Tag Archives: Florida

There is a “Black Hole” of Information After One Drops a Resume

This interview originally appeared on March 11, 2013. Then we followed up with Ms. Moran on December 9, 2013. This year’s follow up will post shortly.
Cristy MoranThis interview is with job hunter Cristy Moran, who graduated from the University of South Florida (MLIS, 2012).  She is currently a Temporary Reference Librarian at Nova Southeastern University’s Alvin Sherman Research, Information, and Technology Center in Broward County, FL. Despite being hired within the last two months, and she continues to avidly seek permanent professional work, as she has for the last year to 18 months. Ms. Moran is looking in academic, public, school, and special libraries, for entry level positions.  Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

Library work: MLIS supervised fieldwork internship at a state university library working reference and creating online instructional materials correlated with their digital collections (3 months), continued volunteering in the Reference Department of the library where I did my internship at the same capacity (4 months), and currently working as a temporary reference librarian PT at a private university joint-use (public and academic) library (2 months).

Ms. Moran is in an urban area in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere. She is currently editing her first novel for self-publishing, teaching herself how to knit, and blogging on Public Libraries Online. For more details of her work and professional interests, visit her e-Portfolio.

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

1. Full time, 2. Adequate pay (at least above $36k/ year where I live but is negotiable depending on the cost of living where an opening or job offer is located), 3. Benefits

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA JobLIST, professional listservs (I am a member of ALA, NMRT, and my graduate school’s LIS student group.), Florida Library Jobs (I live in Florida), my former graduate advisor and other library professional contacts, Facebook groups for librarians looking for work, GovJobs online, USAjobs online, individual institutional jobsites (i.e. University of Miami, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, Miami Dade College, Broward College, etc. job sites), Employ Florida website – everywhere and anywhere I can find librarian job listings.

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 pre-created resumes and CVs for different libraries (academic, public, private) and have a series of cover letter templates ready to go for different kinds of positions (entry-level, Librarian I, instructional positions, administrative/non-librarian positions, paraprofessional positions, programming librarian positions, diversity, age ranges, etc.) and a pdf of my official MLIS transcript in a USB I carry with me always. If I find a job I’m interested in, I can easily send an application package via email – if that’s what they want – within the first few 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 with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

I think new librarians with varying professional backgrounds should be allowed to apply even if they don’t meet a specific requirement of length of time working in PAID positions in libraries post-MLIS. Many of us have extensive professional resumes outside of libraries that we can bring into the field and, often, we are not considered for even application review because we haven’t been working in a library as a paid permanent employee for over 2 years. (Many of us have had to take unpaid internships, temporary positions, and volunteer opportunities in libraries in a professional, paraprofessional, etc. position because of lack of opportunities for employment.)

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

There should be more communication. Employers should confirm receipt of resume, let candidates know whether one qualifies to move onto the resume review position or does not, provide information as to the length of time it will take for the committee to review applications or move further along the hiring process, etc. There is a “black hole” of information after one drops a resume. (Trust me, I’ve applied to over 200 librarian positions in 2012 alone.)

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

The secret to getting hired is – I find – being at the right place at the right time. The temp job I have now I found because of the network I created where I did my internship and, later, volunteered. The position I’m up for in another institution had been open for a while and hadn’t been filled so the library contacted my graduate advisor for any suitable candidates she might know – that is how I applied for it (I didn’t meet the minimum experience requirement but after some communication with the head librarian, was asked to apply.) I find that it’s not the effort that the job-seeker puts out but what appears on the resume in black and white…and the only way to get a job otherwise is to “know people who know people” in the industry with a specific need they need to fill immediately.

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

I think this is a great survey. I’ve been actively pursuing my professional library career for some time and find that the job seeker is often not considered for feedback and information. A lot of emphasis is placed on what the job seeker “can do” or “shouldn’t do” but, in many ways, the job seeker can do everything “right” and still be overlooked for jobs or blocked out of the hiring process. Hopefully – regardless of whether or not I get placed in a job immediately – I can benefit from the work you’re doing and so will other librarians and librarian-wannabes!

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, Southern US, Urban area

I understand that not everyone has the money to dress up, but they should do their best to appear professional

Interview Clothes by Flickr user MalkyThis anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Suburban area Southern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ True

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Other: Not necessary in the south as long as the rest of the outfit is appropriate

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ Other: No makeup is fine, excessive makeup could be off-putting

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

They need to look like they gave their appearance some thought – no flip flops, bare midriffs, shorts… I know I am in Florida and we are pretty informal, but there is a line. Clothes should fit without being too revealing.

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

Women have come in wearing a nice dress, jacket, appropriate heels or slacks with a really nice blouse -carrying a jacket and looked fine. Men can wear slacks, shirt and blazer. A tie at an interview is pretty much expected. Polished shoes.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Other: Show personality, but not be over the top. Get the job and then slide into less traditional dress once we know you.

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

As long as they are neat and clean and appear to have paid attention to their appearance , I try not to let clothes affect me too much. I understand that not everyone has the money to dress up, but they should do their best to appear professional and businesslike.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

I wear a dress and jacket, shirt and blazer, slacks and blazer – something quite businesslike.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Tank tops
√ Other: We have different levels – student workers who are casual, staff who are pretty casual, and librarians who are less casual.

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Interview Clothes by Flickr user Malky via Creative Commons License

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Southern US, Suburban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

There is a “Black Hole” of Information After One Drops a Resume

Cristy MoranThis interview is with job hunter Cristy Moran, who graduated from the University of South Florida (MLIS, 2012).  She is currently a Temporary Reference Librarian at Nova Southeastern University’s Alvin Sherman Research, Information, and Technology Center in Broward County, FL. Despite being hired within the last two months, and she continues to avidly seek permanent professional work, as she has for the last year to 18 months. Ms. Moran is looking in academic, public, school, and special libraries, for entry level positions.  Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

Library work: MLIS supervised fieldwork internship at a state university library working reference and creating online instructional materials correlated with their digital collections (3 months), continued volunteering in the Reference Department of the library where I did my internship at the same capacity (4 months), and currently working as a temporary reference librarian PT at a private university joint-use (public and academic) library (2 months).

Ms. Moran is in an urban area in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere. She is currently editing her first novel for self-publishing, teaching herself how to knit, and blogging on Public Libraries Online. For more details of her work and professional interests, visit her e-Portfolio.

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

1. Full time, 2. Adequate pay (at least above $36k/ year where I live but is negotiable depending on the cost of living where an opening or job offer is located), 3. Benefits

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA JobLIST, professional listservs (I am a member of ALA, NMRT, and my graduate school’s LIS student group.), Florida Library Jobs (I live in Florida), my former graduate advisor and other library professional contacts, Facebook groups for librarians looking for work, GovJobs online, USAjobs online, individual institutional jobsites (i.e. University of Miami, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, Miami Dade College, Broward College, etc. job sites), Employ Florida website – everywhere and anywhere I can find librarian job listings.

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 pre-created resumes and CVs for different libraries (academic, public, private) and have a series of cover letter templates ready to go for different kinds of positions (entry-level, Librarian I, instructional positions, administrative/non-librarian positions, paraprofessional positions, programming librarian positions, diversity, age ranges, etc.) and a pdf of my official MLIS transcript in a USB I carry with me always. If I find a job I’m interested in, I can easily send an application package via email – if that’s what they want – within the first few 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 with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

I think new librarians with varying professional backgrounds should be allowed to apply even if they don’t meet a specific requirement of length of time working in PAID positions in libraries post-MLIS. Many of us have extensive professional resumes outside of libraries that we can bring into the field and, often, we are not considered for even application review because we haven’t been working in a library as a paid permanent employee for over 2 years. (Many of us have had to take unpaid internships, temporary positions, and volunteer opportunities in libraries in a professional, paraprofessional, etc. position because of lack of opportunities for employment.)

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

There should be more communication. Employers should confirm receipt of resume, let candidates know whether one qualifies to move onto the resume review position or does not, provide information as to the length of time it will take for the committee to review applications or move further along the hiring process, etc. There is a “black hole” of information after one drops a resume. (Trust me, I’ve applied to over 200 librarian positions in 2012 alone.)

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

The secret to getting hired is – I find – being at the right place at the right time. The temp job I have now I found because of the network I created where I did my internship and, later, volunteered. The position I’m up for in another institution had been open for a while and hadn’t been filled so the library contacted my graduate advisor for any suitable candidates she might know – that is how I applied for it (I didn’t meet the minimum experience requirement but after some communication with the head librarian, was asked to apply.) I find that it’s not the effort that the job-seeker puts out but what appears on the resume in black and white…and the only way to get a job otherwise is to “know people who know people” in the industry with a specific need they need to fill immediately.

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

I think this is a great survey. I’ve been actively pursuing my professional library career for some time and find that the job seeker is often not considered for feedback and information. A lot of emphasis is placed on what the job seeker “can do” or “shouldn’t do” but, in many ways, the job seeker can do everything “right” and still be overlooked for jobs or blocked out of the hiring process. Hopefully – regardless of whether or not I get placed in a job immediately – I can benefit from the work you’re doing and so will other librarians and librarian-wannabes!

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, Southern US, Urban area

As a Dean, I Can Wear Jeans if I Like

Suit by Flickr User Corin (G.I. Folk)

 

 

This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian from a city/town in the Southern US. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members and has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably not (but it’s ok if the candidate does wear one)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ I do not know and/or care

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ I don’t care

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ No, but it’s not a dealbreaker

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

I try not to judge people on appearance– it’s bitten me too many times. We are a faith-based institution, so something that showed disregard/ignorance of that would be a no-no (hooker-wear, some t-shirt slogans). Ratty clothes wouldn’t impress me much.

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

I hardly pay attention if their outfit isn’t calling attention to itself.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Nose Ring (nostril)
√ Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
√ Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ I don’t really care how a candidate dresses

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

As I said, I try not to let it. We have a conversation after hire about how to dress on the job.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

We have a fairly casual workplace (as a Dean, I can wear jeans if I like). I usually wouldn’t wear jeans, but I’ll bet I’ve done at least one interview in jeans.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? Please check all that apply

√ Other: not forbidden by dress code, but we try not to wear shorts/tank tops.

Librarians at your organization wear: Please check all that apply

√ Other: we have library polos, but they are not required wear. We have name tags and wear them if we will be presenting to a class or working extensively with the public.

Do you have any other comments?

Florida tends to be more informal because of the heat (no pantyhose are expected; suits/ties are rarer) and we are informal even for Florida. I like that 🙂

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Suit by Flickr User Corin (G.I. Folk)

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, City/town, Southern US, What Should Candidates Wear?