I often worry I’m applying in vain

ConDev5378A Hunting Dog, 1945, Washington County, NCThis 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, public, and special libraries, archives, and library vendors/service providers, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

1 year long practicum at special library
7+ years experience at academic, public, school and special libraries
volunteer work and committee member at literacy non-profits

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?

1) Supporting an institution with a worthwhile mission
2) Finding a compatible work culture with strong leadership
3) A challenging and varied combination of duties

Where do you look for open positions?

Regional sites (Baynet, PNLA jobs)

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?

1) Revise resume
2) Write cover letter
3) Workshop/review

The total process takes about 5 hours.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Other: only by omission, it can’t all fit

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?

√ Email

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
√ Other: The possibility to teleconference as I am hoping to relocate

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

Active recruitment at library schools
Require/review portfolio documents- let work speak for itself
Post salary range
Consider out of state candidates

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

Be clear about requirements; I often worry I’m applying in vain if what you state you are looking for are the bare minimum and the preferred qualifications are much longer/hidden/actually required.

Be willing to take on fresh talent and offer mentoring/professional development. Employers need to participate in the process of building the next generation of amazing librarians- not just hiring people who have already done the same job for 3-5 years prior.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

There is no secret

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!


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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Urban area, Western US

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