Please, for the love of Pete, do NOT call a position entry level if it requires X amount of experience.

Library International Law Reading Room, 1964This 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 Six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

Interned in an academic library’s archival department. Conducted a fieldwork project in same.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Western US, other: and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Compatibility, challenge, a chance to learn the ins and outs.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, INALJ, HigherEd Jobs, LinkedIn, Indeed, various listservs.

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

√ Other: Not sure it’s a red flag if salary ranges aren’t posted, but I sure wish I knew what the motivation is behind NOT posting!

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

I probably spend at least a couple of hours per application. Crafting the cover letters take a lot of time. I try to highlight my accomplishments as they pertain to the job description.

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

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

I generally think most employers include enough information in job descriptions to attract good candidates.

I have already filled out the survey recently, but I came back to it because I thought of another answer for this question.

The second-most frustrating thing about job searching, besides the application abyss I mentioned perviously, is filling out redundant online application forms. Everything relevant – my education, experience, contact information – is in my resume and cover letter. Is having to retype it all into some poorly-suited web form actually some kind of test as to whether I REALLY want the job? The hiring process would be less painful if these application forms didn’t exist.

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

Please, for the love of Pete, do NOT call a position entry level if it requires X amount of experience. If you are truly hiring for an actual entry level position, then weed out the applicants with a lot of experience. Level the playing field! Highly qualified candidates are in a much better position to find jobs matching their skills and experience.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I wish I knew!

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

Maybe ask a question about acceptable salary ranges depending on skills and qualifications. Also, what kinds of questions are we being asked when we do get the chance to interview? What kinds of professional associations do we belong to, and does belonging to a professional organization make a difference in the job hunt? An open ended question about whether or not we feel we’ve exhausted all options as far as professional library positions are concerned, and what kind of work are we considering if not library work.

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!

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1 Comment

Filed under Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, MLIS Students, Public, Special, Western US

One response to “Please, for the love of Pete, do NOT call a position entry level if it requires X amount of experience.

  1. Pauline

    “If you are truly hiring for an actual entry level position, then weed out the applicants with a lot of experience. Level the playing field! Highly qualified candidates are in a much better position to find jobs matching their skills and experience.”

    Yes. YES!! Also, don’t hire MLIS holders for para positions.

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