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 libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory, senior librarian, director/dean.:
This job hunter is in a rural area, in the Western US, and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Supportive and forward thinking administration. Opportunity for education and/or advancement. Consistent and clear expectations for librarians, staff, and library direction.
Where do you look for open positions?
Higher Ed Jobs, INALJ, PNLA
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?
2 hours to tailor the resume/cv & cover letter. 2 to 5 hours (or more) reading the positions entire website, looking up library staff on LinkedIn, finding library staff websites, perusing the college catalog and local news for what has been happening at the college or what will be happening
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
√ Other: They can be form replies. I do not need a personal note on embossed stationery, just a courtesy of where we are in the process.
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ 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?
Be upfront with what the expectations are. Really think about what skills your library needs to be successful and go after those skill sets. Give a salary range and have a policy surrounding where a candidate can be expected to fall. Not having arbitrary policy such as, “Everyone starts at the beginning pay range.”
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Be organized, know what skills set they want and tailor the interview to those skills. I have been to interviews for Instructional Librarian positions and never been asked to teach. That is a dead give-away they have no idea what I do or how to tell if I do it well.
Be forthcoming in where you are in the process (position closed, not considered, considered and you will hear from us by x date, not chosen for an interview, chosen for an interview that will be scheduled by x date, position filled) and notify applicants within a reasonable time frame.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Being clear on what your skill set is. Showing interest, asking questions that show you did your homework and know what they value. Being courteous and polite to everyone you encounter (janitors, secretaries etc.) And being yourself even when you realize it is not going to be a good fit.
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!