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 public libraries at the following levels: Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager, Director/Dean.
This job hunter is in a City/Town in the Western US and is willing to move within the Western US.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
A cooperative work environment, being part of a management team, ability to innovate.
Where do you look for open positions?
ALA joblist, State library joblists, professional listservs
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 have the basics ready and then will spend as much time as necessary answering any supplemental questions.
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 tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
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
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Be honest. Not do cattle calls where people directly compete against each other. I was at one city where they had the 5 finalists literally there the same day for 8 hours directly competing against each other in staged rounds. It was like an Olympic competition or a game show or something. It was very uncomfortable for everyone involved.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Be frank. Give expectations they have for position. Be honest. Be clear about what training they will give the hiree.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Don’t exaggerate. Express your strengths. Don’t give the easy answers to “what are your weaknesses”. Be honest about your expectations regarding conference support, desire to be involved in wide profession, want to try new things, etc.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
My biggest frustration with this field and I hate to say this as a feminist, but, I’m sick to death of working for insecure women who see competence and innovation as a threat. I’ve worked for too many bullies. I’m actually job hunting with the idea of working for a man in the hopes that I might actually be valued for trying new things and for succeeding in the many things i have tried. And for being honest about my failures. Thanks for letting me express that.
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!