It’s my job to make sure that employers know how I’m different

Hunting Season, 1918This 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 public libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I volunteered in the children’s department of a public library for 2 years, before interning with the same library as the summer reading program assistant.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.

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

Full time position, in my area of concentration (youth and children’s services), and not more than an hour’s drive from my home.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, RAILS Job Board, Chicago Reader, alsc listserv

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 typically spend a few days working on an application. I have a skeletal cover letter that I go through first, customizing and fleshing it out based on the library I’m applying to. Then I double-check my resume to make sure it’s up to date, and finally I make sure that my references have current contact information and that they’re also the right people to give appropriate info to the potential employer. The last step is collecting any unique material the job listing asks for.

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
√ 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)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be clear in the job descriptions, and don’t have any ʺhiddenʺ criteria

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

Communicate! Even if I’m not going to be getting the job, just hearing that from the employer, instead of waiting weeks and weeks and hearing nothing, would be huge.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Going above and beyond the ʺstandardʺ interview answers. I’m sure that there are a lot of people out there with a similar skill set to mine – it’s my job to make sure that employers know how I’m different, and that means working harder to give unique and meaningful answers. Also, asking pertinent and intelligent questions, which show you care about the job at that specific environment, and not just getting any job, period.

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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