Category Archives: Canada

I prefer to work with some of the newest and latest technology available

HUNTING TRIPThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following level: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience

I completed a research internship doing psychological research for 4 months. I spent 4 years doing toastmasters. I founded and was president of a group that did mental health promotion and created scholarships for people with mental illness. I did job shadowing in an emergency department for 4 months. I spent 3 years doing campus late night escort and crime watch volunteering. I taught science to elementary students for 4 months. I volunteered at an art gallery for 3 years.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in the  Canada and is willing to move anywhere.

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

I have five, and don’t think I can really summarize it in 3.

1) Challenging/Fulfilling work environment – I get bored very easily and need to work in a job where I’m constantly challenged, engaged, presented with new tasks, and given the ability to evolve. I don’t like easy work, sounds weird, but boredom is the death of me, as is sitting around doing nothing. It would also be a positive if there is time allocated for professional development.

2) Facilities/degree of development of facilities – I prefer to work with some of the newest and latest technology available. This preference goes hand in hand with my desire for challenging and fulfilling work. I always am reading or interested in learning about new developments, and think the job should be just as much a place to engage with new developments and technology as reading about them in an academic journal. I don’t like to work in antiquated facilities.

3) People – I really need to work with people who are friendly, enthusiastic, and for lack of a better word, really top of the line at what they do. I find people who are pessimistic, don’t try at their job, or who aren’t engaged in their profession to be very frustrating. These sort of people create a culture where “getting paid to do as little as possible is revered, which I think is often grounded in the perception that what you get out of a job is completely commensurate with the proportion of work you have to do per dollar you own. I may be biased in a way, but I do not like laziness, nor do I like it when people are doing something they are uninterested in, or dislike. I am not judging these type of people, but it’s contrary to my personality and to the atmosphere I feel most comfortable with in a job setting. For that reason, I find it preferable to work with enthusiastic, friendly people.

4) Travel – I like to travel, very simply. I would prefer a job where I wouldn’t have to come to the same place every day for the whole year. This includes going to meetings, going to presentation, professional development within a city, but getting to work in a dynamic environment. Basically, I like variety.

5) Money and benefits – Very straight forward.

Where do you look for open positions?

I tend to look for jobs via group LinkedIn groups or job postings. I’ve also gone to my alma mater’s job postings on their online career services. I tend to visit government websites as well, as they generally hire for a wide variety of skills, and I’m usually qualified for a subset of those jobs. The government of Canada is another great resource. For some positions, I ask friends directly about positions in their industry. I’ll often go to professional networking events as well, including local business and young professionals networking dinners. I also enjoy going to toastmasters, as you get a chance to showcase, personally and in an intimate setting, your skills. In addition you get to personally know potential employers or partners, or investors in a personal business.

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

√ Other: Yes, creates transparency, and lays out employer and employee expectations, so as not to effect other aspects of the hiring process.

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

When I apply for a new job, I usually spend some time reading the companies website. Some of the things I look for are what projects the company is engaged in, the various locations the company may be operating in as I’m interested in travel or working in different locations. Another important thing I do is to get different views of the company by reading some web sites of the companies subsidiaries or alternative websites geared to a different population (business partners rather than the general public.)

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Being taken out to meal
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
√ Being able to present

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Post in depth descriptions of what they are looking for. I find many job postings are far too vague; many people possess similar or tangental skills but may have a slightly different degree or background. This lack of detail makes it difficult for people to know whether to apply or not, and what experiences they should include in their cover letter. It also makes the companies endeavors more vague, as it is far easier to extrapolate company culture. From detailed job responsibilities, skill requirements, etc. While at times, difficult, it would be nice to have employee accounts of company culture, or to have a couple of employees to talk to before an interview. Clearly stating on the application website that this is standard may increase the sense of trust, and certainty of correct fit for potential applicants.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Transparency is absolutely the biggest thing. Clear job expectations, and additional skills or training required to perform the job and any further responsibilities that may arise in the shorter term trajectory of a tenure with the company.

The preferable geographic locations of the work, and if there is any flexibility both in terms of geographic location as well as directly related to the workplace, things like ability to work from home, teleconferencing, the amount of travel required. This information may be helpful for a number of reasons; for example, if you are able to work from home, you may be able to do another job, as long as it doesn’t conflict with your work performance with the job you are applying for.

An understanding of the hiring process, even superficially explained, would be nice, in order to understand the process and to make appropriate decision in relation to our knowledge of how the process is playing out in our own individual situation. This is helpful for many reasons: planning personal events during the hiring process or whether to continue other work during the process.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Putting an effort in to really understand the company. Many of the behaviors and research into knowing whether a company is right for you, in terms of logistics, financial remuneration, work/life balance, company culture, nature of the work, etc. If you put in a great deal of effort to attain this information you will not only do a favor to yourself by making sure you find a job that is the right fit for you, but you will also show potential employers that you are interested and enthusiastic about their company. While skill is certainly an advantage in any situation, life is all about adapting and continually learning. One of the best attributes in my mind is an employee who is able to continually learn, put in the effort to stay at the top of their discipline. Many of these characteristics lead to a multi-disciplinary skill set that can be adapted to many different positions, and remain a valuable asset adapting to the changing requirements for the position they are initially hired for.

If you put this effort in, it is often flagrantly obvious to potential employers. The level of detail in the cover letter, the tailored CV which not only outlines strengths critical for the position and company at hand, but discusses many of the roles of the company, in terms of the roles and responsibilities, in addition to addressing, as I said earlier, how they fit those responsibilities. Finally, by attaining a depth of knowledge about the company before applying, you will, in your cover letter and CV, as I mentioned earlier, will be able to put the direct work responsibilities and your suitability for them in the context of the greater company picture. This shows ambition, and a keenness to adapt to a number of roles in the company, as well as work with people in other departments, divisions, and other members of a team which may have different skills.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Canada, Job hunter's survey

we’ve been hiring junior positions, so we don’t interview people who graduated more than 2-3 years ago.

Market scene. Women and men. 1922 2This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

web/UX, preservation, cataloguers, project managers, client services

This librarian works at a library with 10-50  staff members in an urban area in the Canada.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 51-75 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Their cover letter suggested their were competent and ready to learn.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Committee members each make a top ten list, then we interview the common names across lists. If a committee member feels very strongly about a candidate who isn’t on many lists, we usually interview them as well.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Cover letter is sloppily done, or not tailored to the position. Lately we’ve been hiring junior positions, so we don’t interview people who graduated more than 2-3 years ago.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: if they ask, which is rare

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

You don’t have to have every single qualification, you just need to explain how you’d get there. Once you’re in the interview, be honest about what you don’t know and how you’d figure it out— this looks 100 times better than when someone pretends to know everything but can’t actually answer in any depth.

I want to hire someone who is

smart

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Some experience that the candidate can demonstrate the relevance of — but this experience is not necessarily closely related to the job.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We’re very, very busy and always looking to expand.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Canada, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

We have limited time to conduct interviews, so we usually choose the top three candidates

Vegetable and flower seller and stall, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WashingtonThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Children’s librarians and library technicians

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in Canada .

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Met the basic requirements of the job description.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Two or more librarians usually form a hiring committee.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Not have the basic requirements (education). We have limited time to conduct interviews, so we usually choose the top three candidates (based on to what extent they meet other criteria we have set out like years of experience, relevant experience, interests relating to the job).

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Yes

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Keep the cover letter under one page, in a normal sized font.

I want to hire someone who is

awesome

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

We usually ask for 1-2 years experience for entry level positions, but have often hired candidates with less experience or directly out of school.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Canada, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Print the application, think about it for a few days, apply at last minute (sad, but true).

Hunting party, probably Christchurch district, [ca 1915]This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

Interned at a museum library doing archives for 5 months
Volunteered at a museum library as a librarian for 2 years

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Canada and is not willing to move anywhere.

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

Supportive manager;
Ability to grow in a position/place of employment;
Benefits

Where do you look for open positions?

Local university’s LIS job site;
INALJ
National Library Association job board

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

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

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Print the application, think about it for a few days, apply at last minute (sad, but true).

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

I don’t know about applying, but when considering resumes look at applicants that have a diverse background/work experience. I think a lot of libraries miss out on hiring excellent people because they haven’t done the same exact job since high school.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Don’t ask multi-part questions all at once. This recently happened to me in an interview. As a person who also conducts hiring interviews I consider this a no-no. Ask one question at a time. This allows for careful consideration of all the questions asked.
Also, employers shouldn’t leave candidates in the dark after interviewing. If they didn’t get the job let them know by email or mail. It’s considerate.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing the right people.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Canada, Job hunter's survey, Public, Special, Urban area

I’m primarily looking for jobs on the East Coast, and it’s not going very well

The Young People's Librarian, 1938 This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for Less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries,  Archives, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I’ve worked in an academic library for almost 2 years, so I’m on the cusp of being entry-level, but right after I graduated, I had a 4-month (paid) internship that was funded by Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations. It was a really wonderful experience and I encourage other Canadian LIS/archives students to take look at those postings.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in Canada, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

-an institution that is located in a city
-a position where I’ll get to do a variety of work
-a supportive organizational culture where I get to learn from my colleagues

Where do you look for open positions?

iSchool job sites, INALG, professional listservs, Archives Gig

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

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I’ve saved every job application I’ve ever written, so I go and find a previous application that is the most similar to the one I’m currently applying for, and I use that cover letter as a template. However, I always end up re-writing the whole thing because I want to use the same language and structure as the job posting. And I tweak my CV a little bit depending on the posting. About 2 hours in total.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Is this really an issue? I don’t feel like there is ever a dearth of qualified and over-qualified folks looking for and applying for library jobs anywhere.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communicate more clearly, and let people know what the timeline for the selection process will look like. I recently had an interview with a library, and a couple of weeks afterwards they announced the person who got the position on twitter, and then a couple of weeks after that they emailed me to tell me that I hadn’t be selected for the job. That was very rude.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Establishing yourself and making connections in the community where you’d like to work. I’m on the West Coast, but I’m primarily looking for jobs on the East Coast, and it’s not going very well. I’ve met tonnes of people and made lots of connections in the west, but it’s not ultimately going to to serve me very well if I want to move.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Canada, Job hunter's survey, Urban area

been losing positions

View of street vendors at 7th and B Streets, NW (Ca. 1880) MarketThis anonymous interview is with a special librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Just librarians

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in Canada.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 75-100

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

match many of the skills looked for as per job ad

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

evaluated by two librarians on staff – separate evaluations then discussion to see matches/mismatches before moving to interview stage

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

lack of qualifications as per job ad; overqualified for position – assumption was pay would be insufficient or job not interesting enough to keep person in position for several years

misspellings in resume/letter

addressing different job ad in cover letter

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

check, double check spelling and that you are sending correct letter to correct job application

good to reach for something that you are not completely qualified for in terms of not as many years of experience as desired if you meet many of the other requirements

I want to hire someone who is

qualified

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 0-10

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0 – been losing positions

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: 0 – losing positions

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Other: None

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Other: None

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Since we do systematic review searches, we require some search experience. Also some teaching experience in some position related to libraries or not.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ I don’t know

Why or why not?

Dying in some areas due to budget constraints

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Canada, Special, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Internal candidates can receive interview feedback with HR

Woman at a market stallThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in Canada.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Met the education and experience requirements

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds based on required experience and union affiliation for internal positions. If applicant pool is still too large HR weeds based on additional qualifications (public library experience vs other, length of experience, how recent is experience). Then interviews with hiring committee of HR and librarians

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Lacking required education or experience.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: Internal candidates can receive interview feedback with HR

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Be sure to clearly demonstrate how you meet the listed requirements or you won’t get past the initial screening.

I want to hire someone who is

adaptable

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Not required, but preference may be given to those with experience.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Librarians always adapt to provide a variety of services to their communities. It may look different than the past but will always be a vital role.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Canada, Public, State of the Job Market 2015