Pay them enough. Hire other bright people. Trust them to do their jobs well until proven otherwise.

Nevins Memorial Library First Librarians c. 1900This 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. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience.:

I am in my second year of an MSLS program and will graduate in May. I have worked at the same job for two years, which is with a private, religious-affiliated college in its archives. I have appraised, processed, described, and digitized collections. I worked in a public library as an assistant in the circulation and reference departments before attending library school. I also volunteered as a museum intern for a local history society and as a processing intern for a state archive.

This job hunter is in a city/town, in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere in the Southeast.

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

Ability to cover my expenses, an environment that encourages development as a professional, and the ability to showcase my skills

Where do you look for open positions?

Archives Gig, job listserv through my graduate program, professional listservs, INALJ

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

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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

Read the job announcement, tailor the resume and cover letter to highlight skills mentioned in the announcement, proofread, and submit. It generally takes two hours.

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

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ 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?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

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

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Pay them enough. Hire other bright people. Trust them to do their jobs well until proven otherwise.

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

I really hate Skype interviews. I realize that it’s supposed to save candidates and institutions some money, but they’re always awkward.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being genuine. You won’t fit every situation, so it’s far better to be honest about who you are so that you’re hired into the right place.

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!

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, Job hunter's survey, Southern US

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