Tag Archives: Job Search

Having the Necessary Skills and Being Able to Sell Them

CO 1069-279-6This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently not employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the entry levels. This new grad/entry level applicant has the following internship/volunteering experience:

I worked at a library part time while in graduate school and have interned at two archives. Prior to entering school I volunteered for a year at a local historical society.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Professional development opportunities
good salary and benefits
Challenging work environment

Where do you look for open positions?

Archives Gig, Indeed.com, ALA Joblist, METRO NY Roundtable

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?

After reading the job announcement and deciding if I am qualified I write a cover letter. This usually takes about an hour. Then I wait a bit and come back to re-read the cover letter. After checking my resume I then submit the required application materials including filling out an online profile if needed.

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

Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

To acknowledge my application
To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
To follow-up after an interview
Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

Email

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

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

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

The best area that can be improved is the online application that must be filled out in order to apply to many jobs. Often this includes information on work experience and education. Since it is duplicated in the resume that information is redundant. The application process would be much less painful if it did not have to be filled out.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Having the necessary skills and being able to sell 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 Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Public, Special

Would Rather Have Someone Who is Collaborative

OP_82 US Cavalry Hunting for Illicit Stills in SC 1870This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for Less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries and Public libraries at the following levels: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has the following internship/volunteering experience: I’ve had three internships (one currently ongoing), and volunteered at the Bitch Magazine library for a year. This job hunter is in an urban area in Midwestern US and isn’t willing to move.

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

1) Support for professional development
2) A commute under 60 minutes one-way
3) A collaborative staff

Where do you look for open positions?

Greater Chicago Midwest HERC
INALJ
RAILS Job Board
Indeed

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

No (even if I might think it *should* be)

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

I tend to spend a couple of days. I try to have at least two people look over my cover letter and resume (one being a former library employer). If there’s an online form, I keep all of that information in an Excel doc so that I can just copy and paste.

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

Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

Email

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

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

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

List the salary!

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

Communicate more–I get that it’s difficult to tell someone that they haven’t moved on to the next interview step in a multi-interview process (esp. if their first choices back out and they decide to interview you in a pinch), but it is extremely painful to be told that you were going to hear two weeks ago about the next step and then hear nothing.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Your personality being the right fit for the workplace. With the recession, I think there’s a lot of focus on the idea that libraries can hire the best people–with “best” meaning most degrees, most technical skills, etc. However, my experience has been that the recession has allowed libraries to be more choosy in terms of picking the right personality for their workplace. Yeah, it’s great to get someone in with reference experience who also loves messing with Drupal in their free time, but I think they would rather have someone who is collaborative and willing to learn than a person with a lot of skills and nothing interpersonal to offer. Not that the two are mutually exclusive! I just think that the hiring process has become far more based on person-to-person interactions and whether or not the hiring committee feels like you’d be a good fit long-term at their library.

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

Thanks for putting this together! And in case Emily or Naomi are reading this thank you both SO MUCH for what you do! INALJ is an amazingly comprehensive resource, and I always consult Hiring Librarians to get a feel of the hiring market out there.

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, Public, Urban area

They Know What the Salary Is, so Why Keep it a Secret?

Picnic lunch on a hunting party, Queensland, ca. 1912This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for A year to 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

A chance to develop what I learned from library school and from previous experience working in libraries.
An environment of respect and mutual encouragement, not stuffy and formal.
A decent wage, appropriate to the cost of living in that geographic area.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, USAJobs, indeed.com, university listserv

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

Other:They could at least say what the minimum salary is. Of course they know what it is, so why keep it a secret? If I have to relocate for a job, it needs to be worth it. Why waste everyone’s time by not giving out this information?

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

I have a CV and a resume that I tweak for specific job postings. I have a saved document with references and their contact info. I have a cover letter template that helps me develop a letter that specifically addresses the duties listed in the job posting. I spend about 30-45 minutes, just to make sure I’ve covered everything and corrected any errors (punctuation, spelling, etc.) I also research the organization’s website.

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

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?

Include the salary in the job posting!!!!!!!!!!

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

Please don’t make applicants wait 4-5 months before they receive any type of communication regarding their applications.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking, or just plain 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, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Public, Special

A LinkedIn Profile Can be a Nice Adjunct to the Resume

City, Public Library, 1956

 

This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager and works at a library with 10-50 staff members.

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

I look for:
1. how well-prepared the candidate is
2. an introspective candidate. One who is aware of strengths/weaknesses is much more desirable than a candidate who’s overly confident
3. someone eager and willing to work hard and contribute to the team

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

Not selling how they will be the best candidate for the job. Also, someone who’s clearly unqualified with the job’s duties, but has applied because they need a job.

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

Typos.

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

Most people don’t put website URL’s, I’d love to see that if they have one. Also, a LinkedIn profile can be a nice adjunct to the resume.

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?

√ 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?

Understand completely what the job entails. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the job’s main responsibilities, and bring ideas about how you could make things better.

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

Not having questions about both the job duties and the environment itself. A job interview is a two-way street – they’re interviewing me as much as I’m interviewing them. Ask what it’s like to work here, the environment, the culture of the library.

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