Be willing to compromise on things that may not be absolutely essential, like a driver’s license

Library Staff, c1990s, LSE 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 Public libraries and Special libraries, at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager. This job hunter is in an urban area, in the  Northeastern US and is willing to move, to most places in Northeast, Mid Atlantic, Midwest.

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

Salary (relative to cost of living)
Good fit for my experience and skills

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, Twitter,

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

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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

I don’t generally spend much time customizing my resume unless the job is far outside of my past experience. For the cover letter I usually use a previous cover letter as a base and then try to make sure I hit the main points in the job listing, and specifically refer to anything about that library that would make my skills a good fit. Usually I spend an hour or so.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?


When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ 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?

Be willing to compromise on things that may not be absolutely essential, like a driver’s license. Offer full-time jobs. Be open-minded about people from out of state interested in relocating.

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

Communicate with applicants, and not inflate “required” qualifications on job listings beyond what’s actually required. Be transparent about salaries.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Matching your skill set to the jobs that are hiring, being flexible.

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 Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

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