How is one supposed to get that experience if no one hires you

Hunting guide Mr. Brown with wild turkeys near Green Swamp, FloridaThis 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 a year to 18 months. This person is looking in academic, library vendors/service providers, and public libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Internship in an small academic library. Internship in a large public library. Volunteer at a small public library branch.

This job hunter is in an suburban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move

with timing and location considerations.

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

Area of Library Work, Expertise required, years of experience required

Where do you look for open positions?

Library Website, Municipal Websites, INALJ

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 usually check my resume, research library or organization, write a cover letter with the application in front of me, check over references. Submit all documents including any required applications. Usually takes me a couple of hours.

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
√ Being able to present

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

Advertise positions in all areas possible, not just their own website.

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

Be in closer contact with all applicants. Don’t just leave us hanging after our application is submitted. If possible keep a job status up online showing the status your are in in hiring that position (i.e. accepting applications, reviewing applications, scheduling interviews, etc.)

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I’m not sure because I’ve put in multiple applications and have yet to even get an interview. The secret may be experience, but how is one supposed to get that experience if no one hires you. Too many libraries expect applicants to have that 3-5 years of professional experience outside of school internships, but don’t understand that you can’t just take a part time position in the library because you have school bills and other expenses to pay to keep living. This paradigm seems to be ever present and never solved.

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!


Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Suburban area

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.