Applied to a job that required 5 references!!! They sent me 3 rejection letters. Yeesh I get it!

Hunting Party in the Pinelands by the Florida State Archives

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?

√ A year to 18 months 

Why are you job hunting?  

√ Looking for more money

√ I want to work at a different type of library/institution

√ Looking for remote/virtual work (or at least hybrid)

√ My current job provides insufficient or no benefits (Healthcare or beyond)

√ My current job is boring 

Where do you look for open positions?  

Metro ala Joblist linkedin association of pnw libraries

What position level are you looking for?  

√ Requiring at least two years of experience 

√ Supervisory

√ Department Head

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

√ Academic library 

√ Special library 

What part of the world are you in?

√ Mid-Atlantic US

What’s your region like? 

√ Urban area 

Are you willing/able to move for employment? 

√ Yes, to a specific list of places 

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

Money and hybrid work 

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

Lolol I think 64ish 

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  

√ 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?

Too many duties the 5 jobs in one

The Process

How much time do you spend preparing an application packet?

Depends on how interested I am but maybe 3 hours 

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?

3 months 

How do you prepare for interviews?


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  √ Happened more than once  
  • Asked for an accommodation for a disability  √ Happened once  
  • Withdrawn an application before the offer stage  √ Happened once  
  • Turned down an offer √ Happened more than once 

If you have ever withdrawn an application, why?

Found out weird stuff about employer

If you’ve turned down an offer (or offers), why?

Money location  

If you want to share a great, inspirational, funny,  horrific or other story about an experience you have had at any stage in the hiring process, please do so here:

Applied to a job that required 5 references!!! They sent me 3 rejection letters. Yeesh I get it!

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

Pay more

You and Your Well-Being

How are you doing, generally?

√ I’m somewhat depressed 

√ I feel alone 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 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?

√ Less than six months 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)?



1 Comment

Filed under 2023 Job Hunter's Survey

One response to “Applied to a job that required 5 references!!! They sent me 3 rejection letters. Yeesh I get it!

  1. Also liking that the title of your post feels cutting like a haiku and can inspire a haiku that could go like: Applied to a job/ requiring 5 references!/Rejected 3 times.


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