This post originally appeared on February 10, 2014. A Year Two follow up will post shortly.
This job hunter took the job hunter survey on December 30, 2012. Her responses appeared earlier today as Do I have a chance or am I wasting my time? I’d like to know.
How long has it been since you got your library degree?
1 year and 4 months
How many years of library work experience do you have?
4 years working in an academic library in circulation, 1.5 years as a school library media specialist, 3 months working in special collections in a public library.
How many years of work experience outside of libraries do you have?
How old are you?
29 and about to turn 30!
What’s your current work situation?
I am working full time as a school library media specialist. I am not licensed, have a variance to teach (which means I have the experience and knowledge, just not a teaching license). It is only good for 3 years, I am on year 2. I am aggressively searching for other employment as most school district don’t renew the third year unless you are actively working to get your license, which I am not (financially it’s a big commitment and I personally don’t want to work in school libraries long term).
Are you volunteering anywhere?
As a teacher, I have very little free time to do anything, which is disappointing to me as I would love to volunteer. I did do a summer internship at a public library.
Your Job Hunt
How long have you been job hunting at this point?
about 8 months
What kinds of jobs are you currently applying for?
any type of library (public, academic, prison, special, legislative), mostly entry level as that is where my qualifications fit. Have applied some outside of libraries, but not much.
Approximately how many positions have you applied to?
definitely more than 20
Approximately how many interviews have you gone on?
How do you prepare for interviews?
research the organization, learn about their mission, goals, etc
Have you traveled for interviews? If so, who paid?
no, have not travelled
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 think it must be my interview skills- I have spent a lot of time working on resumes and cover letters and have gotten more interviews because of that. I feel I don’t elaborate enough in interviews, as they tend to not last long because I try to be concise when answering questions- I could be better about elaborating and including examples from my work.
Have there been any major changes in your job hunting strategy? Are you doing anything differently than from when we last heard from you?
no major changes
State of the Job Market
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen on a job announcement?
asking for a lot of experience for an entry level job. Being super vague, which makes tailoring my cover letter and resume difficult
What was your favorite interview question? What was the worst?
Favorite- discussing why I want to be a librarian, talking about working in difficult situations
Any good horror stories for us?
thankfully none yet!
Has job hunting been a positive or negative experience, for the most part?
it’s been a mixed bag- have been getting more interviews, which is positive. But I still don’t hear back about whether I’ve moved on (I was a final round candidate and didn’t receive an answer until emailed a month later!) and many times I feel like employers are looking for a candidate that doesn’t exist. I have been trying to get my networking contacts to help me more, which has helped positively.
Would you change your answer to “what’s the secret to getting hired”?
no- it’s still about who you know and a lot of luck.
If you took the Job Hunter’s Survey some time in the last year and are interested in doing a follow-up, even anonymously, please contact me at hiringlibrarians AT gmail.