Sometimes you can do all the right things and still not get hired

Bryd, RichardThis 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  More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I have several years experience working as an on-call librarian and doing a couple of part-time temporary gigs. I’m looking for a full-time permanent position.

This job hunter is in a suburban area, in the Midwestern US and I am willing to relocate to be closer to my job but want to still remain in the same metro area. 

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

Opportunities for growth and development
Security- full time with benefits

Where do you look for open positions?

Job alerts from local libraries I’d like to work at

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 closely at the job posting, what they are looking for and tailor my application materials accordingly. I look over the library’s website, compile a list of questions, and see how I could fit into the organization.

Time varies depending on how badly I want the position and how extensive the application process is. Ranges anywhere from 1 hour to 10 or more hours.

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

√ Other: It’s not really lying, but I’ll mention things on my application if I’ve done them, even just briefly or just once without much experience if I feel confident in that skill.

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?

√ 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

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be upfront about preferred and required qualifications. If you want someone with extensive experience in doing X, say that.

Post the position in a variety of places.

Make the application process as painless as possible. Keep it short and simple, give candidates adequate time to apply.

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

Don’t make us fill lengthy online applications if its just duplicating what’s already on the resume.

Be flexible about scheduling interviews, realize that many of us have to take off of work to come in for an interview and it’s not always easy to take time off. Give us several choices of times to choose from.

If we didn’t get the job and ask why, be honest and specific about it. Don’t say something vague like “the candidate we hired had more experience.” Explain, what type of experience the successful candidate had and give us tips on how we could be a stronger candidate for next time.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Sometimes you can do all the right things and still not get hired. Experience and personality and enthusiasm for your work definitely help but sometimes they are not enough. Sometimes its just a matter of luck- being in the right place at the right time or knowing the right people.

I’ve tried for several years to get a full-time position with no luck. Maybe there is a secret I don’t know about.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

I’m glad you’re doing this survey. I’m interested to hear from other peoples’ experience.

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Suburban area

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.