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 a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic and special libraries, archives, library vendors/service providers, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
Year long internship with a special library supporting a large research project
Semester long Virtual Reference internship for credit
This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Room to grow professionally
Where do you look for open positions?
local SLA listservs, several iSchool listservs, Indeed.com, LibGig when I remember, others I can’t think of right now
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 look over the job listing several times. Tweak my resume to reflect the listing. Write a cover letter. I spend way too much time on each application packet, probably 2-3 days per listing.
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
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Make a clear distinction between what experience/skills are required and what are nice to have. Relax entry-level experience requirements: I went to Library School part-time as an adult and simply cannot afford to work for free for an extended period of time.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Communicate with candidates. I appreciate the auto generated response to tell me that you received my resume, but I would really really appreciate one that said “Thanks, but No Thanks.” If you reject a candidate after an interview, TELL THEM, especially if they follow-up with you asking for their status!
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Networking and working your connections.
Being in the right place at the right time
Not having to choose between taking a crappy temp job that will pay the bills but not provide library experience and being able to work for free until you gain enough experience.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
I would be curious to see the breakdown between full-time and part-time students, especially for entry-level job seekers. Only because I worked full-time while going to school, so I wasn’t able to take advantage of a lot of opportunities, such GAs or opportunities open only to students. I wonder how much I disadvantaged myself by choosing financial stability while going to school.
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!