If you’re not willing to relocate, you’re at the mercy of the library gods

digres hunting lodgeThis 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 library, for positions requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I am a recent grad, May 2012, and have been employed at a small academic library for the last 2 1/2 years. Duties are focused around managing the library on nights and weekends. Other internships and volunteer experience have been focused around reference services with non-profit information organizations as well as leadership experience through civic engagement.

This job hunter is in a rural area, in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Room for professional/personal development, compatible staff, quality salary.

Where do you look for open positions?

The Chronicle of Higher Education, Institutional Websites/HR

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

The majority of my time is spent writing the cover letter and arranging the resume or CV to reflect the position I am applying for.

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 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)?

√ 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?

Provide as much information about the position as possible; required qualifications, preferred qualifications, benefits/salary, etc. Be reasonable with your required qualifications. Example, if you’re not going to hold rigid to 5 years of experience, don’t list it as required but preferred, many applicants are deterred from applying to positions which they don’t feel qualified for even if there is a chance that the required qualifications have some moving room.

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

Avoid the dreaded electronic applications which require applicants to jump through hoops and retype or cut and paste what is already in their resume to a standardized electronic form.

Options for more gathering information on the status of applications. With the length of the application process with some libraries (academic), the time between the submission of the application and initial contact for an interview can be months long.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Having the ability to sell yourself and accurately show all of your skills relating to a given position.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! If you’re not willing to relocate, you’re at the mercy of the library gods. This holds true for areas with library schools. Many older people return to school to obtain their MLS and attend the nearest library school making it extremely difficult to find library jobs above entry level.

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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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Rural area

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