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. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:
As an intern, I worked for two years in reference and instruction in a large academic library, and for a little over a year in a special library.
This job hunter is in an city/town, in the Southern US, and is willing to move within the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
I’m looking for something that will allow me to grow professionally, something that will allow me to have an impact on the organization/institution/community, and something with a high enough salary to allow me to pay off my student loans.
Where do you look for open positions?
When I open my saved bookmarks, Google Chrome asks me if I’m sure I want to open that many…ALA Joblist, library associations for the states I’m open to, INALJ, LisList, professional listservs, the jobs email list for my library school.
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?
I usually print off the job description so that I can annotated it, and I do a little research on the institution/library to see what kind of place it is. Then I go to my collection of resumes and cover letters and see if anything that I’ve written before matches the job description. If so, I tweak those documents to fit the job description. Depending on how much tweaking needs to be done, I probably spend about 5-6 hours on each application, usually over the course of 3-4 days.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
√ Other: I have been a bit vague sometimes, but haven’t lied.
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?
√ 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
√ Being able to present
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
I think they should write clear job descriptions – don’t rely on jargon to fill it up. Advertise the job widely on listservs and job boards. Post the salary range. Don’t make candidates jump through a ton of hoops to apply (cover letter! resume! reference letters in advance! official copies of transcripts! teaching philosophy/statement on __________! oh, and please mail it all to us!).
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Be as timely as you can – I’m applying to academic libraries, and there is really no good reason that a hiring process should take 6 months from job posting to offer being made. Communicate with applicants to appraise them of where the search committee is in the hiring process. I actually prefer when communication goes through HR or someone other than someone on the search committee – the process seems to go more smoothly, for some reason.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
I haven’t been hired for a full-time position yet, but I think it’s a combination of a lot of factors. To start with, I think you need to have relevant experience/education, and then present yourself well in your application materials. But then there’s a certain level of luck/chance – what jobs are available and who else is applying for them. You may apply for and interview well for a job that you’re well qualified for, but you still may not get the job because another candidate was even more qualified than you.
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!