One institution gave a date for when they would contact people for interviews so you knew if you weren’t contacted by then you probably weren’t being considered.

A hunter and his dog quail hunting De Funiak Springs, Florida
A hunter and his dog quail hunting De Funiak Springs, Florida

Please note: this is an anonymous response to an online survey; I do not have any way of contacting the respondent or verifying responses. Their answers may reflect good, bad, or middling job searching practices. I invite you to take what’s useful and leave the rest.

Your Demographics and Search Parameters

How long have you been job hunting?

√ More than 18 months

Why are you job hunting?  

√ I’m underemployed (not enough hours or overqualified for current position)

√ Looking for more money

√ Looking for a promotion/more responsibility 

√ My current job is boring 

Where do you look for open positions?  

INALJ, Indeed, ALA Connect

What position level are you looking for?  

√ Entry level 

What type(s) of organization are you looking in? 

√ Academic library 

√ Public library 

What part of the world are you in?

√ Midwestern US 

What’s your region like? 

√ Urban area

√ Suburban area 

Are you willing/able to move for employment? 

√ Other: Yes to any places with public transportation (I don’t drive) 

How many jobs have you applied to during your current search? (Please indicate if it’s an estimate or exact)


What steps, actions, or attributes are most important for employers to take to sell you on the job?  

√ Pay well

√ Having (and describing) excellent benefits 

√ Funding professional development 

√ Prioritizing work-life balance 

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

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

Other than not listing a salary range, are there other “red flags” that would prevent you from applying to a job?

If it sounds like it’s actually multiple jobs in one. 

The Process

How much time do you spend preparing an application packet?

1-2 hours

What are the steps you follow to prepare an application packet?

Looking up the institution, tailoring a cover letter to that specific job posting, making sure my resume is up to date/appropriate for that job posting. 

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

 √ Email 

When would you like potential employers to contact you? 

√ To acknowledge my application

√ To tell me if the search is at the interview stage, even if I have not been selected

√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me 

How long do you expect the application process to take, from the point you submit your documents to the point of either an offer or rejection?

A few months

How do you prepare for interviews?

I have a document with some questions I expect/have been asked in the past that I practice. I also recently discovered your database of interview questions and pick out some from there to practice that seem relevant to the job posting. Do more research on the institution/a deep dive of their website. 

What are your most hated interview questions, and why?

Tell us about yourself at the start of the interview. It’s so vague and I don’t know how much to say/which experiences to highlight because what if I highlight something that is going to be a main question later in the interview.  

During your current search, have you had any of the following experiences:

  • Submitted an application and got no response  √ Happened more than once 
  • Had an interview and never heard back  √ Happened more than once 
  • Interviewed for a job where an internal candidate was eventually chosen  √ I don’t know 
  • Asked for an accommodation for a disability  √ Not Applicable
  • Withdrawn an application before the offer stage  √ Not Applicable
  • Turned down an offer √ Not Applicable

What should employers do to make the hiring process better for job hunters?

Not ghost people. One institution gave a date for when they would contact people for interviews so you knew if you weren’t contacted by then you probably weren’t being considered. I liked that since some folks don’t contact you until a person is picked months later so it’s just kind of hanging in limbo. 

You and Your Well-Being

How are you doing, generally?

√ I’m somewhat depressed

√ I’m frustrated

√ I feel supported in my search 

Job Hunting Post Graduate School 

If you have an MLIS or other graduate level degree in a LIS field, what year did you graduate? (Or what year do you anticipate graduating?)


When did you start your job search?

√ Less than six months before graduating with my MLIS/other LIS degree, but still before I graduated 

In relation to your graduation, when did you find your first “professional” position?

√ Six months to a year after graduating 

What kind of work was your first post-graduation professional position? 

√ Full Time 

Did you get support from your library school for your first job hunt (and/or any subsequent ones)?

Yes they offered mock interviews and there were two interview rooms you could book.  


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Filed under 2023 Job Hunter's Survey

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