Be Very Clear on What the Minimum Requirements are for the Position.

This post originally appeared on 02/25/2013. We will be following up for the second year with Nicole in just a few moments.

This interview is with job hunter Nicole Usiondek, who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field) and has been looking for a new position for a year to 18 months. Ms. Usiondek  has her MLIS and M.A. in History from Wayne State University and a B.A. in History from Oakland University. Prior to working in the library field, she spent 5 years working in the Intellectual Property field as an analyst and paralegal. She has experience working in both academic and public libraries and found rewarding experiences in both settings. Consequently, she is looking in both Academic and Public libraries at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience. When asked about her internship/volunteering experience, she said:

I have roughly 30 months of volunteer and part time work experience in public and academic libraries.

Ms. Usiondek lives in an urban area in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere. Nicole is starting a blog at

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

Full time, growth opportunity, great culture.

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, ALA JobLIST, individual sites, Indeed, listservs, and LinkedIn.

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?

60 to 90 minutes.

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

√ No

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?

√ Email

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?

Be very clear on what the minimum requirements are for the position.

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


What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think it’s who you know.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

1 Comment

Filed under Academic, Job hunter's survey, Public, Southern US, Urban area

One response to “Be Very Clear on What the Minimum Requirements are for the Position.

  1. Rosa

    As a library director, I’d like to make 2 comments. First, sometimes weird policies don’t allow you to post the salary range, even when it’s quite good, and public info elsewhere. I won’t explain our oddity – it’d take too long. I a gree – often it is a red flag – but once in a while, it’s a policy glitch. For example, sometimes you can’t post while contract negotiations are ongoing, etc. It varies …

    Secondly, yes, I agree employers need to be very clear about minimum requirements. But please, I beg candidates – read the requirements! At my institution, you must, absolutely and non-negotiably, have a degree in one of your subject liaison areas if you are going to be a liaison librarian. For example, if you’re going to be a librarian for biology, chemistry, and physics, you have to hold at least an undergraduate degree in one of those. We make it 100% clear in the job ad. It couldn’t be clearer if I wrote in bold caps. Yet every time, I get 50 librarians with English degrees applying. I was a science librarian with an English degree myself, and I get it – but this is NOT allowable at my current institution. I do not know how I could make it clearer – we even say this requirement must be met under institution-wide policies and bylaws, no exceptions. Still, unqualified people apply in droves.

    I realize people are desperate, and I am very sympathetic – I’ve been there many times – but applying for a job for which you are unqualified just makes you look bad and wastes the search committee’s time. We have to explain to HR why, specifically, we do not select each person for an interview. Adding to the time I have to waste does not make me happy. And no, I won’t hang on to your resume for future consideration in that case – for one, I’m not permitted to do this, and also, you clearly didn’t bother reading the requirements.

    I wish you and all other job-seekers good luck. It’s a tough market.


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