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 six months to a year. This person is looking in academic, archives, library vendors/service providers, public, and special libraries, at the entry level.
This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Midwestern US and is possibly willing to move,
depending on the location.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Opportunity to work with a strong, collaborative team
An environment that puts a premium on offering the best services to the patron
Integration of new technologies that help enhance services
Where do you look for open positions?
Specific university/college and library HR websites
State specific resources (RAILS, ILA, etc.)
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I save jobs ads I believe I am qualified for (I keep them all organized using Evernote), then I’ll comb through each posting individually and take notes where my experience directly resembles the qualifications, as well as the transferable skills. I’ll also take a look at the library/company website, as well as the library website (and their social media presence) to see what kind of services are offered and how resources are organized to give me a better idea of the library environment I am applying to. Then I tailor my resume and cover letter to the posting, triple check everything, and send it off. All told, it generally takes a couple hours to put everything together – sometimes more depending.
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 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?
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?
Posting on a variety of job sites can be helpful (you’ll definitely be visible to a larger candidate pool) but also make sure the postings are clear. If there are certain specifications that are non-negotiable, or others that are not necessary but preferred – say so. It’s sometimes hard to gauge how your experience will match what the employer is looking for, so clear expectations make it easier to determine whether or not it’s worth your time and theirs to send in your application.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
More follow up. I know that there are generally quite a few responses to postings, so it can be difficult, but it certainly helps the applicant to know what is going on. After applying, it’s stressful to sit around wondering if your application is being considered, or if it’s already been put aside in favor of more qualified candidates. A quick email saying “thanks but we are looking at other candidates” (while not the best news) at least lets you know where you stand so you can pursue other positions.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Tailoring your resume/cover letter, networking, and being open to different opportunities, locations, etc.
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!