Do not require letters of recommendation in the application phase.

Goose hunting in Klamath County, Oregon, OSU Special Collections via Flickr CommonsThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic libraries at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Volunteer page, public library.

4 years on staff, academic library

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Western US and is willing to move within a certain range.

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

1. Salary

2. Location

3. Positive work environment

Where do you look for open positions?

Individual institutions’ web sites
HERC (Higher Education Recruiting Consortium

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

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

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

1. Do research on job/institution
2. Ask for recommendation letters
3. Revise/edit CV as needed
4. Draft cover letter
5. Complete online application and submit documents

This can take 15-20 hours.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Yes

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?

√ 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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Have clear and concise job descriptions.

List the salary range.

Don’t specify X amount of years experience for a position that is seemingly entry-level.

Do not require letters of recommendation in the application phase.

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

Do not require letters of recommendation in the application phase. In such a competitive environment, good candidates are applying for 5, 10, or even more positions every year and it is a waste of our references’ time to do a letter for each application.

It makes more sense to require references at the interview stage. If you show me you are interested in me as a candidate, then I will gladly ask my reference for a letter.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Be persistent–lobby hard to get the experience you need

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!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Western US

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