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 more than 18 months. This person is looking in academic and public libraries or library vendors/service providers at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory, branch manager, or anything full time. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I have four years of part time experience. I work part time at a college library and sub at a public library. I also volunteer at a university historical library. Before that I was a reference clerk at a different public library.
This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is not willing/able to move.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Competitive compensation, Time off to be with my family on weekends, To use my expertise and talent
Where do you look for open positions?
professional listservs, job search websites
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 spend a variable amount of time based on how many application documents are asked of me. I write a targeted cover letter and make adjustments to my basic resume to make it fit the language of the posting better.
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
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
√ Other: Either phone or email is fine
Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?
√ Other: None of these matter as long as I know my duties, the salary, and my schedule
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Offer fair compensation, offer a good work-life balance, expect candidates to come with a high capacity and willingness to learn and work hard, but not with every iota of knowledge they will need for the job. Employers need to be willing to invest in training their employees. There’s no way to get experience if no one offers jobs to people without 5 years of experience.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Provide the salary range and work schedule in the posting. Send an email when you know you’re not going to interview or hire someone.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Knowing someone at the company. Being willing to sacrifice.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
I am rapidly losing faith that librarianship is appropriate for anyone looking for a career. I am applying to other degree programs that might provide me with more hope.
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!