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 six months to a year. This person is looking in academic libraries and archives, at the following levels: supervisory and department head.
This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Location, responsibility (ie. is it a supervisory position– I’m looking for one that is), creativity and innovation within the library.
Where do you look for open positions?
ALA, SAA, and oodles of other online listings that are so aggregated in RSS feeds that I’m not even sure where they’re from anymore.
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?
At this point, I have a strong standard cover letter so I’m not spending a ton of time on the application. Maybe a couple of hours so that I can make sure I’m tailoring my letter to the institution and position responsibilities.
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
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
√ Phone for good news, email for bad 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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
I think that HR folks should do a better job of networking in the field and essentially head hunting. I also think that being more frank about benefits, salary, and potential for advancement would encourage good candidates.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Definitely better communication. *Please* tell me that you received my application. And, if I don’t make it to/past a certain stage (phone interview, on campus visit, etc.) please tell me. True (and terrible story), I recently had a great on campus interview and the hiring manager wanted to check my references. I was thrilled, if a little nervous because I hadn’t told my current supervisor that I was looking. So, I had that hard conversation and gave my supervisor’s information to the hiring manager— and then I never heard another word. Obviously I didn’t get the position, but it would have killed them to send me a form letter or email confirming that and thanking me for my involvement in the process? Really, once you’re a finalist, that just seems decent.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Networking and knowing people in your field.
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!