve. This does not inspire confidence in the management structure.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing someone on the inside who can lobby for you.

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

You focus a lot on new MLIS graduates, but seem to fail to realize that there are many of us who are being pushed out of our institutions. I’d be curious to see in future surveys how many librarians are in the market because they can’t afford to retire on the piteous salaries we make.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey!

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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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Urban area

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