Applicants need to be more understanding of the constraints hirers are under

HUNTING TRIPThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking in academic and special libraries, and archives, at the following levels: entry level.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere, but only for the “perfect” job.

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

Entry-level or thereabouts
Work I can see myself getting passionate about

Where do you look for open positions?

Managed via RSS reader: Alma mater’s job blog, ArchivesGig, SLA Career Center, SAA Career Center, with keyword filters. I also keep my eye on LinkedIn and various SAA listservs.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I glance over resume and move my listed skills around a bit if necessary. I then pick two major skillsets+experiences relevant to the opportunity to highlight in my cover letter. Then I go through whatever online application hoops there might be to jump through. It takes me between 1 and 2 hours from job description discovery to submitting the 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

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)?

√ 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?

Do what you can to steer HR away from setting up tick-box application systems that force applicants to check “yes” or “no” for required skills. This obvious weed-out system blocks out candidates who may meet EVERY preferred qualification, but simply lack in, for instance, supervisor experience. These systems kill your chances at hiring a fantastic person who may have one or two things yet to learn, but is 100% able to meet that challenge successfully.

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

Obviously, the more communication and transparency the better, but I think applicants need to be more understanding of the constraints hirers are under.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

It’s a combination of having the skills, knowing how to convince a stranger that you have the skills, maintaining a great attitude no matter how long you’ve been hunting, and a little bit of right place/right time luck.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey!

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, Northeastern US, Urban area

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