This 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 less than six months. This person is looking in academic, library vendors/service providers, public, and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I volunteered for almost a year doing programming for a large public library. I also worked for a year on the reference desk at a combined public and academic library. And I worked for two and a half years in the Technical Services/Acquisitions department of a large academic library, during which I also helped digitize archival materials.
This job hunter is in an urban area in the Western US and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
1) Entry-level, or that I can meet the qualifications with the experience I currently have
2) Includes Reference work, as that is what I am most interested in
3) Full-time with benefits much preferred
Where do you look for open positions?
inalj.com, ALA Joblist, professional listservs (RUSA, GLBTRT, etc.)
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 first find a job posting I really like, then I look into the organization via their website and web presence, then I work on creating a cover letter tailored to the required and preferred qualifications in the job ad. Once that is done, I fill out the application and write up answers for any supplemental questions I encounter, check my work and application, and submit everything. After the application has been submitted, I contact each of my references to let them know about the job I have applied for and provide them with information they might find useful when giving a reference for me for that specific job. I always set aside an entire day to complete the process for one job application. The time it takes me ranges from 3 to 5 hours.
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?
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
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Be willing to expend the effort and resources to offer the position full-time, with benefits, at a truly competitive salary. Make it known that professional development is supported and encouraged. Be clear about what the best person for the position will be expected to do on the job–but don’t make those qualifications impossible for one single person to meet or possess.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Provide information about the approximate expected start date, to give applicants an idea of the time-frame to potential employment with them.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Being able to communicate your skills well, and interacting in an open and friendly manner with anyone you come into contact with from the organization. It’s about being able to show how well you’ll fit in with others in the organization, as well as how well you’ll be able to do the 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!