There could be a “common application” among colleges

Woman with gun and hunting dogs Tallahassee, Florida by State Archive of Florida via Flickr CommonsThis 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, archives, and museums, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere with a population of 100K or more.

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

In no particular order:

1. location
2. salary and status (professional position, faculty vs. staff appointment)
3. job duties, type of institution, type of collections.

Where do you look for open positions?

I primarily use:
SAA career center and listserv

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Other: Yes, but I don’t think it is a red flag to not see it. It makes me less likely to apply though.

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I spend a few hours on each application. I outline a cover letter to match the job ad. I research on the library’s website to find information I might want to include in my cover letter. I draft the cover letter and then fill out the online application (if there is one). I then revise the cover letter and submit.

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
√ 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)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Being taken out to meal
√ 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?

Definitely provide a salary range. Also, offer an estimate of when they would like to have the position filled.

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

Since academic libraries tend to use the same online hiring system, there could be a “common application” among colleges so applicants don’t have to fill out the same information in the same type of system over and over again.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Strong cover letter and directly relevant experience. Having the exact amount of experience required or being over qualified. (Employers don’t want to train people anymore). In some cases, having a connection to the library/school or someone who works there.

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, Urban 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.