Don’t make assumptions about why I applied for a job I’m overqualified for

Brian Hunter, 1984, Asst Librarian, Slavonic Collections, London School of EconomicsThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not  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 Less than six months. This person is looking in Public libraries, Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

2 week practicum during library school. 7 years library paraprofessional before that.

 This job hunter is in a city/town, in the Canada, and is willing to move within the province.

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

A good work environment, the ability to advance/get promoted, a fair salary

Where do you look for open positions?

Provincial joblists, individual library websites, INALJ

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?

2 – 3 hours (but that’s probably way too long.)

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?

Write clear and honest job postings. Don’t expect lots of experience for entry level positions. Be willing to look outside the tiny circle of people they know to some wonderfully qualified people they have not had the chance to meet yet.

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

Keep candidates updated throughout the process. I don’t mind a form letter telling me I’m not being called to interview–just let me know so I don’t wonder for weeks if they have even started the process yet. Post your salary range right in the job ad so I don’t waste my time and yours applying for a job I cannot afford to take. Don’t make assumptions about why I applied for a job I’m overqualified for or will have to move across the country to work at–if I took the time to apply, I’m willing to do it.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

A great interview where you can showcase your skills and get to know people.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

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!

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Filed under Canada, City/town, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Public, Special

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