This interview originally appeared on July 1, 2014. A follow-up with Ms. Bhagat will appear shortly.
Dhruti “Kari” Bhagat is currently employed as Library Technician and Website Content Strategist for the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals Library. She is working on redesigning the library’s webpage right now, and is very proud to get that project going and to be the driving force behind it. Ms. Bhagat was also Vice President of Simmons’ Student Chapter of SLA from Spring of 2013 through the Spring of 2014. She has been looking for a new position for less than six months. She is looking in academic libraries, library vendors/service providers, public,and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Ms. Bhagat says:
I have gotten a lot from the part-time work I had during graduate school- it was extremely helpful.
She is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US, and is willing to move anywhere. As a hobby, she prints and binds out-of-copyright books. You can learn more about her on LinkedIn
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
-different types of work but challenging
– A great organizational culture that wants its employees to be innovative and grow
– Some sense of job security for at least a year or two
Where do you look for open positions?
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 usually spend a little time on my resume, making sure it includes the most relevant information for the position. The cover letter usually takes me a couple of hours, spread out over a few days. I usually start froma cover letter that I’ve already written for a similar job and change the parts that need to be changed, but I always tailor the cover letter to the job, so I’m not just cut and pasting.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
√ Other: Technically yes, but I listed myself with a role that I technically didn’t officially have, but I was already doing. I called myself the deputy webmaster, because we already had a webmaster, but I was doing all of the web maintainance and work on it. I had even asked my boss about it but she never got back to me, despite me following up with her about it repeatedly.
When would you like employers to contact you?
√ To acknowledge my application
√ 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?
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?
Making some of the application systems a lot easier. Some universities makes you fill out your entire employment history in these long forms, even though you’re just going to upload your resume anyway. Some universities don’t and it cuts down on the time by a lot.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
I think being honest about why I didn’t get the job would be nice. I was recently told that I didn’t get the job because they decided to hire someone else. Then a week later, I saw the job posted on a bunch of the job sites I go to (with a higher salary than I was asking for). I just felt confused about the fact that they weren’t honest in telling me that they wanted someone with more experience.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Well, I hope it’s being confident in your abilities and stressing how willing you are to learn, but what do I know? I’m still looking for a job.
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!