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 and public libraries, at the following levels: entry level : Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I’ve done various on-call and part-time temporary librarian gigs. I would like a full-time, permanent position as a librarian.
This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Midwestern US and is willing to move
but only in the same general geographic location
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Something I enjoy
Something that utilizes my skills
Something that pays decent
Where do you look for open positions?
Local library job websites
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?
Research the organization I’m applying for, tailor my resume, cover letter, and application to the given position.
Time varies widely. It depends on how familiar I already am with the organization I’m applying to and how lengthy the application is. Can be anywhere from an hour or two up to 10-12 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?
√ 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 specific as to what you’re looking for in candidates. Don’t make us guess what you want.
If possible, don’t make us fill a lengthy application if its basically just duplicating what’s already on the resume and cover letter.
Encourage candidates to submit supplemental materials that highlight their skills.
Post job ads where the best candidates are likely to find it, such as listservs or professional journals.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
If we did not get the position, give us more specific and concrete feedback as to why we did not get it or how we can be stronger candidate for future positions. Don’t just give us something vague like the successful candidate had exactly what we were looking for or had more experience. Specifically, what kind of experience should I gain more of to increase my likelihood of getting hired next time? Was there anything I could do to present myself better in the interview?
If we ask for feedback, it’s not that we are going to file lawsuit or anything like that. We just want to know how to better ourselves for next time.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
I feel like I’m doing all the right things and still falling short of landing that dream job. I
Since the only feedback I get is so vague, it’s hard to know I just need to gain more experience and present myself better in the interview or if its just due to factors beyond my control like being in the wrong place at the wrong time or exceptionally strong competition.
I think the secret is probably a combination of experience, personality, confidence, and a lot of luck.
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!