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 less than six months. This person is looking in academic libraries, library vendor/service provides, special libraries, and law firms at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience.
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?
1) Utilizing the skills I’ve learned in library school and/or builds upon them.
2) A job I can see myself being content with staying for at least 3-5 years.
3) A position that is a step up from the clerical, entry level positions that I’ve had for the past 5 years since graduating college.
Where do you look for open positions?
I need a library job, grad school listserv, Libgig, code4library jobs, USAjobs.gov, Careers in Federal Libraries listserv, LLSDC jobs.
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ I would like there to be, but often times there isn’t and sometimes I apply anyway if the organization and job description sounds promising.
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
About an hour at least. I edit my standard resume to include key words and phrases included in the job listing and make sure relevant skills and experience is included and highlighted. For federal jobs, I usually need to submit additional forms, a copy of my unofficial graduate school transcript, my most recent SF-50 form, or anything the job listing says is required. Before I submit everything, I double check to make sure I’ve included everything that’s required (i.e. resume, forms, recommendations, transcripts, etc.).
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
√ 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
√ 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 advertise on graduate school listservs, that’s usually my first or second point of contact that I hear about vacancies. Even if it’s not a job I’m personally interested in, I sometimes forward them to friends or former classmates who I think would be interested.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
It would be great if employers only posted vacancies and conducted interviews when they are certain that they have the funding to hire new people. I’ve applied and interviewed for a library in a government organization, and was told three weeks after the interview (after waiting over a month for a call back) that the position would not be filled due to budget cut backs. I understand it’s a precarious time for most government entities to know for certain what their staffing budget will be down the road, but it’s made me more cautious to apply for public sector jobs when I know it takes so long to hear back from them and not know if they will still be able to hire a new person by the time the second or first round of interviews happen.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Persistence, a positive attitude, and flexibility. Personal appearance and personality also helps.
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!