This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has 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 libraries, at the following levels: entry level, supervisory. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I have volunteered/interned a variety of virtual reference services (ChaCha.com, Ask Now Texas, My Info Quest), at a community college reference desk, at a public library, and for the ALA-APA director.
This job hunter is in an urban area in the Southern US and is not willing to move.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
location (I can’t move), type of position (reference/instruction; I already have a library job so I’m not going to give it up unless the job is what I’m looking for), good work environment
Where do you look for open positions?
professional listservs, individual university/college websites
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?
A couple hours. I customize my resume/CV according to the specifications listed in the ad
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
√ Other: I adjunct for a for-profit college and took the summer off, but was still on their roster of instructors. Wasn’t sure how to explain this succinctly on my CV work experience, so I just wrote “Jan 2011-present”
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
√ 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?
√ 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)?
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Being able to present
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
List a salary in the ad.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
More communication! Even worse than bad news is having to wait weeks for it when you still have hope. Also, I have been surprised with how antagonistic/unfriendly some library folks have been on my interviews; it’s hard enough making it through the 1.5 day marathon without feeling like some people are against you from the start for no apparent reason! Reminding people to be polite would be nice, though there’s not much you can do with administrators.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Having lots of experience doing what the advertised job does. Kind of a catch-22 for new librarians…
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!