Being able to fill every requirement perfectly

Folger Shakespeare Library, ca. 1932-1950, from the collection of Cornell UniversityThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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 Academic libraries, Archives, Public 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 interned at my undergraduate university’s Archives and Special Collections department, primarily transcribing oral histories and managing the front desk. During library school, I worked in the Manuscripts department of the rare books and special collections library and interned at the university’s office of archives and records managment.

This job hunter is in a suburban area, in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Living wage
Position that builds on what I have learned in library school and furthers my skill set
Location (to a certain degree)

Where do you look for open positions?

Alumni listerv
Archives Gig
ALA Joblist
Local library and university websites

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Depending on the job requirements, I take anywhere from two hours to a day or two on the application. I read over the list of requirements and match up my skill set to those listed. Look over the institution website and adjust the cover letter accordingly. Review my resume and make changes if needed.

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

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?

Advertise more widely

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

Get rid of online applications that require you to fill out all the same information that would be found on your resume/CV and cover letter. Follow up after an interview (by phone or on site) to let us know if we’ve made it to the next round.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Already knowing someone at the place hiring, timing, and somehow being able to fill every requirement perfectly…

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!

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, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Public, Special, Suburban area

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