“Keep trying and something will eventually come”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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?

√ Less than six 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) 

√ I’m worried I will be laid off/let go/fired from my current position 

Where do you look for open positions?  

INALJ, LinkedIn

What position level are you looking for?  

√ Requiring at least two years of experience

√ Supervisory 

√ Clerk/Library Assistant 

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

√ Academic library 

√ Library vendor/service provider 

√ Special library 

What part of the world are you in?

√ Midwestern US 

What’s your region like? 

√ Rural area 

Are you willing/able to move for employment? 

√ No 

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

Technical service opportunities, remote work if possible, academic work

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 

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

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be) 

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

Poor reputation, vague job description 

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?

Tweak resume, cover letter, supplemental questions 

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?

A few weeks

How do you prepare for interviews?

Get to know the organization, practice answers from past interviews that may be relevant, prepare questions 

What are your most hated interview questions, and why?

About personal strengths and weaknesses 

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 once  
  • Interviewed for a job where an internal candidate was eventually chosen  √ Happened more than once 
  • Asked for an accommodation for a disability  √ I don’t know  
  • Withdrawn an application before the offer stage  √ I don’t know  
  • Turned down an offer √ I don’t know  

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


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

Post across multiple job sites, open communication 

You and Your Well-Being

How are you doing, generally?

√ I’m somewhat depressed 

√ Not out of money yet, but worried 

√ I feel alone in my search 

What are your job search self-care strategies?

Limit time spent applying each day within reason

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?

Keep trying and something will eventually come

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?

√ More than three years 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)?

Very little 

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Filed under 2023 Job Hunter's Survey

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