Stop over-inflating necessary requirements and qualifications as a way of making the job easier for those involved in hiring.

Hunting Party Near The Writing-On-Stone Royal Northwest Mounted Police Detachment Galt Museum and Archives on the Flickr CommonsThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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 year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic, archives, library vendors/service providers, public libraries, records management, and research repositories, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience, supervisory, department head. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I have over five years paraprofessional experience, and graduated from a CILIP accredited program in the UK, which requires considerable internship and placement experience. Former project lead for large grants through the SUNY Research Foundation and Western New York Library Resource Council. Supervisory/manager level experienced.

This job hunter is in a rural area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Proximity to my desired work location.
Other professional archivists/librarians to learn from.
A living wage.

Where do you look for open positions?, I need a library job, SLA-NY, NYFA Jobs, Indeed, Simplyhired, Craigslist

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 have a concise resume and a 1 page template for cover letters. In the second paragraph, I lay out what it is clear that the employer is looking for in candidates, and address point by point in the third paragraph. Next, I refer them to my resume for a detailed description of my relevant experience. For higher-level jobs that I am uniquely suited for, I provide a supplemental document with two columns: the left contains word-for-word quotes from their advertised expectations for the position, and the right addresses how I have demonstrated these competencies point-by-point. I do not spend more than 1 hour on any single application (I have applied to roughly 250 jobs since September 2012, its not worth more than an hour when hiring officers typically don’t take the time to even acknowledge receipt).

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

√ No

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)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Other: Assessment of organizational culture

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

Stop over-inflating necessary requirements and qualifications as a way of making the job easier for those involved in hiring. Don’t write overly-wordy or self glorifying job descriptions – keep it as concise as is expected of your applicant’s materials. Advertise on a variety of websites, including “lesser” job boards like craigslist and indeed.

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

Consider it a central function of your role on a hiring committee to at the very least acknowledge the receipt of application materials. If you require that I have a postgraduate degree to even apply for a position, I expect a certain degree of professional chivalry and recognition. Its the absolute least you can do for people who have worked hard in graduate school but whose previous and present efforts and time seem largely wasted in lonely, extended job searches.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Dumb luck.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

This is a great blog

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey!

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Rural area

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.