started downsizing in 2003 from 11 full-timers to the current 2013 level of one full-timer and one half-timer

Hunting Season, 1918This 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, library vendor/service providers, public libraries, special libraries, corporations, and museums at the following levels: Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Western US and is not willing to move.

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

1. Challenging and interesting job;
2. One hour or less commute; and
3. Full time with benefits.

Where do you look for open positions?

You name it, I’ve been there. Have found the most luck with seeking out various individuals and companies without agencies and figuring out a way to meet them in person.

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?

Have spent hours and hours over the last several years and have a full “library” of various resumes c.v.’s and cover letters.

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

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

Only advertise on a few professional sites.

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

Let you know what the status of your application is.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

The old adage applies – it’s who you know not what you know.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Another question to ask on this survey might be whether the job hunters have looked into other fields using their skills. I have decided to leave the library field, after almost 20 years, as I firmly believe that the field is shrinking and will never be able to accommodate the number of library school graduates that have recently graduated or are about to graduate. I speak from experience and have been actively pursuing looking for a job since 2005, when I saw the handwriting on the wall at my then-current job where the “Powers that Be” started downsizing in 2003 from 11 full-timers to the current 2013 level of one full-timer and one half-timer. Oh, yes, by the way, the library was recently closed to the public and the archives have been kept open by appointment only. Such is the nature of this field and of the economy. We are in trouble and my advice to colleagues is to get other skills besides tech – perhaps start your own business with a product that can’t be easily outsourced or get some type of what used to be called secretarial/administrative skills so you can keep a roof over your head. This unfortunately is the new reality.

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, Urban area, Western US

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.