This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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 six months to a year. This person is looking in archives, academic, public, and special libraries, along with any library field that involves directly helping people, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory, and anything that involves using my skills for direct contact with patrons.
This job hunter is in an urban area in the Western US and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
A wage I can live on.
Something I enjoy doing.
A reasonable chance it will last for a long time.
Where do you look for open positions?
References from friends and fellow librarians.
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I look at the ad.
I adjust my cover letter to fit what I think the position is asking for, sometimes using their buzzwords if I think they’re close enough to what I’m doing. Then I jump through all the hoops in the online application form.
Probably about 30-45 minutes per application, most of which is spent jumping through the hoops.
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
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
√ Other: email for long detailed stuff, phone for urgent or good 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
√ Other: some information about the students/clients/patrons of the library in question. Who am I going to be serving?
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Figure out what they want.
Don’t put requirements on the job app that you aren’t going to use in the hiring process (e.g., when I asked in an interview about one qualification in the ad, I was told “the committee that wrote the description put it in there, we don’t know what it means.”)
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Don’t make me jump through meaningless hoops. If you already have my data at one stage in the process, don’t ask me for it again (e.g., by having the form require references and then saying “please attach references in a separate document.”
Some kind of centralized matching service would be very nice — one-stop submissions. I realize that there are non-trivial difficulties associated with designing such a service.
Add a salary range. Then they skip the people who aren’t interested in that range.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Matching your gifts to the situation.
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!