New graduates often overreach when applying for jobs

Paramaribo market scene. Women and men. 1922.This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Access Services.

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in a rural area in the Northeastern 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”?

A hirable candidate would possess all of the required qualifications in the job description and many of the preferred. S/he would possess the personal characteristics that would allow him/her to work well among his/her colleagues.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

The search committee is charged before the position is announced. They review candidates’ documentation.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Does not meet minimum requirements. Probably did not even read or failed to understand the job description.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Address all of the required qualifications in your cover letter. Make sure the evidence is presented in the CV.

I want to hire someone who is

Personable.

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Experience makes you a more desirable candidate but if experience is not a requirement of the position those without experience will be considered as well.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

The profession is not dying, it is changing. The shift to digital has changed jobs but new jobs are emerging.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

Thoroughly read the job description and research the organization. Understand the goals and mission of the organization to which you are applying. New graduates often overreach when applying for jobs; for instance applying for high level administrative jobs without any work experience.

Be willing to relocate.

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.

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1 Comment

Filed under 200+ staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015

One response to “New graduates often overreach when applying for jobs

  1. Paulina

    “What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

    Does not meet minimum requirements. Probably did not even read or failed to understand the job description.”

    Wow.

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