This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field) and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking in academic, public, and special libraries, as well as archives, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience, department head, senior librarian.
This job hunter is in an urban area in the Southern US and is not willing to move but will commute up to an hour each way.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
A position that utilizes my skills
within commutable distance of my new home
that won’t leave me bored or exhausted.
Where do you look for open positions?
Alabama JobLink, which slurps up positions from various sites like ALA Joblist; my husband who is a library director (so I can’t work for his system)
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Other: Yes, but it isn’t a red flag when it’s not
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
Depends on the position’s requirements. For the public library positions I’ve applied for, an email with a cover letter, tailored resume and references is usually only required so it takes less than an hour. However, the academic instructional librarian position that required 2-3 examples of my work in instruction (examples: guides, videos, tutorials, syllabi, etc.) took several hours to pull together and record.
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
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Advertise widely, not just in the local newspaper. Free sites like library associations and/or email lists work great, too.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Keep up the communication. I’ve applied to jobs and you never hear, or hear months and months later, that you weren’t selected for the position. I’ve been on the other side of hiring so I know why sometimes that happens, but it isn’t fair to the applicants.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Be confident but not arrogant? I don’t know. I’ve been at the same job 13 years and now I have to find a new one due to my husband relocating. If only he’d gotten that other job, then I’d have an easier time finding a job that exactly matches my rather specific skills.
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!