This 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 More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, Special libraries, retail, technology, museums, nonprofits at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:
I worked in libraries for ten years before completing my MLIS while working full time. I have 3 years of experience in archives, 4 in reference and instruction in academic libraries, and 3 in metadata and database management. I have been programming websites and doing graphic design on the side on and off during those 10 years, and my undergraduate degree is in graphic design.
This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Western US, and is willing to move here, or back to my hometown.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Ability to interact with and impact communities and colleagues. Opportunities to advance further. Support for physical and mental health (work life balance – standing desks, work that doesn’t involve a desk, flex schedules)
Where do you look for open positions?
Go directly to the website of the library I’m interested in. Regional job lists. Friends and colleagues.
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Only for certain kinds of employers
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I print the description and save a pdf copy for later reference in case I lose the paper version, make notes and highlight specifics, tailor my resume to match specific terms used in the description. Research the hiring institution well enough to write a cover letter that reflects similar values and mission. Fill out application if necessary and submit materials. 3-4 hours, sometimes less if there isn’t a long application form.
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 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
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
I think employers are oversaturated with great candidates right now. I don’t believe that more steps in the application process is a good way to weed out candidates, though! My favorite job to date involved a group interview of 5 potential candidates together. It was a much more natural way to interact and really see everyone’s personality and ability to stay positive in a competitive group situation.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Communicate with candidates. It does not take a lot of time or effort to send a rejection email!
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Knowing people who know the hiring committee.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
Thank you for blogging about the hiring process!!! It is always eye opening and has helped me to understand what goes on behind the scenes.
A question you might add is one that asked how many applications one has sent out (and how many interviews , rejections, radio silence / zero responses)
I am also interested in how other job hunters handle references; do they choose specific people for different positions or how do you keep your references in the loop when you are applying to so many jobs (without being a nag)?
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!