Tag Archives: Curriculum vitae

They Integrate What They Learn Early on in the Interview as They Progress

Folger Shakespeare Library, ca. 1932-1950, from the collection of Cornell University

 

 

This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee.This person works at a library with 50-100 staff members.

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

Positive attitude
Paying attention – do they integrate what they learn early on in the interview as they progress through the various steps?
Thoughtful, honest answers

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

No, but I get very annoyed when someone doesn’t address ALL of the job requirements from the posting in the cover letter or CV.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Objective statements. You want a job, I know, that’s why you’re applying.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

Something pertaining to the more abstract ideas in the job posting (if I ask for someone who deals well with change, give me an explicit example).

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ As many as it takes, but shorter is better

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, but keep it short and sweet

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ .pdf

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ No

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ We don’t accept email applications

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Ask lots of good questions, make sure you address the full question, be honest. And show a little of your humor!

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

Not being comfortable with the choices they make – if you want to use Prezi for your presentation, make sure it’s seamless. Or powerpoint, for that matter. And giving different answers to different groups based on what you think we want to hear – we DO talk to each other.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

We have become much less brutal, and tried to turn the interview into a learning experience for everyone.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Please be sure that you are qualified for a job before you apply – even if you’re not experienced, talk about how your experience will help you do the job. THAT is what I want!

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

Having a Plan B in Case the Technology Fails for Your Presentation

Lawrence_Quincy_Mumford librarian of congress

 

This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 0-10 staff members.

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

Holds an ALA accredited MLS if the position says you must have the degree right now; someone who pays attention to detail; someone who takes initiative.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

Spelling or grammatical errors. Errors indicating the application packet was used to apply for a different position (forgetting to update the name of the library, position title, etc.). Not meeting the minimum requirements for a position – please don’t waste HR/search committee’s time applying for a job requiring supervisory experience when you have none. Harassing (sending multiple emails, calling, dropping in) the HR contact/search committee chair about where you are in the hiring process and when the decision will be made.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Assumptions of my marital status – you don’t know if I’m Mrs. X, and you don’t know if X is my maiden name and I’m really Mrs. Y.

Too much duplication in the cover letter of what is in your resume.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ Other: The CV should document all relevant work experience, education, and professional service. There is no set page limit to accomplish this.

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ Other: If you’re relying on a particular layout/format for your documents, go with a .pdf.

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ Other: It can. but I tend to ignore them since they often don’t speak to what I’m looking for based on my position description.

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ Both as an attachment and in the body of the email

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Good eye contact. Not interrupting people. Having questions prepared to ask the staff/board/administration. Asking me what I do in my work. Having a plan B in case the technology fails for your presentation. Taking notes.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

Not investigating the library/organization/institution before the interview.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Stay positive and let your cover letter and resume/CV work for you.

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

Not Only Do You Need to Have the Ability to Sell and Market Your Own Expertise … You Need to Do That for the Department That is Going to Hire You Too.

 

This interview is with Darron Chapman, who has been a recruiter for over 20 years. He is the managing director of TFPL, which is:

a global market leader in recruitment, training and consulting for the knowledge, information and data industries. We work right across the private, public, and third sectors.

Mr. Chapman is also the 2012 president of SLA Europe. You can follow him on Twitter at @DPCHA

Questions about Recruitment:

Can you give us a brief run-down of how a recruitment firm works?

All recruitment firms operate slightly differently but essentially a recruitment firm’s purpose is to find and qualify new employees for their client’s organisations.
TFPL provides the following services: Rapid Response – Temporary and Contract, Interim, Programme, Project and Change Management Professions, Managed Services, Contingent Permanent Recruitment Solutions Search, Selection & Talent Management, Benchmarking, Research, Metrics & Surveys, Advisory Services, Partnerships and acquisitions, and Communities of Practice.
Recruitment firms are only paid a fee on a successful placement of a candidate introduced to the client company.  A good recruiter however, acts in the interest of both parties as an intermediary between the client company and the client candidate.  The recruiter ensures that the individual looking for work finds a suitable opportunity that helps them grow and develop and builds on the person’s expertise and experience.  They also commit to find the best talent that meets the needs of the client organisation.

What types of vacancies are you most frequently placing candidates in?  In what types of organizations?

TFPL recruits a broad range of information related specialisms, including Knowledge and information management, insight and intelligence, records management and publishing and content. Our clients range from professional services firms, financial institutions, central government and charitable organisations  to large publishing companies.  We are noticing a lot of activity in the legal sector, strategy consultancies, information publishers and not for profit sectors.

What should candidates do differently when applying to a recruitment firm?  Is there anything they should be sure to include with you that they wouldn’t tell a direct-hire job, etc.?

With a recruitment firm you are more likely to have a general conversation about the job market and discuss a broad range of opportunities.  You may also discuss how to position yourself for various job roles and what you can do with your current skill set and identify skill gaps to develop.
You will need a general CV no longer than two pages with relevant key words so you are identified in any database searches, proof of identification and names and addresses of two good referees.  If you want to work in some public sector roles, you will also need to have a security or CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check.
When applying directly to an organisation your CV needs to reflect the skills that the role requires.  Your covering letter needs to highlight why you are right for the role and why you are applying for the job.  Other than that honesty is always the best policy!

Are there particular qualities or experiences that will give a candidate an edge in being considered for positions you are trying to fill?

On many occasions I have seen less experienced candidates get selected over and above better skilled candidates purely down to having the right attitude.  Clients are more willing to train and grow less experienced candidates if they fit the culture of the organisation over a skilled person that doesn’t.
Communication skills, a can-do attitude, creativity,  enthusiasm, passion, resilience, flexibility, being able to adapt to changes and challenges are at the forefront of a hirers thinking.  Not only do you need to have the ability to sell and market your own expertise but to survive these days, you need to do that for the department that is going to hire you too.

Once an initial placement has been made, what should a candidate do to keep on good terms with your agency (in order to ensure future placements)?

In the information sector there are many networks and events to attend and more often than not you will bump into a recruiter.  The market will continue to develop which will impact the types of role that emerge and your recruiter will be a great source of information on these emerging roles and skill sets.   They will also be able to help you benchmark your salary if you are up for a review.   TFPL runs networks and training course both free and paid for so you can always keep abreast of what is hot in the market place.   We would also love to help hire new staff when required so keeping a good relationship is vital.


Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know about recruitment agencies or TFPL?

Do not underestimate the value of the time spent with your recruitment consultant because the more care spent on that relationship the more likely you are to find an opportunity that is suitable for you.  Also, impressions formed by a recruitment consultant will naturally influence their assessment of you and vice versa.

Questions from the survey:

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

  • Communications skills
  • Marketability – can we promote you with confidence
  • Good at dealing with stakeholders

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

Dishonesty, not answering questions properly, question avoidance and poor eye contact. As a service industry we do get our share of folk who think it is OK to abuse their relationship with staff. It isn’t, no matter what the problem is to be solved together.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Typos!

CVs that are not outcome or evidence based

Profiles that cannot be backed up- subjective comments

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

More outcomes rather than a list of duties.  How they made a difference to their organisation.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√  No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ Yes

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√  In the body of the email only

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Smile!  Be informed, be prepared and be interested! Demonstrate that you want to work for that employer and why.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

Lack of homework and preparation

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

Selection has moved from chronological analysis, to competency based analysis to evidence based recruitment

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Don’t come with a list of stuff you don’t want – think about what contribution you can bring to an organisation and where you could apply it.  Before you embark on a job search, take some time to prepare what you want to say about your competencies and what you are good at, and would like to do more of. Thinking about this in advance, makes the consulting part of recruitment much quicker, and helps us sell your attributes better. Don’t wait until we meet you to start to thinking about it.

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Filed under Non-Anonymous, Original Survey, Other Organization or Library Type, Recruiters

Strong Critical Thinkers Always Go to the Top of the List

Great Hall. View from the second floor west corridor. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. 2007This anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a Special Library with 10-50 staff members.



What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

1)  Plain old smarts.  I want the absolute brightest and the best.  Those who are demonstrably strong critical thinkers always go to the top of the list.
2)  Idea people.  In my library, we always look for new and better ways to apply our skill set.  I want people who don’t just do the job assigned to them, but who understand the organization and constantly look to improve the service we provide.
3)  Strong communicators.  We strongly believe in being not just customer-focused, but also customer-facing.  Our staff are consistently pushed out of their working spaces to interact with customers on projects, teams, and in “embedded” roles.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

In interviews, my number one no-no is bad-mouthing previous workplaces or former colleagues.  I want people who overcome challenges, not victims.  Tell me you’re here because you want to work with my team, not because you’re tired of carrying your colleagues’ slack or have a bad boss.
Take the time to research the company/organization you’re applying to join, including its history, purpose, and culture.  You don’t have to know EVERYTHING about it, but show me that you’ve chosen us for more than a paycheck.
Don’t over-inflate your accomplishments on your CV.  Be prepared to talk through details about your role and contribution in each case.  What exactly did you do to help achieve that goal, what problems did you encounter, how did you overcome them, etc?

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Buzzword-filled objective statements that don’t tell me anything.  Hobbies and interests.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

More than a list of accomplishments.  Something that demonstrates an ability to problem-solve.  Something that shows me you have strong leadership qualities, regardless of the type and/or level of the position.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, but keep it short and sweet

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ As an attachment only

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Be clever, creative, personable, confident, and driven.  Speak clearly and directly.  Don’t rush – it’s ok to think about an answer to a question.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

Never cracking a smile.  Fidgeting and avoiding eye contact.  Speaking too softly to be understood.  Failing to have good, detailed examples of previous work.  Not taking notes.
Asking TOO many questions of me.  I want you to ask me questions, but don’t turn it into a reverse interview.  Some people will suggest that to you, but it is a real turn-off.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

The number of candidates for open positions has risen dramatically.  You really need to have a strong CV just to get into the screening process, and from there you’re up against a lot of very bright people.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Make sure you know the job you’re applying for and want to do it.  Then show me how good you would be at it.
Don’t be afraid to apply for positions whose experience requirements are slightly beyond what you’ve done – the interview is where decisions are made.
Follow up after the interview by email – next day at the latest.  Keep it simple.  Don’t send a card in the mail.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Original Survey, Special

If an Agency Sends You a Role You Aren’t Interested in It is Better to Reply and Explain the Reasons Why Not, So the Agency Can Get a Closer Match Next Time

This interview is with independent recruiter Nicola Franklin. Her firm, The Library Career Centre, provides recruitment services for employers as well as for-pay candidate services such as CV / resume writing and interview coaching. Ms. Franklin has been in the library recruitment field for 20 years.  Prior to striking out on her own, she worked with Manpower pls, Sue Hill Recruitment, and then the international firm, Fabric.  She is a fellow of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and member of the Special Libraries Association.

Questions about Recruitment:

Can you give us a brief run-down of how a recruitment firm works? 

When you send your CV or resume to register with a recruitment firm, they will generally invite you for an interview (phone/skype or in person depending on distance, etc) and your CV/resume will be added to a database.  Your file on the database will usually also have notes of your interview and some codes or classification tags added, covering basic categories such as locations, salary bands, qualifications, industry sectors and skills.

When a recruiter gets a new vacancy from a client, they will use the codes to search the database, to gather a ‘long list’ of potential candidates.  In most library firms, the consultant will then look through the resumes and interview notes for each of those candidates, matching more closely between the job requirements and each candidate’s’ skills and requirements.

This weeding process will create a slightly shorter long-list, and it is those people who will be contacted  (either by a mail-merge email or on the phone, depending on how many potentially suitable people make the list).  Some of those contacted will either not reply at all, or will decline to apply for the role, leaving a short-list.  It is important for candidates to realise that their response (or non response) will be recorded; if an agency sends you a role you aren’t interested in it is better to reply and explain the reasons why not, so the agency can get a closer match next time, rather than to ignore it.  On the one hand, the agency will be no wiser as to what would interest you, and on the other (after several tries at contacting you) the agency may assume you’re no longer looking and archive your file.

In some cases all of those on the short-list will be submitted to the client, in other cases the consultant will sift the list further to reduce the numbers – a consultant would generally want to send between 3 and 10 resumes to their client, depending on what’s been agreed.  In most cases, the consultant will either also submit a report on each candidate, explaining why they’re a good fit for the role, or call or visit the client to present each candidate verbally.  This is really where the value of having a recruiter work for you shows through, as you have someone rooting for you and trying to persuade the hirer to interview you!

What types of vacancies are you most frequently placing candidates in?  In what types of organizations?

I cover all part of the wider information industry, including traditional library roles in public or academic settings, information or knowledge management in government and the private sector, and records management across  all kinds of organisations.

Increasingly there has been a merger of these different disciplines, especially at more senior levels.  In the UK there has been a marked decrease in roles in the public sector over the past two or three years, while the private sector declined earlier than that and has since been recovering (albeit slowly).

The main problem caused by the recession has been a dearth of mid-level roles. There have been some entry-level roles still being recruited, and organisations have generally replaced senior or very specialist  roles, but they often seem to feel they can ‘make do’ with fewer Assistant Librarians or Information Officers.  This has made career development very difficult for many people, especially as this situation has persisted since 2008.

What should candidates do differently when applying to a recruitment firm?  Is there anything they should be sure to include with you that they wouldn’t tell a direct-hire job, etc.?

A resume or CV for a recruitment firm should be slightly longer and more detailed than when sending it direct to a hirer.  In the latter case you are tailoring it specifically for that role, while for an agency there may be several types of role you’d like to be considered for and so your resume needs to reflect a broader range of your skills and experiences.  Also remember that some agency databases can search CVs for keywords, so make sure the ‘jargon’ keywords or acronyms are included (something I’d be advising against for a CV to be sent directly to a hirer).

At the interview stage with an agency, be sure to tell your recruiter honestly about any gaps or any issues you have had (eg a personality clash with a colleague or manager).  They will be able to advise you on how to best present things at an employer interview.

Are there particular qualities or experiences that will give a candidate an edge in being considered for positions you are trying to fill?

The main quality to display is enthusiasm.  Librarianship isn’t a role most people get into for the monetary rewards, and hirers expect candidates to be passionate about what they’re doing.  Coming across as fed up, bored or even worse hostile, is a sure way to make a consultant think twice when deciding whether to put you forward to their client.  You need to make sure they will feel confident representing you.

Secondly, candidates who have a realistic appreciation of their skills and aptitudes, and clear career goals, are easier for both recruiters and hirers to assess and fit into their open vacancies.  Spending time doing an audit of your skills and reflecting on what you have to offer, and also where you want your career to go, will pay off dividends later.

Once an initial placement has been made, what should a candidate do to keep on good terms with your agency (in order to ensure future placements)?

It’s good to keep in touch with your recruitment agency, from an initial call or email to let them know how you’re settling into your new role to an update later on.  You never know when you might need their services again!  I attend many library and information sector specialist group’s networking events and seminars, and it’s always nice when candidates come up and say hi.  Recruiters are used to being discrete, so don’t be afraid one will say ‘are you looking again’ or anything embarrassing while your boss is nearby!

Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know about recruitment agencies or the Library Career Centre?

I set up The Library Career Centre so that I could offer services over and above the standard recruitment process described above.  During my 20 years in the library recruitment sector, I had noticed that candidates often needed guidance on improving their resume, or their interview technique could do with some tweaking, or they simply had difficulty articulating what skills they had to offer or what their career goals were.

During a recruitment agency registration interview there is only about half an hour to gather all the information the consultant needs on career history and future goals – which doesn’t leave much time to give advice.  The Library Career Centre therefore offers support and advice directly to candidates on all these areas, in a more relaxed atmosphere where we can take time to explore issues more carefully.  This support is offered via 1-1 coaching as well as workshops and seminars.   The 1-1 services are designed on a modular basis, so a job seeker can pick and chose to get help on just those areas they are struggling with, or can put together a programme of support to suit their own needs.

I also use social media a great deal to keep up to date with issues and in touch with people – @NicolaFranklin on Twitter or http://uk.linkedin.com/in/nicolafranklin on LinkedIn, and I make regular posts on my blog.

Questions from the survey:

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

Relevant experience and skills for the role in question

Open minded and keen to continue learning

Enthusiasm and energy

Do you have any instant deal breakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

Body language or answers which contradict claims made on the resume/application form, eg; ‘great interpersonal sills’ on the resume coupled with awkward/introverted body language, or ‘excellent ICT skills’ on the resume coupled with obvious inability to use tabs or other formatting tools in Word.  Quite apart from the skills that were claimed which may be lacking, the mere fact of making exaggerated or untrue claims show either (at best) poor self awareness or (at worst) dishonesty.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Profile statements which are clearly regurgitated cliches, and don’t show any correlation between the applicants touted attributes and those required for the job.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

Achievements – most resumes recount experiences or duties, some add in skills or attributes, very few include achievements (ie, how did the organisation benefit from having hired the applicant).

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ Yes

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ I don’t care

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Be engaged with the role and organisation; demonstrate that you’ve done (good quality) research about the organisation, understand the role requirements and have put some thought into how your skills match up to the tasks in the job.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

Not having done enough preparation, even for obvious questions like ‘why would you be good for this role’ or ‘where do you want your career to be in 5 years’.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

Over the past 20 years library recruitment has shifted emphasis away from a need to have used all the specific databases/cataloguing standards/etc of the hiring organisation, and towards more generic aptitude and ability to learn packages and systems.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Make sure you have plenty of questions to ask the interviewer too!  An interview should be a two way communication, as you need to know whether you’d like to work in this place, if you are fortunate to receive an offer.  Also, having no questions to ask when invited to do so is a sure way of saying ‘I’m not really interested in this job’ to the interviewer.

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Filed under Non-Anonymous, Original Survey, Other Organization or Library Type, Recruiter Spotlight, Recruiters, Special

People Have to be Able to Fit in Well with the Whole Team, Not Just Their Supervisor

Library, c.1981This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager at a library with 0-10 staff members.

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

1. Track record of performance excellence related to the skills needed for the position
2. Emotional stability and maturity: works well with others
3. Strong customer service orientation

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

1.  Not a team player
2.  Lack of basic apptitudes for the job, such as a lack of attention to detail
3.  Non-professional behavior and/or appearance
4. Lacks strong service orientation
5. Has anger management issues
6. Conflict avoidant or passive/aggressive types: need to be able to initiate and work with issues with people in a healthy way.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Cover letters that are not customized to the position for which they apply.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

We require a CV, so it is pretty thorough.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, I want to look at every accomplishment

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ Both as an attachment and in the body of the email

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Be poised, unflappable, confident, and transparent.  Be able to give concrete examples from past performance as to how they are a good fit for our institution as well as for the specific job.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

Unprepared for the interview.  Have not prepared good responses to typical interview questions.
Act nervous rather than relaxed and confident.
No thank you letter following the interview.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

The candidate has separate interviews with the library director, their potential supervisor, and also has a group interview with the entire library team (8).  Each library team member fills out a questionaire, giving their feedback about the candidate. The hiring decision is a group process rather than just one or 2 persons making the hiring decision.  People have to be able to fit in well with the whole team, not just their supervisor.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Be yourself (not what you think your prospective employer wants you to be) and be emotionally honest about strengths and weaknesses.  If you are hiding key elements about yourself that will impact the workplace, it will later come out anyway. It is in the best interest of both parties to try to see that there is a good fit for the position, since the consequences of a poor hiring choice end up being painful for all.

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

Please Be Clear About How Your Current Institution is Similar to Mine

A librarian and a teacher, New Ulm Minnesota, 1974This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian from a library with 50-100 staff members, who has been a member of a hiring committee.



What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

Relevant experience,

good communication skills,

evidence of commitment to the field through service, organization work, and/or publishing.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

In the packet:  if you don’t address how your qualifications are relevant to the position, you’ll immediately be ranked behind the people who clearly state how their qualifications/knowledge base would make them good candidates.
In the interview process:  For god’s sake, have some questions!!!!  I was deeply shocked in a recent interview when the candidate, who had received the schedule ahead of time, had zilch questions for the hour scheduled to meet with the librarians.  Nooo questions….sooooo awkward.  Sure, maybe be at that point in the day she had decided she didn’t want the job, but it definitely showed an overall lack of curiosity about the field.  She could have at least pretended there were things she wanted to know about our library/campus.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

When it is clear people are just dumping their resume anywhere there is a job opening.  Please, please, please don’t waste a search committees time.  If you have absolutely no reference desk experience and the position requires reference experience but because you just got an MLS and are willing to move anywhere you send your resume…no.  Don’t do that.  Most publicly funded institutions have to do a shit-ton of paperwork for EACH and EVERY application we receive, and if you didn’t bother to write up how you think your previous experience applies to us, we’ll be cranky.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

Please be clear about how your current institution is similar to mine.  How do I know how big/small urban/rural two-year/four-year your current institution is?  And if I’ve got a stack of 60 applications in front of me, you are not amazing to me if I have to speculate about how That State College is similar or different to This State College.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Other: a cover letter should be well written

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, but keep it short and sweet

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ No

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ As an attachment only

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Make the day easy for us by smiling, trying to engage with us.  Yes, you will be exhausted by the end of the day, and many of us in the field are introverts, but you need to mingle and show us your most engaging self.  Awkward silences are ten times more awkward on interview days.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

As noted above, not having questions. This applies to the phone interview too.  It indicates to me that a.  you are not curious and b.  you didn’t do your homework.
Advice:  if you get a phone interview, get the heck online and read everything posted by the institution.  Read its alumni newsletters.  Read its self studies.  Read the student newspaper.  Know what is happening locally and ask open ended questions, “i.e. I read in xyz that your institution is getting a new stadium, how do you all feel about that?” Or “I read in xyz that your graduation rate is %.  How do you all feel about that?”  or “what is your perspective on that”.  Seriously, I was recently on a search committee and some really good phone interviews went south at the end when we said, “What questions do you have for us” and the candidate had not a one.  Cringe.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

More and more paperwork.  Many state funded institutions are under the gun to prove, via piles of paperwork, we have done our due diligence to conduct the search process in an entirely above board way.  I’m cool with that of course, but seriously, the forms….a form to evaluate each candidate whose packet we read.  A form to fill out about every phone interview we conduct.  A really really loong form about the candidates we want to hire and don’t want to hire.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Have questions prepared for the phone and in-person interviews.

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