“currently employed in the LIS field, but have been applying to jobs sporadically if they interest me.”

Hillebrand Steve, 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?

√ Other: currently employed in the LIS field, but have been applying to jobs sporadically if they interest me.

Why are you job hunting?  

√ I’m underemployed (not enough hours or overqualified for current position) 

√ Looking for more money 

Where do you look for open positions?  

Indeed, ArchivesGig, Museum Savvy

What position level are you looking for?  

√ Requiring at least two years of experience 

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

√ Archives 

What part of the world are you in?

√ Northeastern US 

What’s your region like? 

√ Urban area 

Are you willing/able to move for employment? 

√ Yes, anywhere 

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

sufficient pay, interesting to me, and varied responsibilities

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

about 10

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

√ Introducing me to staff

√ Having a good reputation 

√ 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?

hiring several positions at once (unless they are new positions)

The Process

How much time do you spend preparing an application packet?

30 minutes to an hour (depending on application requirements)

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

update resume, write a cover letter, research institution

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?

One to two months

How do you prepare for interviews?

research the institution and re-read the job description

What are your most hated interview questions, and why?

“Tell me about yourself” because it seems like the interviewer did not read my resume or cover letter.

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 √ Not Applicable
  • 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 √ Not Applicable
  • Turned down an offer √ Not Applicable

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

Keep in better contact with those applying for positions, even if they are not considered for an interview. This will keep job hunters from wasting their time waiting for an institution to contact them.

You and Your Well-Being

How are you doing, generally?

√ I’m optimistic

√ I’m maintaining 

What are your job search self-care strategies?


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?

Have a cover letter and resume “template” that you can easily adjust to fit various job descriptions.

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

Could include a question regarding compensation of jobs individuals are applying for. For example, “What is your desired salary for a new position?” or “What is the typical pay range for positions you’ve applied to?”

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 

√ Contract

√ Temporary/Limited Term 

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?

I interned at the institution prior to being hired by them. Also, I was kept on after my six-month term/contract and am now permanent staff.

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Filed under 2023 Job Hunter's Survey

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