It is difficult to give a useful answer to overly theoretical questions

samantha winnSamantha Winn is a job hunter who is currently employed as an Archives Assistant at the University of Texas at Tyler, has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for Less than six months. She is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Corporations, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory. She describes her internship/volunteering experience:

I’ve worked as a library and archives paraprofessional for about six years, with additional internships and volunteer work in small heritage museums.

Ms. Winn is proud of her work as a Steering Committee member of the Society of American Archivist’s Students and New Archives Professionals roundtable. In her spare time, she performs in local theatre productions and occasionally apprentices with a blacksmith. Ms. Winn lives in a city/town, in the Southern US, and is willing to move most places.

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

Relevance to my skills and interests, support for professional development and service, salary that is competitive with market average

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, SLA, SSA, and SAA job lists. INALJ. Code4lib job page. Listservs. Higher education job sites.

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 read through the ad a few times and read supplemental materials about the organization. I make a detailed list of skills and requirements to compare them with my experience. I have a few different cover letter templates which I adapt to each job ad.

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

√ Other: I don’t want to give a false impression or waste time in an interview, so I am probably more likely to undersell on my resume. It is a difficult balance to strike.

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?

Choose reasonable and specific requirements that reflect the actual needs of the job. Include a competitive salary or range. Avoid unreasonable demands in the application process or major errors in spelling/word choice.

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

Communicate with candidates about the hiring process, including changes to their status and information about anticipated milestones. Also, please make sure your interview committee members are prepared for the interview by coordinating questions and having a clear protocol. If you clearly communicate your questions, I will do my best to give you a direct and relevant answer. It is difficult to give a useful answer to overly theoretical questions.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

It seems like a combination of having desirable skills and having intangible personal qualities that appeal to the hiring committee.

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

Thank you to Hiring Librarians for all the resources you have made available over the years.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

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!

1 Comment

Filed under Archives, Job hunter's survey, Southern US

One response to “It is difficult to give a useful answer to overly theoretical questions

  1. Pingback: Job Hunter Follow Up: Samantha Winn | Hiring Librarians

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