Quality people want to apply to jobs they can do well at

Brian Hunter, 1984, Asst Librarian, Slavonic Collections, London School of EconomicsThis 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 Six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries and Public libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I had a three month internship at a public library and a three month internship at an academic library.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the  Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

A job that I am qualified for

A decent salary (it doesn’t have to be amazing, just not insulting)

An area of the country that I like

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA joblist
Regional and State Library Assoc List-servs

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?

Review the job description and think of ways that my skills/education/history meet every one of the required qualifications and most of the preferred qualifications. If I can’t do that, I don’t apply for the job. Then I update my resume highlight ways that my past experience meets the job requirements. Finally, I write a cover letter explaining the highlights of my qualifications. I don’t mention the typical filler requirements (excellent written and verbal communication skills) that are on every job description ever written.

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 good job descriptions! So many people put every possible qualification that they can think of. Quality people want to apply to jobs they can do well at, so won’t apply for jobs that they aren’t qualified for.

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

Communicate! Frequently and promptly.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Showing your potential employer how you will make their organization better.

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 Academic, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Public

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