Be Transparent as to Whether You Are Forward-Thinking & Innovative

This post originally appeared on February 18, 2013. A year two follow up will be posted in just a few moments.
When she was at Rutgers, Lauren Read (MLIS 2009) worked at Montclair (NJ) Public Library, getting a delicious taste of most every department. She then decided to relocate while looking for her first full-time professional job … during the recession.  Ms. Read has been looking for more than 18 months in public libraries at the entry level. This is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

I worked for four part-time years as a public library assistant leading up to the degree.

I had a one-semester internship in a public library reference department.

Ms. Read is in a city/town in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere. She keeps active through ALA and PLA conferences and magazines, NCLA networking events and workshops, and countless (free) webinars.  Keeping optimistic happens intrinsically.  Find her at

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

Public Librarianship

Professional (as opposed to parapro)

An organization that communicates well and is either innovative or open to having me sweep creative changes

Where do you look for open positions?

Aside from INALJ, I subscribe to vast amounts of job interest cards directly through city/county government websites and have some other bookmarks to gov sites that do not have this service.

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?

It totally varies, because if it’s through a site (like neogov) where I already have a profile, I just write a cover letter.  Other times I need to hand fill-out an application in addition to everything else that gets mailed in.  And everything in between.  I probably average 45 minutes per application.

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?

√ 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?

Be transparent as to whether you are forward-thinking & innovative or a traditional conservative organization.

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

I would appreciate being informed of how many people applied and how many were selected for interview.  Sometimes I learn this and feel better about not making it (or indeed making it at least one step)!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Standing out … in a good way.  Enthusiasm, confidence, and passion!  Carrying oneself well in an interview, speaking clearly and concisely but thoroughly, is also helpful.

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, Public, Southern US

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