Don’t get lost in searching, make sure you take care of your family’s financial needs, the job satisfaction will eventually come.

Bill Chase is an experienced professional and 2020 MLIS graduate of Kent State University, concentrating in archival practices.  He is a passionate historian who seeks to enable others to pursue their own dreams and passions through the power of information.  Having graduated during the pandemic, he continues to seek out his first paid LIS related position while working in an unrelated but non-profit organization.

Your Demographics and Search Parameters

How long have you been job hunting?

√ More than 18 months 

Why are you job hunting?  

√ This is the next step after finishing library/archives/other LIS graduate degree 

√ I’m employed outside of the field and I’d like to be in it 

√ My current job is boring

Where do you look for open positions?  

Indeed, Archivesgig, SAA job board, ALA job board, normally have to search each organization individually

What position level are you looking for?  

√ Entry level

√ Requiring at least two years of experience 

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

√ Archives 

√ Other: Museum

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southeastern US 

What’s your region like? 

√ Urban area

√ Suburban area 

Are you willing/able to move for employment? 

√ No 

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

Pay range, location near me, room for advancement

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

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?

Temporary or term position without long-term security

The Process

How much time do you spend preparing an application packet?

2-3 hours

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

Research the organization and staff 

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 an organization’s application process to take, from the point you submit your documents to the point of either an offer or rejection?

1 month

How do you prepare for interviews?

Deep dive research on the organization and collections

What are your most hated interview questions, and why?

Anything that starts with “Tell me a time when…”

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

  • Submitted an application and got no response  √ Happened the majority of the time or always
  • Had an interview and never heard back  √ Happened the majority of the time or always 
  • 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  √ Happened once  
  • Turned down an offer √ Not Applicable

If you have ever withdrawn an application, why?

Once, I discovered an error to correct, resubmitted but never called back. 

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

Consider people with similar but non-LIS specific experience. 

You and Your Well-Being

How are you doing, generally?

√ I’m maintaining

√ I’m frustrated 

√ I feel alone in my search 

What are your job search self-care strategies?

Don’t get lost in searching, make sure you take care of your family’s financial needs, the job satisfaction will eventually come. 

Do you have any advice or words of support you’d like to share with other job hunters, is there anything you’d like to say to employers, or is there anything else you’d like to say about job hunting?

To employers, include salary please.  Recognize that most positions are underpaid considering the education required.  Don’t be surprised when people jump ship (or industry) to make more money. 

Do you have any comments for Emily (the survey author) or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Thank you for putting this together!

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 first job search for a “professional” position (or other position that utilized your degree)?

√ More than six months before graduating with my MLIS/other LIS degree 

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

√ Hasn’t happened yet – I’m still looking 

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

√ Other: Volunteer / Unpaid

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


Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about searching for or finding your first post-graduation position?

Start volunteering ASAP in library school to get networking and experience or wait to go to library school until after you’re in the field and have LIS experience. 

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Filed under 2023 Job Hunter's Survey

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