Tag Archives: Academic library

I am Looking at Entry-level Assistant Jobs in Order to Gain Experience

Duck shooting at Jungara, on Freshwater Creek, Cairns, ca. 1907This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed and has been hired within the last two months. This person has been job hunting for less than six months and is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, and School libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. S/he is planning for library school, but has not yet started:

I don’t have a master’s degree, but I am looking at entry-level assistant jobs in order to gain experience before investing in graduate school. I volunteer at my local library in the audio-visual department. For the most part, I shelve materials after they are returned, but I sometimes sort materials. I have also helped one of the librarians in the department prepare the cd shelves for recarpeting.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Southern US, and says:

I prefer to stay where I am, but I am currently considering moving somethere within the state

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

A job with steady hours and very little overtime (unless stated in the job description); that is not highly stressful, and that offers opportunities to advance

Where do you look for open positions?

county library websites, college websites, Linkedin, indeed.com, simplyhired.com, and on occasion, state workforce websites.

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?

My application packet includes a custom-tailored résumé, cover letter, and the application form (if applicable). I usually provide a list of references or reference letters if the job description states those items are needed.

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

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Look at transferable skills in addition to the skills those candidates already have and also consider a candidate’s willingness and initiative, which can better serve an organization rather than someone who has all the qualifications but is not willing to learn or is somewhat inflexible in regards to duties.

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, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Public, School, Southern US

It’s being a young, recent MLS grad who is willing to take a smallish salary

Seminole woman and children gigging frogs near the Tamiami TrailThis 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, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Senior Librarian.
This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US, and is not willing to move.

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

It’s difficult to narrow it to 3, but I guess the first thing I look for is whether it is in the type of library where I’d like to work. Is the salary fair? What are the hours like? How close is it to home?

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Job Bank, professional association listservs, LinkedIn, other websites

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?

I spend at least an hour to 90 minutes per packet, and I have to admit, I don’t rewrite everything. If I did that, it would probably take me closer to 4 hours per packet.

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?

Offer fair salaries to attract the appropriate person for the job, not just someone they can pay the least.

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

Universities could have more user-friendly job application interfaces. Goldey-Beacom College actually has a good one, but most others are sooo painful!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I wish I knew. I’m probably a little bitter, but I think it’s being a young, recent MLS grad who is willing to take a smallish salary because it’s his or her 1st or 2nd job out of grad school.

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

Thank you for this opportunity! I hope it helps librarians’ job prospects! Happy New Year!

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, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Special, Suburban area

I am a Terrible Liar, So I Avoid it Like the Plague

Man on Snowshoes Carrying RifleThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), and has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, and Museum / special collections, at the following levels: Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, and Director/Dean. This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA joblist, CT library jobs, Educause, Highered jobs, Indeed, Libgig, LISjobs, MBCL job listings, Metro.org, NYline, Simply hired, SLA-ny, USAjobs.

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?

Between one and five hours, over a span of days.

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

√ Other: I am a terrible liar, so I avoid it like the plague. But I have sometimes wondered after the fact whether my answers were full enough.

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
√ Other: To let me know that my references will be contacted.

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: One-on-one meeting with potential supervisor.

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

Advertise widely and keep positions open until filled.

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

Provide written interview agendas ahead of time, along with the names of those on the committee, and/or those with whom the candidate will be meeting.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Competence, confidence, and a clear recognition of what your weaknesses as a candidate are.

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

It would be good to know how many applications (on average) candidates are submitting prior to getting an interview and/or being hired.

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, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Academic Library Jobs

I’m glad to be able to present this site, not only because it will be a great resource for all you academic librarians (present and future), but because I think Molly has done a good job of explaining how a “job ad junkie” can turn a quirky habit into a very helpful resource.  Today’s post looks at Academic Library Jobs.


Academic Library Jobs

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

Academic Library Jobs is a mobile-friendly website that features a curated list of job listings in academic libraries. It includes job listings from public and private colleges and universities in the United States, most requiring a master’s degree in a library-related field.

When was it started? Why was it started?

It started about a year before it was actually launched. 🙂 In the summer of 2012, I was working in a university IT department, and, like many people I’ve talked to, spent my breaks surfing job ads on my phone. I noticed that many job ads were pretty hard to view that way, and I’d end up emailing myself a reminder to check a particular job when I got home.

I had been wanting to try my hand at app development, so I decided to write an app that would deliver job ads. Then I started trying to narrow down the kinds of job ads it would include. I kept drifting toward the library jobs (I have an MLIS, but have worked in IT for a long time), and more specifically, toward academic library jobs, because I love working in higher ed.

The problem was that it was taking me so long to develop the app that a lot of great jobs were going by. Finally, in May of 2013, I decided to ditch my app aspirations and find a responsive WordPress theme, so that at least I would have a mobile-friendly site where I could post the jobs I was seeing. I found ThemeHorse’s Clean Retina, which looks lovely on every device I’ve tried it on, with minimal CSS tweaking.

Fortunately, since I had already designed and built the database for the app, I knew where I wanted to go with categories and tags, and what information I wanted to provide with each listing. I decided to include college-town profiles too, because I believe that place is such an important consideration when you’re looking for jobs.

Who runs it?

I do. [Molly Ives Brower] I do all the WordPress wrangling, the job-ad curation, and the tweeting. I do use the editorial “we” from time to time, just because I like that particular affectation. 🙂

Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?

I’m not a career expert–although I’ve had 17 jobs since 1988, so I do have a lot of experience applying for jobs and interviewing. These days I’m an IT consultant, but one of my clients is a library, and I keep up with some of my favorite library issues, thanks to Twitter and my friends in the library world (including my husband, who is the director of an academic library).

My primary qualification to do this is that I am a job-ad junkie. When I started library school I was a clerk/typist in the serials department of a university library, and one of my jobs was to open the mail. Every time we got a new issue of Library Journal or other publications that advertised library jobs (I remember a weekly newsletter that was almost nothing but job ads), I would read them to try to decide what kind of librarian I wanted to be and where I wanted to live when I finished my degree. I’ve never really gotten out of the habit of looking at job ads. It’s become a hobby.

Another hobby of mine is visiting college towns, so I’ve actually been to a lot of the places I link to. I’ve been known to drive two hours out of my way to visit, say, Carbondale, Illinois or Oneonta, New York (Oneonta is one of my favorite college towns, actually). But I haven’t traveled the entire country, of course, so there are a lot I’ve never even been close to.

Who is your target audience?

Academic librarians and people who want to be academic librarians.

What’s the best way to use your site? Should users consult it daily? Or as needed? Should they already know what they need help with, or can they just noodle around?

They can certainly consult it daily if they want to, or they can just follow the RSS feeds. I don’t have ads, so it doesn’t matter to me if people read the feeds (there’s a general feed and one for each state) and never even visit the site.

For those who know what they’re looking for, I’ve tried to make it easy to browse by deadline, state, and job categories, and I tag every job with its institution and location, as well as other tags that seem to fit. I have a category for entry-level jobs, because I know there are always recent graduates out there who are looking for those. There’s a search function, and a calendar that shows every day’s posts. Every Friday I post a list of jobs with deadlines the following week, so that readers will have the weekend to get their application materials together.

Does your site provide:

 Job Listings  Links √ The opportunity for interaction
√ Other: I’m developing my template for location profiles, and occasionally I post links, mostly related more to relocation than job-hunting.

Should readers also look for you on social media? Or is your content available in other formats?

 Twitter: @AcadLibJobs

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No.

Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using your site?

Not yet, but I hope I will someday!

Molly Ives BrowerAnything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?

I don’t include entire job listings, like some of the bigger job sites do. I try to give enough information about the job that someone who is interested can click through to see the official job posting on the institution’s website, and I try to make it easy to go directly to job listing, or at least get close. If I see a listing for a job on another site, but can’t find the job listed on the institution’s site, I don’t list it. When I run across those, I try to check back in a day or two, just in case it shows up (and it usually does). That means that sometimes I list jobs a couple of days after they show up elsewhere.

The site is still evolving; I’m still refining the categories and tags, as well as my criteria for including jobs (for example, I don’t include part-time jobs now, but might decide to change that later).

I’d love to get some job submissions from libraries, and some college-town profiles from people who are living and working in academic libraries. But mainly, I just hope that people will be able to use my site to help them find the kind of jobs I see posted every day that remind me why I have always loved working in higher ed, and in libraries.

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Filed under Academic, Job Hunters Web Guide, MLIS Students

Don’t Leave People Hanging

Interior of the Drawing Room, Mar LodgeThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field) and has been hired within the last two months. This person looked for a new position for six months to a year,  in Academic libraries, Archives,  Public libraries,  and Special libraries, at the following levels:Requiring at least two years of experience and Supervisory. This job hunter is in a city/town in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

The ability to move up
Innovation in technology and collections development
Autonomy and flexibility within job title/description

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, Twitter, FB, listservs, friends

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?

Anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks, depending on the deadline.

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?

√ 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

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

Pay them what they are worth, no excuses. And allow them room in the schedule for professional development.

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

Communicate. Don’t leave people hanging.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing the right person.

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, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Public, Southern US, Special

I just want the job or to be let out the door so I can find my job

Mr. Leatherman, homesteader, shooting hawks which have been carrying away his chickens, Pie Town, New MexicoThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), and has been hired within the last two months. This person had/has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendor/service providers, Public libraries, Special libraries, and Corporations, at the following levels: Entry level , Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager, Director/Dean,

(I have a lot of management experience so I really branch out a lot.)

Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Recent grad. Volunteer at academic library’s digital initiatives. Internship at a public library’s reference department.

This job hunter is in a rural area of the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Enough pay to survive on… not get rich, just live comfortably.
Variety. I want a position that touches on multiple areas of the library, not just one little corner.
A position with promotion potential. Not that I wouldn’t be happy as a reference librarian my entire life, but I want to be able to move up and be a director too!

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ. RAILS. ALA Joblist.

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?

Depends on the job. If they are specific and detailed in the items that they list I will spend days on it. If they are generic, so am I.

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?

√ 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)?

√ Other: Don’t waste my time or yours. If I’m not your guy, I don’t need or want to go through a process like this. I just want the job or to be let out the door so I can find my job. I have more important things to do than take a tour or meet people I’m not going to be co-workers of.

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

Be specific. How is your library different? I see hundreds of jobs every day… why is yours so special? What kind of personality are you looking for? What kind of experience will you accept? Don’t shoot for the stars if your pay is in the dirt.

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

Remove the fluff. Take out the tours, take out the meet/greet. Just focus on the skills and what you’re looking for. And try asking some legitimate questions. Don’t focus on the traditional cookie cutter questions, or your off the wall what would you read type of questions. Focus on the job and how best to get it done. Look for philosophical differences, etc. And give a candidate a chance to rebuttal the other candidates. You might not hire me over another person because of some stupid error… give me a chance to argue my point against theirs. In other words, maybe bring us back and clarify. Give me a chance to prove my point.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

You need to be a salesman. I’ll be blunt here. I’m a better worker than 3/4 of the people out there. I have great ideas, I’m dedicated, I’m will work faster and harder with more attention to detail than most out there… But I wont get hired because I’m not a salesman. I’ve lost out on three jobs because I couldn’t sell myself as well as the others, yet I could have done it better and for cheaper. As a hiring manager you need to look past the used car salesman and look at the credentials, the references, the history. Because I would be the best employee you’ve ever had but you wont ever give me a chance. I may not look or sound like a traditional library student but let me tell you… I am the future of this field and if you can’t adjust you’re going to end up being part of the problem instead of the solution.

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

The problem with the library process is really two things. First, they want way to much experience for positions that a new grad could realistically do…. and probably just as well if not better than its being done now and for less money. And Second, the amount of money that is being offered isn’t enough to pay for the schooling I just put a couple years into getting. And, when it is enough, its only part time. I understand the budget process but there comes a point when you need to stand up and say to the board, you can either have quality or quantity… you choose.

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, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Other Organization or Library Type, Public, Rural area, Special

Stop Creating ‘Frankenstein’ Jobs

hunting in the cascadesThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field) and has been hired within the last two months.  This person looked/has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, School libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I don’t have any internship experience; I couldn’t afford to pay tuition for the privilege of working for someone for free. Also in my area, the competition for internships and even volunteer positions is terrible. If you didn’t go to an Ivy League school, U of MD, or have an important family member you don’t get internships in the DC area.

This job hunter is in a suburban area of the Mid-Atlantic US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

A chance to make a professional contribution, the opportunity to grow professionally, and to perform work that provides me with real job satisfaction.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, SLA, Archive related job sites, Indeed, INALJ, USAJOBS, and anything else I can find.

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

√ Other: At this point, salary isn’t that much of a consideration.

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

I prepare a cover letter, adjust my resume and hope. I don’t spend much more than 30 mins per submission.

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
√ Email
√ Mail
√ Phone for good news, email for bad news
√ Other:

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

√ Other: I’d take anything I was offered.

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

Stop creating ‘Frankenstein’ jobs, where you try to merge what had been several jobs into one person to save money.

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

Respond to all applications in a timely manner.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Frankly, I think its where you went to school, who you know, how old you are, and if you can help the school meet any of its non-work related demographic needs that really determine who gets hired.

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

Only that it is so frustrating to try and get a job when eveyr one wants someone with experience. I recently competed for a job that paid below scale and for which I had both experience and education but didn’t get it. I’ll never know why but I feel that my age and the fact that I worked for the DC public schools play a part. I also think that having gotten my degree from SJSU, getting decent letters of recommendation has proven to be a real problem.

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, Job hunter's survey, Other Organization or Library Type, Public, School, Special, Suburban area

Treat both the position and applicants as professionals

digres hunting lodgeThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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 libraries, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, and Special Librarian.  This job hunter is in an urban area of the Midwestern US, and when asked if willing to move, said:

After relocating for a spouse’s job, relocating for mine would not make sense.

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

Intellectually interesting
A genuine way to make a difference to users
A good place/institution and group of people to work for and with

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, SAA, SLA, LinkedIn, regional library job boards, INALJ digest, Indeed, Archives Gig, and specific area employers whose jobs don’t make it to any of the above

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

√ Other: I expect it and while its not a red flag, it does give me pause when an employer doesn’t list it, especially if the employer is large.

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

The cover letter (business format) is the piece that takes the longest every time since it is customized. My resume/CV usually stays pretty consistent from packet to packet unless I see the need to alter it to emphasize skills the employer is looking for.

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 follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
√ Other:  I only expect selection-stage contact if the applicant pool is large.

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: All of the above is fine; whatever works for the employer.

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?

Be honest and upfront. Say what the salary range is from the get-go. Treat both the position and applicants as professionals. Treating a job as a para-professional position when you clearly require professional (and mid-career professional at that) qualifications is unfair and disrespectful to applicants and the institution in the long run since it won’t be able to attract the top candidates.

If you are an academic institution, don’t automatically discount someone who hasn’t spent their entire career in academia.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Who knows. If I knew that, I’d be a millionaire.

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 Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Urban area

Write the Sweetest Rejection Letters

Eerste Wereldoorlog, luchtoorlogThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed, 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, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This job hunter is in a rural area in the Western US and is willing to move to the Eastern US.

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

Congenial working conditions
salary & benefits
professional development

Where do you look for open positions?

Alerts from particular employers
ALA joblist
INALJ
SLA
USAjobs

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 review and reread the job posting several times. I consider whether I have a reasonable “argument,” that I am a candidate for the job. I consider how to address weak spots. I review my resume and tweak it if I need to. I write a cover letter. Then I go online and complete the application. It takes 2-8 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 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

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

Simplify and clarify the job posting. It’s easier for a candidate to determine whether they’d be a good fit that way. Some of the job postings I’ve seen want a candidate to do everything and be qualified for everything. I’ve seen job postings offering ten dollars an hour and requiring years of experience for a person who will do everything, even walk the dog. It’s just crazy.

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

More communication. Write the sweetest rejection letters. I wish employers would be more honest. Sometimes I know that is not possible, but I would like to know if the interview process is a charade (that is, they already have someone in mind) or if I actually have a chance.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing people before the job posting.

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, Job hunter's survey, Public, Rural area, Special, Western US

Why Is the Position Vacant?

The finish of the duck hunt at the New Zealand Division water sports, World War I, 7 Jul 1917

This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed, 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 Public libraries at the following levels: Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager, and Director/Dean. This job hunter is in a rural area in the Southern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

1. Respect
2. A chance to use my talents
3. Interesting

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ!
Also state library websites,Library Job Postings on the Internet, networking, and friends who are not librarians.

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?

I have a basic resume that I use for most jobs and a specialized one that I use for the few jobs that I have special expertise in. I have slightly different sets of references for different positions as well, although two or three are always the same.
Anywhere from 15 minutes to several days. It depends on what is asked for.

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?

√ 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
√ Being able to present
√ Other: Being asked if I have any questions

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

Be upfront about the job duties and situation. Why is the position vacant? Exactly what do they want or expect from an employee? List the salary range. Benefits are not important to mention unless there is something unusual (no insurance, no retirement, or limited vacation time.)
Absolutely do not use words like dynamic, innovative, or creative. These phrases make me tired just to read them and are a real turn-off. Words like experienced or versatile are acceptable.

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

Communicate clearly with the candidate. Schedules are always nice. Designate a point person for contact.
Let the candidate know if they did not get the job. Email is just fine for this. I have done a lot of hiring in my time – we set up a generic email to send out instead of mailing typed letters. We did this when we started getting 70 or 80 applicants for positions. We did send letters to the few people without emails but it streamlined the process while still making sure people were contacted.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Convincing the hiring committee that you are the best candidate!
Following the instructions in the application process and being unfailingly polite. Figuring out what is wanted is essential as well but can be a matter of luck. Researching the library is helpful but can backfire if they want to control information. (I have had interviews where people obviously did not realize how much information was available online and were disconcerted when I inadvertently mentioned something.)

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

How do you decide which positions to apply for? (The grapevine is very important also when deciding which positions to apply for, as is background research.)

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, Job hunter's survey, Public, Rural area, Southern US