spaces that match my vision of how libraries should be

William Williams on a railway jigger, rabbit hunting in Otago, ca 1900This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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, public, and special libraries, for jobs requiring at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Southern US, and is not willing to relocate.

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

1) Job responsibilities that match my interests – info literacy, reference, and participating in library planning and special projects

2) Location – within 40 minutes of where I live, or in a nearby area where I would be willing to move

3) Modern libraries with physical and virtual services and spaces that match my vision of how libraries should be.

Where do you look for open positions?

– State-wide librarian job sites – e.g.
– – this usually picks up jobs for-profit libraries, which may not show up on the state-wide site
– Specific institutions/colleges I am interested in working at
– ALA, SLA, and Chronicle of Higher Ed job lists

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 read through the job description a couple times and do preliminary research about the institution/library. Then I modify my base cover letter and resume to tailor it to the position. Then I submit the application online, which can take more or less time depending on whether I have to add my resume details to online forms. It can take anywhere from one hour to four hours.

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?

√ 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 very specific in the job description and highlight the positive aspects of the position and workplace, as well as the challenges. For example, if the working climate is very open and supportive.

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

Give applicants more info about the timeline for when applications will first be selected, and immediately let applicants know if they did not make the initial cut. It is always nice to know that a hiring committee won’t be making a decision for another month or two, instead of not knowing at all, which gives you more time to second guess yourself.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think you just have to be confident in yourself and be proactive in any position you do have so you can demonstrate that you are a valuable asset to any team. In the end though, there are so many factors that you don’t have much control over.

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

Thank you for the great blog! It has been a great resource throughout the job search.

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, Southern US, Urban area

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