Don’t make the application process unnecessarily complicated

Hunting with dogsThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field) who 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 and public libraries, for positions requiring at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move

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

1. culture/environment that encourages people to do their best, try new things, and stay fresh

2. reasonable work schedule

3. appropriate pay

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, INALJ, local library consortium site, state library association jobline, job database at my alma mater, individual library 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?

It usually takes me 1-3 hours to write and revise a cover letter (I start from scratch if needed or just revise a former one if appropriate). It usually takes me 30-60 minutes to tweak my resume for the position. I also spend 30-60 minutes doing some research on the library and/or person doing the hiring.

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 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?

Give people plenty of time to apply, put the ads out there as many places as you can, don’t make the application process unnecessarily complicated, only list skills/qualities you actually want/need–don’t list things in the ad that you don’t really care about

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

Communicate! It is so frustrating to never hear back about a job. Write very clear job ads that identify exactly what you want/need. Don’t waste my time.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Haha, if you find it let the rest of us know! 🙂 I do think knowing someone can help, and I think you need to have a personality that meshes well with the culture of the organization. If it doesn’t, I think that tends to shine through in interviews.

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, Midwestern US, Urban area

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