This 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 Less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience. This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US, and is willing to move, but only to areas I can see me and my spouse living in. (He has very specific job needs.).
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
–An institutional culture that values all voices, is not a rigidly top-down, employs transparency in bureaucratic machinery, and is committed to the professional development of their staff
–A salary that is appropriate for the cost-of-living in the area
–Tuition remission opportunities
Where do you look for open positions?
I check ALA Joblist, Higher Ed Jobs, INALJ, and Indeed on a daily basis like a madwoman.
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 usually intensely research the library and college or university the job is at in order to get a sense of their values. I then take my cover letter template, which leaves a fair amount of space to customize, and bridge my work experience, education, service orientation, etc to not only the position requirements, but to the overall mission of the library (inasmuch as I can perceive it online). If the application requires only a cover letter, resume, it takes me about two hours–most of which is spent crafting my cover letter. If it requires the slog through an online application, that usually takes another hour or two on there. Additional supplementary essay-type questions will also add another two or three hours–I’m a writer, so I obsess over every. little. word.
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 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?
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?
Be straightforward and honest about their expectations AND what they’re bringing to the table in regards to salary, benefits, professional development opportunities, etc.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Updates help. Also eliminating the ridiculous boilerplate application process helps (though I understand why some institutions sill use it.)
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
I see a lot of answers here stating that having an inside connection helps, and I don’t doubt that it does, but I’ve been fairly successful in applying for and being offered jobs and where I’ve known no one internally.
So my answer, pat as it may sound is, be the best you you can be. Be prepared. Be overprepared, actually.
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!