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, 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
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?
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!