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 a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic, public, and school libraries, at the following levels: department head.
This job hunter is in an city/town in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
No nights/weekends (Stable schedule)
Where do you look for open positions?
My local paper
Monster.com/couple other apps.
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 will spend hours on it. Make sure my letter is tailored to my skills and to the job description. I take applications very seriously.
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
√ 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?
Ask for less – too many library positions read like outrageous wish lists – e.g., the candidate will do this, this, this, this, work weekends and nights and, oh by the way, we’ll pay you $30,000 a year.
Try to focus the job descriptions more narrowly. I’m an experienced librarian (21 years) looking for a new position. I no longer want to teach, work reference, liaison to a department, do collection development, manage a department, etc., etc., etc. If you want a good reference person, write the ad that way and if you get someone with teaching experience, great. If you want a teacher, same thing. But, I have found the expectations of librarians today is COMPLETELY out of sync with our salary ranges.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Shorten visits. (I once spent 3 days at an interview…) Be as proactive and clear about the entire process as possible. Keep interviewees informed.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Making a connection with the people with whom you interview. Be professional, yet friendly. Be prepared!
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!