Please note: this is an anonymous response to an online survey; I do not have any way of contacting the respondent or verifying responses. Their answers may reflect good, bad, or middling job searching practices. I invite you to take what’s useful and leave the rest.
Your Demographics and Search Parameters
How long have you been job hunting?
√ Less than six months
Why are you job hunting?
√ I’m unemployed
Where do you look for open positions?
ALA JobLIST, NH Library Job Board, State of New Hampshire NH Works, LinkedIn, Indeed
What position level are you looking for?
√ Requiring at least two years of experience
What type(s) of organization are you looking in?
√ Academic library
√ Library vendor/service provider
√ Public library
What part of the world are you in?
√ Northeastern US
What’s your region like?
√ Urban area
√ Suburban area
√ Rural area
Are you willing/able to move for employment?
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Stability, Career Advancement, Training Opportunities
How many jobs have you applied to during your current search? (Please indicate if it’s an estimate or exact)
What steps, actions, or attributes are most important for employers to take to sell you on the job?
√ Pay well
√ Funding professional development
√ Prioritizing work-life balance
Do you expect to see the salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not
Other than not listing a salary range, are there other “red flags” that would prevent you from applying to a job?
Poor job duties description
How much time do you spend preparing an application packet?
What are the steps you follow to prepare an application packet?
Compare resume to job listing and update as needed, Compare Cover letter to job listing and update as needed, Fight with the terrible job application UI (they always take up the majority of my time, Collect any additional materials and submit.
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
√ Phone for good news, email for bad news
When would you like potential employers to contact you?
√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if the search is at the interview stage, even if I have not been selected
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
How long do you expect an organization’s application process to take, from the point you submit your documents to the point of either an offer or rejection?
2-4 weeks, maybe longer for academics which require a hiring committee
How do you prepare for interviews?
Review materials, review job listing, review possible questions for position, prepare my travel plans the day before for on-site interviews, prepare clothes choices, troubleshoot tech issues an hour in advance for teleconference interviews.
What are your most hated interview questions, and why?
Questions regarding skills I have not been trained in are always tenuous, because I have to find ways on the spot to spin my previous experience, and I find it is very hard to turn that into a question of whether the position will offer training for those skills.
During your current search, have you had any of the following experiences:
- Submitted an application and got no response √ Happened more than once
- Had an interview and never heard back √ Happened more than once
- Interviewed for a job where an internal candidate was eventually chosen √ Happened more than once
What should employers do to make the hiring process better for job hunters?
Be up front and honest about the position (including pay), and the search process. I don’t mind getting a canned response at all, because no response makes me feel like my application was just a waste of my time.
You and Your Well-Being
How are you doing, generally?
√ I’m maintaining
√ I’m frustrated
√ I’m running out of money
√ I feel alone in my search
What are your job search self-care strategies?
Try to maintain some forward momentum without stressing. Libraries are a slow burn industry, so there is no need to check for additional postings multiple times a day. Focus on doing other things, doing something personally fulfilling, and check again tomorrow morning.
Do you have any advice or words of support you’d like to share with other job hunters, is there anything you’d like to say to employers, or is there anything else you’d like to say about job hunting?
Employers really need to be up front about their pay AND that they are willing to entertain candidates who have less experience in the position. I might be willing to re-train and move in a different direction if that is in their job description.
Job Hunting Post Graduate School
If you have an MLIS or other graduate level degree in a LIS field, what year did you graduate? (Or what year do you anticipate graduating?)
When did you start your first job search for a “professional” position (or other position that utilized your degree)?
√ After graduating with my MLIS/other LIS degree
In relation to your graduation, when did you find your first “professional” position?
√ Two to three years after graduating
What kind of work was your first post-graduation professional position?
√ Full Time
Did you get support from your library school for your first job hunt (and/or any subsequent ones)?