Because many positions require ‘professional librarian’ experience, I am forced to apply for some entry level positions

Work with schools, Bronx Traveling LibraryThis 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 a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I have worked as a non-degreed librarian for 12 years prior to completing my MLIS, so am not actually an entry level applicant. Because many positions require ‘professional librarian’ experience, I am forced to apply for some entry level positions.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Western US, and is willing to move within the Southwestern US.

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

Ability to be creative and contributory,
Ongoing professional development

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist
Chronicle of Higher Education

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?

Review job posting thoroughly — highlight major words/phrases
Select closest saved cover letter and thoroughly edit to cover job posting words/phrases and hiring institution’s needs
Update/Edit CV as needed
Update/Edit professional references list
Fill out application form (online or PDF form)
Proof-read everything three times!
1-3 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
√ 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
√ Being able to present

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

Write the job posting to accurately describe their needs for this specific. Writing up every librarian task under the sun for each job is too daunting, and most librarians already know they will be assigned many tasks above and beyond the job description.

Include salary range.

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

Keep in better contact with applicants. Let them know if they are not moving forward so they don’t keep waiting. If they have moved forward, continue to let them know their status, especially if the job has been filled.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Enthusiasm for one’s work.

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Job hunter's survey, Suburban area, Western US

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.