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 more than 18 months. This person is looking in academic, archives, library vendors/service providers, public, school, special libraries and “I’ll take whatever sounds interesting that I’m qualified for”, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I’ve been working part-time as a substitute librarian for 6 years for a large public library system. I’d really like a permanent position with set hours and benefits, preferably full-time.
This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is willing to move within a couple hours of current location.
Where do you look for open positions?
All of these plus the county employment websites for counties around me. I also use MetroLibraries.net for job opportunities in Minnesota (where I live)
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?
The time varies from position to position. For a position that just asks for a standard resume and cover letter, it may be only 20-30 minutes. For a position that asks for an extensive application packet with essay questions or for a position where the job requirements are very specific to the point where I have to really change my resume and cover letter to tailor it to that position, it can take me closer to 5-6 hours.
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
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
√ Other: Email except I prefer a phone call for a job offer
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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Post the ad in numerous places. Be specific about what you’re looking for and what your must haves are.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
I prefer applications where you can just email a resume and cover letter. Some organizations make you go through a lengthy online application in addition to a resume and cover letter that can only be filled out online. The problem with online forms is that sometimes they don’t allow for one to respond in a certain way that’s unique for the applicant’s background. I think simplifying the online application forms or allow applicants to submit handwritten forms. If the form is needed quickly the applicant could FAX it or scan it in and send via email attachment.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Being confident without being cocky. A good sense of your own strengths and weaknesses. Clear about your goals and career preferences. Also luck- just being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
A question about how long you have worked in libraries. I think some people may already be employed in libraries but may be looking for something better.
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!