Tag Archives: Employment

Check Out the Library/Institution (and the City) on Wikipedia

This post originally appeared on February 20, 2013. A follow up with Mr. Miessler will post in just a few moments.
RC MiesslerR.C. Miessler is a recent graduate of Indiana University, Indianapolis (MLS, 2012); previously he graduated from Christian Theological Seminary with an Master of Theological Studies degree (2010) and received his BA from Franklin College (2002). When not filling out job applications, he works as technical support specialist for a small helpdesk and volunteers at a seminary library. Mr. Miessler has been job hunting for six months to a year, looking in academic libraries at the entry level. Here is how he describes his experience with internships/volunteering:

My internship was at a small theological seminary, where I spent a lot of time in public services and cataloging. I am still volunteering on a part-time basis in order to continue to grow professionally and strengthen my CV.

Mr. Miessler is in an urban area of the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere. His professional interests are in reference and instruction in theology and religion, open access publishing, information-seeking behavior, and video games in the library; in his free time he enjoys writing fiction and cooking. You can follow him on Twitter (@iconodule), or find him on LinkedIn.

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

1. Proper fit – do my career goals and previous education/experience match the requirements and duties?

2. Development – will this library/institution further my professional and personal development?

3. Geographic proximity – is the job located close to friends and family?

Where do you look for open positions?

National library job sites (ALA JobList, ARL Job Announcements, etc.)

Regional job sites (OhioNET, RAILS, etc.)

Individual library/institution sites

General career sites (careerbuilder.com, indeed.com)

Job blogs (INALJ, SLIS Jobs)


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?

Review the job posting, visit the library/institution webpage and review mission/vision statements, check out the library/institution (and the city) on Wikipedia, customize resume/CV, customize references, customize cover letter, complete online application … this generally takes about 1-2 hours per application

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

√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Provide clear job descriptions with open and close dates and make sure that the qualifications (required and desired) are specific. Provide salary ranges and benefits in job descriptions.

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

Communication … let applicants know where they are in the process, even if it is just a form email/letter. If a “desired” qualification is really going to be a “required” qualification except for a very few exceptions, just make it a required so we can know if we should spend time on the application. Note entry level jobs as such. When jobs are closed, remove them from the websites … it’s a horrible feeling to spent time working on an application just to find that they’ve already filled the position.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking and knowing the right people. It’s hard to get recognized on merit/education/experience alone …

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, Midwestern US, Urban area

This Should Be a Profession That Cares and Has Empathy, Not a Profession That Reinforces a “Dog Eat Dog World.”

This post originally appeared on April 21, 2013. A year two follow up will post shortly.
raymond wangRaymond Wang volunteers at both the East Los Angeles College library and the Pacifica Radio Archive. He is proud of his work with students, both in his current position as a part-time tutor, where he has helped three students go from struggling to getting an A or B, and in his previous work at the Prince George County Public Schools (DC suburb), where 95% of students are on free or reduced lunch and his 7th grade Algebra class achieved an 80% student pass rate on their Maryland High School Assessment Test. Mr. Wang has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months, in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the entry level. Here is how he describes his experience with internships/volunteering:

Pacifica Radio Archives Feb 2013
East Los Angeles Community college Jan 2013- Present
Santa Barbara Public Library Aug 2012-Dec 2012
Duke Univ Perkins Library Jan 2010-May 2010

Mr. Wang was previously a college radio DJ at WXYC Chapel Hill and KVRX Austin, and he plays violin, keyboard and laptop. In his free time he collaborates with friends to make music. He has a featured article and a poem on the APALA segment “What’s Your Normal?” Mr Wang is in an urban area in the Western US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

TRAINING
TRAINING
TRAINING

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, Libgig, email listserv (CALIX, INFOLIT)

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 review the job description very thoroughly
Contemplate for hours to see if I meet the job description
If I decide I do, then I tailor my resume to the posting
Write a cover letter that showcases my experiences and skills to explain why you should hire me.
Send it to friends for edits (usually several iterations)
Contact references via email to make sure they are OK with me using them
Provide my references.
Fill out the application attach resume, cover letter and references.

Usually a week or 20 hrs for a library fellows position, depends on the job.

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: Let me know how I can improve my application

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?

Provide a clear and succinct job description.
Be honest and realistic with regards to qualifications, experiences and job duties
Librarians are not clowns, we shouldn’t have to wear 20 different hats and juggle 5 batons or more. We didn’t go to school to work for Ringling Bros.
Show some respect,support and encouragement towards potential job seekers, don’t treat them like just another number. Always follow up, communicate, explain why and take the time as we have taken the time to fill out your application.

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

They need to make the online application more user friendly with less hoops.
Make it more personal.
Answer questions about the position with detail and honesty
Be thorough and not ambiguous
Most of all be respectful and understanding that there are people who have been unemployed for 2 or more years without income, experience and accumulated a lot of debt.
This should be a profession that cares and has empathy not a profession that reinforces “a dog eat dog world.”

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Connections
Hard Skills
Soft Skills,
Experience
AND MOST OF ALL TIMING!

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

Thank you for taking the time to create this survey. Also, I hope this will let the politicians and higher ups know how difficult it is to get a job. Library Fellowships need to be more flexible on the terms of graduation dates! There are also needs to be more of them.

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, Urban area, Western US

Be Specific … and Be Honest

This post originally appeared on March 25, 2013. A follow up with JJ Pionke will appear shortly.

JJ Pionke

JJ Pionke is currently a graduate student in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. She is looking forward to being an academic librarian, and has spent less than six months looking for a position in an Academic library, for positions requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

I have 10 years of teaching experience, changing careers, 2 overseas internships in information literacy and cataloging, 4 semesters as a TA, 1 internship building an online and physical exhibit.

Ms. Pionke is in a city/town in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere. In her spare time, she rides a motorcycle, plays video games, and of course, reads a wide range of material including science fiction and Victorian poetry. You can find her at jjpionke.com.

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

job fit, salary, flexibility

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, ALA Joblist

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

√ Other: I prefer to see a salary listed but it’s not necessarily a red flag if it is not.

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

My first packet took about a day because I didn’t have anything put together. Now that I have everything organized, I probably spend a few hours on each packet with proofreading and updating any information.

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
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

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?

Be specific in what they are looking for and be honest. Example: if there has been a round of retirements as a cost saving measure, knowing that would be useful.

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

Be more communicative and be explicit in what they are and are not looking for.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

How well you fit with what they are looking for.

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

Ultimately, I think getting hired is a confluence of things, including fit. The job market can be an intimidating place but staying positive, keeping skills sharp, and continuing education while you look, are the keys to finding a job that will make everyone happy.

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 City/town, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US

A Positive Work Environment

This post originally appeared on May 1st, 2013. A year two follow up with Ms. Tribbett will post shortly.
This interview is with Ta-Shire Tribbett, a library associate at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library, where Edgar Allen Poe lies buried in the courtyard. Ms. Tribbett is pursuing her life-long dream of becoming a librarian as a result of winning an IMLS scholarship to North Carolina Central University. She has been looking for a new position for six months to a year in academic and special libraries, at the following levels: Department Head, Senior Librarian, and Branch Manager. Ms. Tribbett is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US, and is willing to move anywhere. You can find her on LinkedIn here, or on Twitter @l8teebug.

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

Room for advancement
Opportunities for professional development
A positive work environment

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, Indeed, LinkedIn, USA Jobs, Twitter

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 standard resume and cover letter and I tweak it according to the job description. I spend at least an hour making sure my information matches up with the requirements listed. I usually ask a friend to look over my application once before I turn it in.

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
√ Being taken out to meal
√ 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?

Be upfront about duties and expectations in the job listing.

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

Acknowledge receipt of materials, and I think they should let you know when you didn’t move to the next phase.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Flexibility and a great attitude.

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

I read the prior poster’s short blurb, and I’m sorry you had to deal with a snarky attitude! I love INALJ as it keeps me updated with library culture and the nuances of the employment process. Keep up the good work!

*Referring to this post:
https://hiringlibrarians.com/2013/01/31/since-i-have-an-advanced-degree-ph-d-in-addition-to-the-lis-degree-i-am-pickier-than-most/

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, Law Library, Special

Appeal to Library Schools

This post originally appeared on February 10, 2013. I will post a year two follow-up with Ryan in just a few moments.
Ryan DreierRyan Dreier is currently the Volunteer Director at The Salvation Army of Brown County, where over 3,000 volunteers have logged at least one hour of service in 2012! He also works at FedEx Office as a “Generalist.” A librarian in the making, Mr. Dreier will finish his MLIS at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee this year. He has been job hunting for a year to 18 months in academic and public libraries, at the entry level. Of his internship/volunteering experience, he says:

Graduating by the end of summer, have done some volunteer work, no formal internship as I work two jobs to put myself through school without debt

He is in a city/town, in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move within an eight hour drive from home. You can follow him on Twitter @ryonlibraryon. Ryan also says:

Green Bay, WI–GO PACKERS!!!!

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

An opportunity to learn and grow
A position to use my experiences to grow programs
The opportunity to serve the community and share and disseminate information

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist

Libgig

Wisconsin Valley Job Posting Boards

inalj.com

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 usually include my resume, transcript, references, cover letter, and that’s on top of the job application requested by the potential employer

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

√ Other: Sometimes I feel like its a matter of interpretation on skill assessment surveys

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

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
√ Other: Commutation of expectations and vision of that specific library

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

Appeal to library schools, and post openings

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

Provide feedback on what you could do to improve when requested

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think the secret is that you have to know someone or that full time positions are being filled by paraprofessionals or professionals that are on staff but only working part time, leaving little room to get in.

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 City/town, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US

Be Transparent as to Whether You Are Forward-Thinking & Innovative

This post originally appeared on February 18, 2013. A year two follow up will be posted in just a few moments.
When she was at Rutgers, Lauren Read (MLIS 2009) worked at Montclair (NJ) Public Library, getting a delicious taste of most every department. She then decided to relocate while looking for her first full-time professional job … during the recession.  Ms. Read has been looking for more than 18 months in public libraries at the entry level. This is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

I worked for four part-time years as a public library assistant leading up to the degree.

I had a one-semester internship in a public library reference department.

Ms. Read is in a city/town in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere. She keeps active through ALA and PLA conferences and magazines, NCLA networking events and workshops, and countless (free) webinars.  Keeping optimistic happens intrinsically.  Find her at about.me/laread.

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

Public Librarianship

Professional (as opposed to parapro)

An organization that communicates well and is either innovative or open to having me sweep creative changes

Where do you look for open positions?

Aside from INALJ, I subscribe to vast amounts of job interest cards directly through city/county government websites and have some other bookmarks to gov sites that do not have this service.

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?

It totally varies, because if it’s through a site (like neogov) where I already have a profile, I just write a cover letter.  Other times I need to hand fill-out an application in addition to everything else that gets mailed in.  And everything in between.  I probably average 45 minutes per application.

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

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

Be transparent as to whether you are forward-thinking & innovative or a traditional conservative organization.

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

I would appreciate being informed of how many people applied and how many were selected for interview.  Sometimes I learn this and feel better about not making it (or indeed making it at least one step)!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Standing out … in a good way.  Enthusiasm, confidence, and passion!  Carrying oneself well in an interview, speaking clearly and concisely but thoroughly, is also helpful.

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

Be Very Clear on What the Minimum Requirements are for the Position.

This post originally appeared on 02/25/2013. We will be following up for the second year with Nicole in just a few moments.

This interview is with job hunter Nicole Usiondek, who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field) and has been looking for a new position for a year to 18 months. Ms. Usiondek  has her MLIS and M.A. in History from Wayne State University and a B.A. in History from Oakland University. Prior to working in the library field, she spent 5 years working in the Intellectual Property field as an analyst and paralegal. She has experience working in both academic and public libraries and found rewarding experiences in both settings. Consequently, she is looking in both Academic and Public libraries at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience. When asked about her internship/volunteering experience, she said:

I have roughly 30 months of volunteer and part time work experience in public and academic libraries.

Ms. Usiondek lives in an urban area in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere. Nicole is starting a blog at www.nicoleusiondek.com.

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

Full time, growth opportunity, great culture.

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, ALA JobLIST, individual sites, Indeed, listservs, and LinkedIn.

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?

60 to 90 minutes.

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

√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Be very clear on what the minimum requirements are for the position.

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

Communication.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think it’s who you know.

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, Southern US, Urban area

Creative Freedom/Independence

This post originally appeared on January 4, 2013. A follow up with Ms. Musser will post in just a few minutes.
Amy MusserAmy Seto Musser is preparing to graduate from Texas Woman’s University  in the spring of 2013. She’s excited to combine her professional theatre experience with her library science education to create dynamic interactive programming and services for children. She has been looking for a new position for less than six months, in public libraries, at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how Ms. Musser describes her internship/volunteering experience:

I have volunteered at various public libraries off and on since childhood. Recently, I’ve volunteered specifically for the children’s department of a public library, which allowed me to gain experience doing displays, collection maintenance, and other special projects (flannel boards, etc.).

Other volunteering – Reading to kids at preschools, Indexing a history book for a local author, Planning/Presenting storytimes for summer festivals

I will be starting my internship/practicum for grad school this month, which is 120 hours of work. I also had a work-study fellowship in undergrad as a music librarian cataloging, binding, and organizing sheet music.

Ms. Musser is in a suburban area of the Western US, and is willing to move anywhere. Check out her blogs: http://chapterbookexplorer.blogspot.com/ & http://picturebookaday.blogspot.com/

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

1-Creative freedom/independence
2-Job security
3-A library system that supports and promotes children’s services as much as adult services

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs, ALA Joblist, Libraryjobline.org, pnla.org, websites for specific libraries I am interested in.

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 approximately 4-6 hours on each application. Most of that time is spent figuring out how to incorporate the required or preferred skills listed on the job description with my experience.

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

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

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

I am just starting my job hunt and haven’t had the opportunity to interview yet, so I can’t answer this question with much authority.

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

I am just starting my job hunt and haven’t had the opportunity to interview yet, so I can’t answer this question with much authority.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking and connections, as well as being as prepared as possible. Preparedness includes learning as much as possible about the library, the community (users and non-users), exploring the facility on your own (if possible), and having pertinent and insightful questions to ask during the interview.

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, Public, Suburban area, Western US

Be Realistic about How Many Applications Job Seekers are Forced to Put Out

This post originally appeared on March 4, 2013. A follow up with Ms. Becerra-Licha will post in just a few moments.
Sofia Becerra

This interview is with Sofía Becerra-Licha, the archivist at Berklee College of Music, a new position charged with formalizing the archives under a grant from the NHPRC. Ms. Becerra-Licha  earned her MSLS with a concentration in Archives & Records Management from UNC-CH (August ’12), where she was a Spectrum Scholar (2010-2011), a Carolina Academic Library Associate  (2010-2012), and was heavily involved as a student leader. She also holds a master’s degree in ethnomusicology and double-majored in music and Spanish as an undergraduate. Ms. Becerra-Licha was hired within the last two months, but prior to that was looking for a new position for six months to a year, in Academic libraries and Archives, for Entry level positions. This new grad describes her  internship/volunteering experience as:

2 years as a graduate assistant in public services at a small branch library. 1 year in a copy cataloging graduate assistantship for a large audiovisual archives. Two semester-long internships/volunteer positions: archival processing (papers) and original cataloging (music). Two months as a volunteer, cataloging videos. All of these positions were part-time and in academic libraries/archives.

She is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and was willing to move anywhere. Ms. Becerra-Licha is a member of the American Library Association (ALA), Society of American Archivists (SAA), and Music Library Association (MLA). She is currently documenting her first year on the job as a contributor to the SAA’s Students and New Archives Professionals (SNAP) roundtable blog series “A Year in the Life.”

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

Interesting work and/or responsibilities

Congenial colleagues

Salary proportionate to local cost of living

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs and 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?

First, I reread the job description carefully and decide whether I meet the minimum requirements, as well as whether it sees like a genuinely good fit for my interests and skills. Next, I add the position as a possibility on my job applications spreadsheet, which includes fields for deadlines, number of references, and any special instructions. Based on the ad, I decide which references make the most sense for this type of position and contact them, including a few sentences about how my qualifications match up against the requirements and anything else particularly distinctive about the opportunity or my experience in relation to it. (And of course, I always include the caveat that they’re welcome to refuse if they have any reservations whatsoever, no questions asked!)

Simultaneously, I briefly research the institution and area to confirm this would be a liveable option, and to get ideas for connections I might mine for the cover letter. Assuming I don’t need to update my résumé, I draft the cover letter, potentially borrowing phrases from previous letters if I have applied for similar positions, but otherwise spending 30 minutes to an hour on the letter alone.

Overall, I would say an average application packet takes a couple of hours, but the length will depend on the demands of the process. I mostly applied to academic library positions, so another 30 minutes to an hour could go towards having to fill in a lot of the same information again on a general HR site, sometimes requiring the creation of an online account with that system. It’s hard for me to gauge because I rarely worked on a single application exclusively. I imagine I’m not the only one who tended to chip away at tasks in between other responsibilities, as I was taking classes full-time and working part-time.

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?

√ Other: Email to acknowledge application and any status updates; phone to follow up after an in-person interview. If I interviewed in person, then ideally phone notification once the position has been filled (but an email is definitely better than nothing!).

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

√ Other: Information on the area, touring the surrounding area, housing information, etc.

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

Think critically about the job description, particularly the required skillset, rather than recycling from old job descriptions or throwing together a massive wishlist. Be clear about the application process, requirements, and timeline. Avoid requesting an excessive amount of supplemental documents upfront.

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

Be realistic (or at least understanding) about how many applications job seekers are forced to put out and take this into consideration when asking for additional materials, particularly from references. If at all possible, avoid collecting redundant information in time-consuming ways (such as requiring registering for a website or having to enter every single job, when such information is part of the required resume). Above all, communication is greatly appreciated. I understand the back-end is complicated, inevitable hold-ups abound, and there are valid reasons why many details cannot be disclosed. But whenever possible, even something like a generic update on a website saying, “we are now at the phone interview stage” is more charitable than silence. Please follow up in some manner with anyone you interview, whether in person or on the phone, via skype, etc. Professionalism goes both ways.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being persistent, remaining connected and productive, applying selectively, and honestly, having a bit of luck.

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

The Renaissance Person

This post originally appeared on February 17, 2013. We are posting a follow up with Ms. Schuldner in just a few minutes.
Dina Schuldner
Dina Schuldner is a recent graduate of Queens College, holding an MA and an MLS. She is an Adult Reference Librarian assisting in Young Adult and Children’s Services at  Mineola Memorial Library, in Nassau County, NY. Ms. Schuldner was hired within the last three months, but previously had been job hunting for less than six months, looking in public libraries for entry level positions. Here is what she has to say regarding her internship/volunteering experience:

As a paid library page at Mineola Memorial Library, also attending library school, I was permitted during my off hours to be trained by the librarians on the staff. During that time, I was taught computer systems, weeding, purchasing, reader’s advisory, programming, etc. I did that for about a year.

She is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US, and does not anticipate moving but will do if necessary. She is a member of ALA, RUSA, YALSA, ALSC, and NCLA (Nassau County Library Association).  She can be contacted on Twitter (@DinaSchuldner), or on LinkedIn.

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

Working in a public library, in the same county where I live, as a librarian.

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional Listserv, Nassau County Civil Service

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 an online portfolio whose link I include on my resume, which I send via paper or email in response to job postings.

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

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: In person

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

√ Other: Determining what type of professional service I’m expected to provide.

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

“Best” means fitting the organization’s needs. Therefore, they should be specific in the job announcement about exactly what would be required of the librarian.

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

Allow the applicant to have some say in the time and day of the interview.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being flexible enough to work in any environment with all types of personalities. The Renaissance person.

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

A question you could ask is what interview styles candidates have experienced in their job search, and how they accommodated themselves to the interviewer in order to get the job they got.

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, Northeastern US, Suburban area