This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a suburban area in the Midwestern US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
√ 25 or fewer
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
Meet the minimum qualifications for the job and, actually want to work in the type of job I’m hiring for (If you want to be an Adult librarian and are applying for a Youth job just because it’s available and you need a job, not because you are actually trained for and interested in serving youth, please save us both the effort and don’t apply.)
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
I read them, and often my full time staff read them as well. We discuss them and talk about who we think meets our qualifications and who seems most interesting.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
There is no clear indicator that they actually want the kind of job I’m offering.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Write a good cover letter! Everyone’s resume and formal library application looks the same, but the cover letter really makes you stand out (either positively or negatively). Use it to tell your story – who are you and why is this a good job for you? Show that you know something about our library and why you would like to work here.
I want to hire someone who is
How many staff members are at your library/organization?
How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ Other: 0
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?
√ There are the same number of positions
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
We don’t require experience for entry-level positions, but given multiple good candidates, we would certainly take experience into consideration.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Because people are still using libraries in huge numbers and the public is generally supportive of their libraries.
Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?
Good luck! It’s a great profession (if you can find a job.) Don’t be discouraged if you have to start with a part time job; it’s much easier to find a full time job if you are already working somewhere and have experience and good references.
Do you hire librarians? Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.
One response to “it’s much easier to find a full time job if you are already working somewhere and have experience and good references.”
“(If you want to be an Adult librarian and are applying for a Youth job just because it’s available and you need a job, not because you are actually trained for and interested in serving youth, please save us both the effort and don’t apply.)”
You should have NO IDEA it isn’t my dream job. If you do, I’m doing it wrong.