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 School libraries, and 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:
I’m currently doing an internship in a special library (which I had never considered before) that is giving me lots of hands-on experience with reference work, cataloging, circulation, and archiving. I have kind-of given up on public libraries after many unsuccessful interviews since I have no idea what they are looking for and believe that age is definitely a factor.
This job hunter is in a suburban area, in the Midwestern US, and is not willing to move.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Variety in work assignments. Opportunity to be creative. Congenial staff.
Where do you look for open positions?
RAILS, INALJ K12JobSpot, Indeed.com
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?
Depends on whether it is a library assistant or librarian position. The cover letter takes the longest since the information changes depending on the job.
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 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?
Not be so picky! With such a surplus of candidates, I often feel as if libraries are looking for “a candidate that doesn’t exist.” (This comment appeared on another blog..I can’t take credit for it, but it’s good.) Another issue: most library positions are only part-time and many people have other responsibilities, but libraries expect the candidate to be 100% available. Not being willing to work with a candidate’s other job eliminates many good people, I feel, and libraries may end up with employees who (for whatever reason) ARE 100% available…but they might not be the best option.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
For part-time positions, please post the actual days and times of the job, not some generic statement like “may require evening and/or weekend hours.” That could be anything! I don’t know anyone who is totally available every single day of the week. People do have children, other jobs, classes that they are taking, etc.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Being young. I’m sorry, but there is definitely age discrimination out there and it seems as if the 30-and-under crowd are the ones getting hired.
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!