Job Hunter Follow Up: Kate McManus

Kate McManus took the Job Hunter’s survey on April 22nd, 2014. Her responses appeared as If that listserv has a twitter feed, for example, I will be more likely to see it. She’s on Twitter and LinkedIn, if you’d like to connect.

Your Background and Situation

How long has it been since you got your library degree?

I’m graduating this coming May!

How many years of library work experience do you have?

7 years in academic libraries, about a year of archives

How many years of work experience outside of libraries do you have?


How old are you?

late 20s

What’s your current work situation?

in school, work full time with summers off, I usually get something part time or an internship

Are you volunteering anywhere?

Yes! I may have too much on my plate at the moment, but I’m swinging for the fences.

Your Job Hunt

How long have you been job hunting at this point?

2+ years

Approximately how many positions have you applied to?

I’ve lost count. A lot.

Approximately how many interviews have you gone on?


How do you prepare for interviews?

I review the cover letter that I sent them (as I write a unique one for each job I apply for). I then review their website – everything from their mission statement to how their catalog works. I brainstorm questions and I write them down and bring them to the interview. I talk to my references to let them know I’m interviewing, asking if they need anything. Basically, I arm myself with as much information as I possibly can.

Have you declined any offers?


What do you think is the biggest obstacle in your job hunt? How are you working to overcome it?

I don’t have my MLIS yet! It’s frustrating, but only because it’s so close.

Have there been any major changes in your job hunting strategy? Are you doing anything differently than from when we last heard from you?

I’ve become more selective about what I apply for.

State of the Job Market

What was your favorite interview question? What was the worst?

Best: how did you prepare for the interview. This, to me, signals that it might be okay to start showing off the fact that I have given a lot of thought to working at their institution. Second only to when it’s my turn to ask questions!! Worst is when they have to fish for my experience. I may not have exactly what they need, but I have a broad skillset that I have to then argue would translate to their open position. It’s just very stressful.

Has job hunting been a positive or negative experience, for the most part?

Neutral good, I think. I’ve become better at advertising myself.

Would you change your answer to “what’s the secret to getting hired”?

I might rephrase it a bit. Looking good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean a long list of all the awesome jobs or projects you’ve done. It means showing yourself in the best light possible and highlighting your skills.

Anything else you want to tell us?

Since my interview in April, I scored a sweet paid internship. I also went to SAA for the first time. I’ve made some amazing connections and continue to “hustle” myself. Still looking for an awesome job!


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