I can’t write a cover letter because the requirements are too vague.

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 less than six months . This person is looking in academic and public libraries, for positions requiring at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move 

within the Northeast

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

Job Stability
Professional Development
Challenging and Interesting Position

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist
State/County websites
School job boards
Networking contacts

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?

I spend a lot of time on preparation. If possible, I try to visit the library (with my family) before I write a cover letter. If a staff member — circulation or reference — is rude to any of us, I don’t apply. I’m a minority so working in an welcoming environment is very important to me. It also counts a lot if the staff look happy to be there!

I usually spend two days writing and revising my cover letter and tailoring my resume. Typically: I write a cover letter draft on Saturday and then I have a friend or relative review and make suggestions. I’ve found that having a fresh pair of eyes helps immensely. Once I get feedback (either Sunday or Monday), I finish revisions and then submit the application.

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
√ 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?

√ Email

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 honest in the job ad about what you are looking for in a candidate. I can’t write a cover letter because the requirements are too vague.

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

Communicate! Please let me know if you received my application or if I haven’t been selected after an interview. It’s surprising the amount of silence one receives after a completed submission.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Only apply to positions you feel passionate about and really WANT to do. Don’t just apply to a job, just because it’s a job. It’s easier to write a cover letter when you are enthusiastic about the job and/or the library itself.

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, Suburban area

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