This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is 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 six months to a year. This person is looking in 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 worked part time while I was in grad school at a public library, then moved to full time at the same library once I got my degree.
This job hunter is in a rural area in the Midwestern US and is looking for employment in two specific areas.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Job duties I enjoy, salary/benefits, location
Where do you look for open positions?
ILA website, I need a library job website, individual websites of libraries I am interested in.
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?
Read the job description several times, then research the library and position. Update my cover letter and resume to apply specifically to the position. Depending on how much I need to change/update, I’ll spend 4-6 hours on it.
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
√ 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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Salary-make it livable and something worth the possibility of relocating. If that’s not possible, have something else appealing–good hours, great benefits, etc. I went into the field because I like the work, but my life outside of work is important too and I think about what my quality of life would be with the various factors of the job.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Let us bypass those online fill in the blank applications if my resume answers the same questions. Give as much info upfront–especially desired starting date.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Applying for what you’re qualified for, being enthusiastic and willing to learn, fitting into the culture, and getting lucky.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
I love that you are doing this. It has been so helpful in my job hunt.
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!