“Do you want to know about my employment history? How I work? What I like to do on the weekends? My views on global warming?”

Constable examining licenses - hunting (LOC)
Constable examining licenses – hunting (LOC)

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 with a different population

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

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

√ My current job is boring 

√ I need more flexibility in my schedule (to care for dependents or otherwise) 

Where do you look for open positions?  

LinkedIn, ALA JobLIST, wherever I see stuff (e.g. Twitter, FB, TikTok)

What position level are you looking for?  

√ Requiring at least two years of experience 

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

√ Academic library

√ Archives

√ Library vendor/service provider 

√ Special library 

What part of the world are you in?

√ Western US (including Pacific Northwest) 

What’s your region like? 

√ Urban area 

Are you willing/able to move for employment? 

√ Yes, anywhere 

√ Yes, to a specific list of places 

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

Remote work, pay, doing something meaningful

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 

√ Prioritizing EDI work

√ 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?

Any version of the phrase “someone willing to jump in/get their hands dirty in a fast paced environment” because that usually means they want you to work too hard for not enough pay.

The salary range literally being too low to live on.

The Process

How much time do you spend preparing an application packet?

1-5 hours

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

Update resume based on keywords in the ad, write cover letter using information from the job ad + company website (longest portion), fill out online application form

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?

6 weeks

How do you prepare for interviews?

Visit company website and review for keywords and core values, review job ad, study any skills or applications that were listed as necessary

What are your most hated interview questions, and why?

“Tell us about yourself.” Do you want to know about my employment history? How I work? What I like to do on the weekends? My views on global warming? 

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 more than once  
  • Interviewed for a job where an internal candidate was eventually chosen  √ Happened the majority of the time or always 
  • 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?

Please just give us some kind of response! Send out an automated email when you’ve moved on to the next step in the process or something! It is so tiring to have to do all these job applications and then to hear absolutely nothing and never know if they even filled the position (ESPECIALLY in academia).

You and Your Well-Being

How are you doing, generally?

√ I’m somewhat depressed 

√ I’m frustrated 

√ 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?)

MLIS, 2012

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?

√ I was actually hired before I graduated 

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)?


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Filed under 2023 Job Hunter's Survey

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