An opportunity to really work hard at meaningful work that I love

Cayla Thompson MillerCayla Thompson Miller is currently working as a receptionist at a hair salon. Although she doesn’t have her Masters, she does have three years of experience in public libraries. She mentioned a few of her favorite library projects:

I got the local police force and local middle school to come together for a panel discussion at the library regarding teen safety on social media. I also organized a PechaKucha Night, and a workshop on designing creative family tree layouts.

She is job hunting in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, and School libraries, for positions requiring at least two years of experience. Ms. Miller lives in an urban area, in the Southern US, but is willing to move. In her spare time she paints, dabbles in ceramics, and designs jewelry. You can visit her Portfolio/Online Resume at

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

A dynamic, supportive work environment that encourages new ideas and projects.
An opportunity to really work hard at meaningful work that I love, not busywork.
A full time job with a livable wage.

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, Indeed, LinkedIn, County Government HR website, University HR websites, 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 have a cover letter saved that I thoroughly edit and tailor to each job, it usually takes me about an hour. I carefully make sure I am referring to the job description and highlighting my relevant experience. I sometimes tweak parts of my resume to highlight different aspects of my past work experience.

Pretty much everything I’ve applied for recently has been online, so it takes about an hour to fill out those forms.

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
√ Other: Wishful thinking. I’ve never been contacted at any stage unless being asked to interview.

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be very clear and specific, and offer a livable wage. You get what you pay for, and if you’re not offering a salary people can support themselves on, you won’t get the best candidates applying.

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

Communicate. I’m currently sitting here agonizing over an application for my dream job wondering if I’m getting an interview or not. Even an automated form email would help make the whole thing less torturous. Be clear about the hiring process, how long it is expected to take, and exactly what they are looking for.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I have no idea. Luck? All the rules I learned growing up about applying for jobs seem to be changing. I always thought calling to follow up after submitting a resume was a given, now that seems to annoy HR folks, so I have no idea if I’m hurting my chances by calling, or hurting them more by not calling. Awful.

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!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Public, School, Southern US, Urban area

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