Jobseekers can tell when a position was drafted by HR or someone less familiar with librarianship

Goose hunting in Klamath County, Oregon, OSU Special Collections via Flickr CommonsThis 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 less than six months. This person is looking in library vendors/service providers, special libraries and government at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I have done two internships, one semester each, during my five-semester MLS program.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Mid-Atlantic USA and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Good salary
Opportunities for advancement
Employer is financially secure/well-funded

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist
Company/Library Websites

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?

About an hour (more for government jobs). I have a very complete resume that I tailor to the job description. I always write a new cover letter, which I also tailor. I spend time researching organizations I’m unfamiliar with, although I mainly apply to places I know a bit about.

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 tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Listing the salary is important, but benefits can push me to apply to jobs with a lower starting salary. Employers’ websites should also be very informative about the organization’s mission. Employers should make the job description clear and detailed. Jobseekers can tell when a position was drafted by HR or someone less familiar with librarianship.

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

The application process should be very professional and simple. Tell me what format you want and whether to include links to my portfolio, references, or writing samples. It helps me be confident in my application, and helps employers narrow their top candidates.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Lots of luck, a tailored resume, and enthusiasm and passion that comes through your application materials.

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!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Urban area

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