Fun coworkers!

Geraldine Fain Browses in the Free LibraryThis 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 Six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I provide reference services and teach workshops at an academic health sciences library. I also do original and copy cataloging for a local library resource group. In the past I have done reference at public and community college libraries, and cataloging at an elementary school.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in the  Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Opportunities to learn new skills and have increased responsibilities
The ability to support a mission and organization that I care about
Fun coworkers!

Where do you look for open positions?

State library consortium websites
Individual college and university websites
Indeed (search for metadata or cataloging, etc)

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?

I spend about an hour analyzing the job description and brainstorming the ways in which my skills and abilities would match what the employer needs, then I edit my resume and write a new cover letter for each job. I am a slow writer and it takes me more than 2 hours to write each cover letter.

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?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Offer a salary commensurate with experience and education. In my opinion, $15 per hour is too little to pay a professional librarian who earned an MLS.
Write job descriptions that accurately describe the position and duties.

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

Please make your expectations very clear! I have had interviews where the department described a very different kind of job than the one I had applied for, i.e., the duties were not as described and were in fact, much more mundane. Also, please let me know when I am not chosen. A form email would be fine for this purpose.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think it is best if you have a close contact at the organization.

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

I just want to thank you for continuing to update Hiring Librarians. It’s been very helpful to me as I finish library school and continue to search for gainful employment.

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, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Special, Urban area

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