I’m primarily looking for jobs on the East Coast, and it’s not going very well

The Young People's Librarian, 1938 This 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 Less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries,  Archives, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I’ve worked in an academic library for almost 2 years, so I’m on the cusp of being entry-level, but right after I graduated, I had a 4-month (paid) internship that was funded by Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations. It was a really wonderful experience and I encourage other Canadian LIS/archives students to take look at those postings.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in Canada, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

-an institution that is located in a city
-a position where I’ll get to do a variety of work
-a supportive organizational culture where I get to learn from my colleagues

Where do you look for open positions?

iSchool job sites, INALG, professional listservs, Archives Gig

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

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

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

I’ve saved every job application I’ve ever written, so I go and find a previous application that is the most similar to the one I’m currently applying for, and I use that cover letter as a template. However, I always end up re-writing the whole thing because I want to use the same language and structure as the job posting. And I tweak my CV a little bit depending on the posting. About 2 hours in total.

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

√ Yes

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?

Is this really an issue? I don’t feel like there is ever a dearth of qualified and over-qualified folks looking for and applying for library jobs anywhere.

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

Communicate more clearly, and let people know what the timeline for the selection process will look like. I recently had an interview with a library, and a couple of weeks afterwards they announced the person who got the position on twitter, and then a couple of weeks after that they emailed me to tell me that I hadn’t be selected for the job. That was very rude.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Establishing yourself and making connections in the community where you’d like to work. I’m on the West Coast, but I’m primarily looking for jobs on the East Coast, and it’s not going very well. I’ve met tonnes of people and made lots of connections in the west, but it’s not ultimately going to to serve me very well if I want to move.

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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Filed under Academic, Archives, Canada, Job hunter's survey, Urban area

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