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 less than six months.. 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 Northeastern US, and is willing to move
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Room for advancement
Support for professional development
Where do you look for open positions?
Anywhere I can think of – I have alerts set up on careers websites ranging from Indeed.com to cities (Boston, Chicago) where I’d like to work. I am on my iSchool’s listserv, the library association for my state and several others, and I’ve spread word among friends that I’m looking, so I get forwarded stuff a lot.
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?
I’d say 1-2 hours, depending on the position. I typically print out the job ad and highlight the most relevant elements, then rework a basic cover letter I keep around to highlight those elements of my resume, and draw in other things I’ve found on the library’s website, social media, or anything else I think might show I know what I’m talking about.
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)?
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
√ Being able to present
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
I think a lot of job descriptions, especially in academia, are too long – they can be intimidating, make it hard to tell what’s important, and so on. I also find form websites that require you to set up an account and enter the same information multiple times, or ruin the formatting of my resume, to be very disheartening and frustrating.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Communicate expectations early and clearly – what’s the schedule, how long do you get with each person, who’s involved, where should you park, a contact phone number, etc. I spend a lot of time prepping for in-person interviews looking up all kinds of information that doesn’t help with the actual interview itself.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Be confident, honest, and find a good balance between over-prepared (don’t sound like a robot) and under-prepared (don’t stare blankly).
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!