“it’s obvious that the position is actually 2-3 roles crammed into one.”

Gentry George, 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?

√ 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 

√ 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

√ My current job is awful/toxic 

√ Because I reassessed my priorities after COVID 

Where do you look for open positions?  

LinkedIn, Code4Lib, local sites

What position level are you looking for?  

√ Senior Librarian 

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

√ Archives

√ Library vendor/service provider 

√ Special library 

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southeastern US 

What’s your region like? 

√ Urban area 

Are you willing/able to move for employment? 

√ Yes, within my state 

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

Remote/hybrid setting, more responsibility, better culture

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

4 (est)

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 

√ Having a good reputation 

√ 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?

 Not being clear on what the duties are, or it’s obvious that the position is actually 2-3 roles crammed into one.

The Process

How much time do you spend preparing an application packet?

2-3 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?

1-2 months

How do you prepare for interviews?

Reading advice and practice questions online, writing down possible responses

What are your most hated interview questions, and why?

“Why do you want to work here?”; “Tell me about yourself” (too vague); “What is your biggest weakness?” (boring overused question)

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

  • Submitted an application and got no response  √ Happened 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  √ Happened once 
  • Turned down an offer √ I don’t know 

If you have ever withdrawn an application, why?

After looking at the salary and cost of living, it wouldn’t be an advancement from where I was at the time.

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

Be transparent and willing to accommodate–everyone’s got different needs.

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?)


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

√ 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?

√ 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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