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 Six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, and Nonprofits at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience
3 years as a collections assistant in my undergrad university’s special collections department.
1 year as a teaching assistant for kids 2-18 years.
6 months in the digital preservation and conservation departments of the same school.
3 months as a collections/metadata/preservation intern at a film archive.
2 months (ongoing temporary) as photography/techical services/metadata assistant in a private. institution.
This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move, in the long run, but right now, I haven’t found a job worth the move..
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
1) Salary commensurate to my skillset.
2) Either full-time with good pay, or part-time, and willing to compromise so I can have another part-time job.
3) Co-workers and superiors who are interested in a doing a good job, and seeing their peers succeed as well.
Where do you look for open positions?
INALJ, RAILS, craigslist, individual organizations’ pages.
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?
I have three standard resumes and cover letter templates – one for a technology librarian assistant, one for a youth/children’s library assistant, and one for a collections assistant. If there are particular skills that need highlighting, I spend half an hour to an hour tweaking my resume, and no more than 45 minutes on my cover letter.
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 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?
Compromising is extremely important – if I’m compromising on pay, part-time/full-time positions, permanent/temporary positions, I want to know that I’m being valued in some way other than just being a warm body. I need to be making connections, getting training, and, hopefully, making some money that allow me to do my job without constantly worrying about finding a new one.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Online applications are a joke. Of my more successful jobs, the people in the hiring departments have never used online application forms. A cover letter and resume do the job just fine, and I get the (secondhand) comfort of knowing that they truly appreciate every single candidate they interview, even if they aren’t ultimately right for the job.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
I think its a combination of knowing the right people, persistence, and being in the right place at the right time. Or maybe it is just luck.
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
I really appreciate this survey, and it’s helped me not only hone my application/interview skills, but also to ask more important/relevant questions in interviews. And, after having read some of the more ghastly interviews with hiring managers, I feel like I better understand how to look out for people I don’t want to work for.
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!