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 six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, 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 been at my current place of work almost three years, and though I was originally not hired in a library role, I’ve had increasing library responsibilities (and have been the sole librarian at the institution for the last two years). It’s been one year since I earned my MLIS.
This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere that doesn’t get too much snow!.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
A place where I can learn and grow (and am given support and the budget to do so)
A place that lets me be autonomous, take risks, and if necessary, to change things up
A competitive salary in a place that doesn’t get too cold!
Where do you look for open positions?
Professional listservs, primarily. Sometimes ALA Joblist or INALJ.
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?
If I’ve applied for similar positions before (and since I’m looking for specific types of positions, I probably have), I don’t spend more than a couple of hours on the application packet. I first visit the website to learn a little more about the institution, looking especially for the mission statement of the institution and the library. Then I take a cover letter or two from a similar job posting, and rework it so that it speaks to the specific job description and institution. I then fill out all aspects of the application and look over my resume to make sure nothing needs to be added/changed/removed.
I honestly don’t spend too much time researching the institution before applying, because in my experience, I don’t get an interview for a majority of the places I send an application packet. I do a lot more research about the institution before a phone interview, and even more than that if I get an in-person interview.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
√ Other: I might gloss over things or be vague, but it mak [text stops here]
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
√ Other: I don’t expect to be notified if I haven’t moved on to a first interview. But once I’ve been interviewed, I expect to be kept in the loop, no matter whether or not I’m progressing.
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?
Widely advertise the job, I guess. I think it’s more important to get the best candidates to accept the job, which can be done by really making them feel welcome during the interview and by showing them why the institution would be a great place to work. And then of course, once you make the offer, be sure that the salary and benefits are competitive (or at least not insulting given the librarian’s qualifications).
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Be up front about salary and other benefits. It can save us both from wasting time.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Still trying to figure this out!
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!