Category Archives: City/town

Nothing is worse than getting hired and then sitting around waiting for information about the hiring process.

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, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, School libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

6 years public library experience (through high school, college, and post-undergrad)
Marketing & Publicity Internship
Youth Activism volunteer

This job hunter is in a city/town, in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

 1. If it’s full time and if not, does it pay enough that I could survive for a bit while I look for a second job
2. If FT, benefits/sick/vacation
3. Location. I’m honestly not too picky about location, but it’s difficult to job-search across states as I’ve learned that many employers are very leery about hiring from out of state.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALAJoblist, INALJ (spanning several states), local library websites

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?

Hours: adjusting my cover letter, making sure my resume is up-to-date, making sure I crossed all of my ‘t’s and dotted all of my ‘i’s.

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 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
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Be specific in what it is that you’re looking for in a potential candidate. Yes, being broad in what your post can attract a wide pool of applicants, but what if you get someone who’s great at one thing but downright awful at another? People will pick and choose what attributes of a job application they desire and you won’t get the full package you want.
Hire from outside. OR: do internal recruiting for a week. After a week if there are no internal bites, post the job publicly. It’s incredibly frustrating to apply for a job only to discover that the employer has gone with an internal candidate, despite the job being posted publicly.
Be honest in what is required of the job. Going to require 2 nights and one weekend a month? Mention that.
If it’s part time, will the opportunity arise for it to go full-time? Mention that — especially if it’s a position that could only go full-time if the applicant gets an MLIS.

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

Communicate.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Communicate what is happening, where you are in the process, who you are in contact with and who, if anyone, I should be in contact with. Nothing is worse than getting hired and then sitting around waiting for information about the hiring process.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I wish I had a clear-cut idea. I wish I could say it’s ‘having a perfect resume!’ or ‘having a stunning cover letter!’ or ‘having TONS of experience’ but surely, it’s not just that. All I can say is be personable and passionate about your profession. Know how to market yourself. If you’re unemployed, learn a new skill, a valuable skill — web design, a programming language. These will make you more marketable and wanted in information professions.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Great survey. Loving reading through the responses.

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!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, City/town, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, MLIS Students, Public, School, Special

Don’t insist on a single “right” way to process every applicant

Goose hunting in Klamath County, Oregon, OSU Special Collections via Flickr CommonsThis 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 A year to 18 months. This person is looking in Academic library, Archives, Library vendor/service provider, Public library, School library, Special library at the Entry level and for positions Requiring at least two years of experience. This job hunter is in a City/Town in the Western US and is willing to move To a specific area.

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

I’m looking within a geographically-targeted area for paraprofessional library openings that I feel match my qualifications. I want to be physically active on the job (i.e. shelving returns) and be able to walk or bike to work. In my ideal job, supervisors and colleagues would have collaborative relationships, and expectations would be communicated explicitly.

Where do you look for open positions? (e.g. ALA Joblist, professional listserv, LinkedIn)

Potential employers’ websites, professional listservs, ALA Joblist, LinkedIn

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

√ Yes

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

I compose a cover letter for each position I apply to. I incorporate the job description’s language when describing my qualifications and addressing ways that I will contribute to the employer’s diverse workplace.

The application process for many library jobs is through a shared portal (i.e. NeoGov), which streamlines attaching certain files that are associated with my profile – letters of reference, degree and certificate, unofficial transcripts.

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 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

√ Other: Invite me for an interview and offer me the job

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
√ The interview itself–how it’s conducted, the people i meet, etc.

√ Clear understanding of responsibilities

√ Potential relationship with supervisor and colleagues

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

Look at barriers to hiring and employment and be open to solutions that eliminate those barriers. For example, to attract long-distance applicants, consider video interviews. Don’t insist on a single “right” way to process every applicant, or assume that everyone will perform essential functions in exactly the same way.

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

Look beyond superficial impressions that an applicant might present, recognizing that the job-application structure does not duplicate the work environment.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I hope the most significant factor is possessing the desired skills. A successful interview should establish the abilities of the job applicant. Beyond that, I think a lot depends upon the mindset and attitudes that have been brought together. Work and management styles, values held, even the other person’s “likability.”

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Archives, City/town, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, Public, School, Special, Western US

When I open my saved bookmarks, Google Chrome asks me if I’m sure I want to open that many

Librarian working at the Pointe Coupee Parish Parish library in New Roads Louisiana in 1936This 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 Six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

As an intern, I worked for two years in reference and instruction in a large academic library, and for a little over a year in a special library.

This job hunter is in an city/town, in the Southern US,  and is willing to move within the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

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

I’m looking for something that will allow me to grow professionally, something that will allow me to have an impact on the organization/institution/community, and something with a high enough salary to allow me to pay off my student loans.

Where do you look for open positions?

When I open my saved bookmarks, Google Chrome asks me if I’m sure I want to open that many…ALA Joblist, library associations for the states I’m open to, INALJ, LisList, professional listservs, the jobs email list for my library school.

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?

I usually print off the job description so that I can annotated it, and I do a little research on the institution/library to see what kind of place it is. Then I go to my collection of resumes and cover letters and see if anything that I’ve written before matches the job description. If so, I tweak those documents to fit the job description. Depending on how much tweaking needs to be done, I probably spend about 5-6 hours on each application, usually over the course of 3-4 days.

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

√ Other: I have been a bit vague sometimes, but haven’t lied.

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?

√ 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)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Being able to present

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

I think they should write clear job descriptions – don’t rely on jargon to fill it up. Advertise the job widely on listservs and job boards. Post the salary range. Don’t make candidates jump through a ton of hoops to apply (cover letter! resume! reference letters in advance! official copies of transcripts! teaching philosophy/statement on __________! oh, and please mail it all to us!).

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

Be as timely as you can – I’m applying to academic libraries, and there is really no good reason that a hiring process should take 6 months from job posting to offer being made. Communicate with applicants to appraise them of where the search committee is in the hiring process. I actually prefer when communication goes through HR or someone other than someone on the search committee – the process seems to go more smoothly, for some reason.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I haven’t been hired for a full-time position yet, but I think it’s a combination of a lot of factors. To start with, I think you need to have relevant experience/education, and then present yourself well in your application materials. But then there’s a certain level of luck/chance – what jobs are available and who else is applying for them. You may apply for and interview well for a job that you’re well qualified for, but you still may not get the job because another candidate was even more qualified than you.

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!

1 Comment

Filed under Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Southern US

If you have no intention of hiring an outsider (or insider) don’t have them go through the process.

Library in United States National Museum BuildingThis 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, Public libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I’ve been in the field for nearly nine years, but my internship was the most valuable experience of my graduate education.

This job hunter is in an city/town, in the Western US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Community engagement, appropriate staffing (good leadership to front-line staff ratio), good morale in front-line staff.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, INALJ, Indeed

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

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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

Depending on the position, I’ll spend 2-5 hours per listing.

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 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
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Take personal preferences and prejudice out of the equation.

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

If you have no intention of hiring an outsider (or insider) don’t have them go through the process.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

If I knew that, I wouldn’t be looking right now 🙂

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!

2 Comments

Filed under Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Public, Western US

I’m only applying to federal jobs and public colleges and universities where the salary range is usually posted.

Geraldine Fain Browses in the Free LibraryThis 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 and Federal  libraries, at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory. This job hunter is in a city/town, in the Southern US, and is searching for work in a particular city.

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

In no particular order: A place that supports professional development. A place where I don’t mind coming to work every day. A place that pays me well enough to sustain myself and pay off my student loans.

Where do you look for open positions?

Various listservs (the good jobs are usually posted on them the aggregator sites like INALJ.) State Library Association website Employer’s website Indeed INALJ USA Jobs

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

√ Other: I’m only applying to federal jobs and public colleges and universities where the salary range is usually posted.

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

I read the job description several times to make sure that I meet most (if not all) of the qualifications. I have several resumes and CVs that I work from, so I usually customize one of them for the position to which I’m applying. Since I’m working full time, it often takes me a week or two to finish an application packet.

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 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?

√ 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)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
√ Being able to present
√ Other: How knowledgeable the search committee is about the position. I went to one interview where the search committee head could hardly answer my questions.

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

I work in academia so I know the hiring process can be glacial. I just ask to be kept in the loop about my status as a candidate.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Meeting the job qualifications, developing a rapport with the search committee, and presenting yourself well.

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!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Southern US

Pay them enough. Hire other bright people. Trust them to do their jobs well until proven otherwise.

Nevins Memorial Library First Librarians c. 1900This 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. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience.:

I am in my second year of an MSLS program and will graduate in May. I have worked at the same job for two years, which is with a private, religious-affiliated college in its archives. I have appraised, processed, described, and digitized collections. I worked in a public library as an assistant in the circulation and reference departments before attending library school. I also volunteered as a museum intern for a local history society and as a processing intern for a state archive.

This job hunter is in a city/town, in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere in the Southeast.

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

Ability to cover my expenses, an environment that encourages development as a professional, and the ability to showcase my skills

Where do you look for open positions?

Archives Gig, job listserv through my graduate program, professional listservs, INALJ

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

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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

Read the job announcement, tailor the resume and cover letter to highlight skills mentioned in the announcement, proofread, and submit. It generally takes two hours.

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 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?

√ 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)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Pay them enough. Hire other bright people. Trust them to do their jobs well until proven otherwise.

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

I really hate Skype interviews. I realize that it’s supposed to save candidates and institutions some money, but they’re always awkward.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being genuine. You won’t fit every situation, so it’s far better to be honest about who you are so that you’re hired into the right place.

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Archives, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Southern US

Oddities in the application packet can also lead to disqualification–typos, use of strange fonts, photos, etc.

At center market. 11 year old celery vender. He sold until 11 P.M. and was out again Sunday morning selling papers and gum. Has been in this country only half a year. Washington D.C., 04131912 This anonymous interview is with an academic 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:

catalogers, instruction/reference specialists, specialized areas (GIS, Data, etc)

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an small city/town in the Northeastern US.

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?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Background/experience matched job qualifications; applicants’ cover letter showed interest and engagement.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applicants are reviewed by search committee, who conduct phone interviews with top candidates (5-10). That is used to determine the 2-4 candidates to bring to campus. Final word on selection is from library director, with the search committee’s nomination.

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

Lack of fit–background, education doesn’t match job requirements. The “why are they applying for this job?” question is important–must come across as engaging and sharp. Oddities in the application packet can also lead to disqualification–typos, use of strange fonts, photos, etc.

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

√ Other: ONly to final candidates not selected

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

Craft your cover letter and resume to make it appear that you are enthusiastic/passionate, innovative, focused and sharp. Cover letter is very important for this. Make it seem that this job is clearly a dream job, and explain why. Flatter the search committee.

I want to hire someone who is

passionate

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?

√ 2

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

√ 3-4

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?

√ Yes

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?

No–right out of library school is ok, but experiences in school (projects, internships, teaching, etc) very important.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We are in the information age, and librarians are the information professionals. We need to find our niches, work on them, and the market ourselves. Google will not replace need for human help.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, City/town, Northeastern US, State of the Job Market 2015