Tag Archives: library hiring

I have applied for many jobs and never even gotten a phone interview

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F13This 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, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, and Other: Anything I’m qualified for.  This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Interesting and challenging work
To know my contributions are valued
Good pay

Where do you look for open positions?

LinkedIn
ALA Joblist
Higher Ed joblist
Library websites

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?

It depends. Sometimes hours are spent rewriting my resume and cover letter.

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
√ 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)?

√ Other:  I wouldn’t know. I have applied for many jobs and never even gotten a phone interview

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

I really don’t know anymore.

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

Contact everyone who applies with something other than a robo-email to acknowledge their application.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

You have to know someone who works there for them to pull your application out of the pile and be your advocate

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

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, Special, Urban area

sometimes the best employees come from outside a social circle of the Friends

This 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 Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, School libraries, at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Branch Manager. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

I worked for 2 years in an academic library, specifically the computer labs and as an assistant to an art history professor with building a digital slide library. After graduating from college, I worked 16 months at one library, then 3 years at another – both working in teen services.

 This job hunter is in a rural area, in the Southern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Technology focus, rural setting, east coast

Where do you look for open positions?

State Library website

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?

Thirty minutes to an hour, depending on what the job is and how I want to present my information (research, updating info, etc)

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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
√ Being able to present

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

Look beyond the community they serve; sometimes the best employees come from outside a social circle of the Friends and are often the most eager for the job.

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

Start with a tour of the facility!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being familiar with the area that you’re applying to, even if all you’ve heard is things via word-of-mouth. Show interest in the community you want to serve and give evidence why.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Public, Rural area, Southern US, Special

I prefer to work with some of the newest and latest technology available

HUNTING TRIPThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following level: Entry level. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience

I completed a research internship doing psychological research for 4 months. I spent 4 years doing toastmasters. I founded and was president of a group that did mental health promotion and created scholarships for people with mental illness. I did job shadowing in an emergency department for 4 months. I spent 3 years doing campus late night escort and crime watch volunteering. I taught science to elementary students for 4 months. I volunteered at an art gallery for 3 years.

This job hunter is in an urban area, in the  Canada and is willing to move anywhere.

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

I have five, and don’t think I can really summarize it in 3.

1) Challenging/Fulfilling work environment – I get bored very easily and need to work in a job where I’m constantly challenged, engaged, presented with new tasks, and given the ability to evolve. I don’t like easy work, sounds weird, but boredom is the death of me, as is sitting around doing nothing. It would also be a positive if there is time allocated for professional development.

2) Facilities/degree of development of facilities – I prefer to work with some of the newest and latest technology available. This preference goes hand in hand with my desire for challenging and fulfilling work. I always am reading or interested in learning about new developments, and think the job should be just as much a place to engage with new developments and technology as reading about them in an academic journal. I don’t like to work in antiquated facilities.

3) People – I really need to work with people who are friendly, enthusiastic, and for lack of a better word, really top of the line at what they do. I find people who are pessimistic, don’t try at their job, or who aren’t engaged in their profession to be very frustrating. These sort of people create a culture where “getting paid to do as little as possible is revered, which I think is often grounded in the perception that what you get out of a job is completely commensurate with the proportion of work you have to do per dollar you own. I may be biased in a way, but I do not like laziness, nor do I like it when people are doing something they are uninterested in, or dislike. I am not judging these type of people, but it’s contrary to my personality and to the atmosphere I feel most comfortable with in a job setting. For that reason, I find it preferable to work with enthusiastic, friendly people.

4) Travel – I like to travel, very simply. I would prefer a job where I wouldn’t have to come to the same place every day for the whole year. This includes going to meetings, going to presentation, professional development within a city, but getting to work in a dynamic environment. Basically, I like variety.

5) Money and benefits – Very straight forward.

Where do you look for open positions?

I tend to look for jobs via group LinkedIn groups or job postings. I’ve also gone to my alma mater’s job postings on their online career services. I tend to visit government websites as well, as they generally hire for a wide variety of skills, and I’m usually qualified for a subset of those jobs. The government of Canada is another great resource. For some positions, I ask friends directly about positions in their industry. I’ll often go to professional networking events as well, including local business and young professionals networking dinners. I also enjoy going to toastmasters, as you get a chance to showcase, personally and in an intimate setting, your skills. In addition you get to personally know potential employers or partners, or investors in a personal business.

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

√ Other: Yes, creates transparency, and lays out employer and employee expectations, so as not to effect other aspects of the hiring process.

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

When I apply for a new job, I usually spend some time reading the companies website. Some of the things I look for are what projects the company is engaged in, the various locations the company may be operating in as I’m interested in travel or working in different locations. Another important thing I do is to get different views of the company by reading some web sites of the companies subsidiaries or alternative websites geared to a different population (business partners rather than the general public.)

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
√ Being taken out to meal
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
√ Being able to present

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

Post in depth descriptions of what they are looking for. I find many job postings are far too vague; many people possess similar or tangental skills but may have a slightly different degree or background. This lack of detail makes it difficult for people to know whether to apply or not, and what experiences they should include in their cover letter. It also makes the companies endeavors more vague, as it is far easier to extrapolate company culture. From detailed job responsibilities, skill requirements, etc. While at times, difficult, it would be nice to have employee accounts of company culture, or to have a couple of employees to talk to before an interview. Clearly stating on the application website that this is standard may increase the sense of trust, and certainty of correct fit for potential applicants.

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

Transparency is absolutely the biggest thing. Clear job expectations, and additional skills or training required to perform the job and any further responsibilities that may arise in the shorter term trajectory of a tenure with the company.

The preferable geographic locations of the work, and if there is any flexibility both in terms of geographic location as well as directly related to the workplace, things like ability to work from home, teleconferencing, the amount of travel required. This information may be helpful for a number of reasons; for example, if you are able to work from home, you may be able to do another job, as long as it doesn’t conflict with your work performance with the job you are applying for.

An understanding of the hiring process, even superficially explained, would be nice, in order to understand the process and to make appropriate decision in relation to our knowledge of how the process is playing out in our own individual situation. This is helpful for many reasons: planning personal events during the hiring process or whether to continue other work during the process.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Putting an effort in to really understand the company. Many of the behaviors and research into knowing whether a company is right for you, in terms of logistics, financial remuneration, work/life balance, company culture, nature of the work, etc. If you put in a great deal of effort to attain this information you will not only do a favor to yourself by making sure you find a job that is the right fit for you, but you will also show potential employers that you are interested and enthusiastic about their company. While skill is certainly an advantage in any situation, life is all about adapting and continually learning. One of the best attributes in my mind is an employee who is able to continually learn, put in the effort to stay at the top of their discipline. Many of these characteristics lead to a multi-disciplinary skill set that can be adapted to many different positions, and remain a valuable asset adapting to the changing requirements for the position they are initially hired for.

If you put this effort in, it is often flagrantly obvious to potential employers. The level of detail in the cover letter, the tailored CV which not only outlines strengths critical for the position and company at hand, but discusses many of the roles of the company, in terms of the roles and responsibilities, in addition to addressing, as I said earlier, how they fit those responsibilities. Finally, by attaining a depth of knowledge about the company before applying, you will, in your cover letter and CV, as I mentioned earlier, will be able to put the direct work responsibilities and your suitability for them in the context of the greater company picture. This shows ambition, and a keenness to adapt to a number of roles in the company, as well as work with people in other departments, divisions, and other members of a team which may have different skills.

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Archives, Canada, Job hunter's survey

A workplace where I can learn but also have my ideas be heard

ThisConDev5378A Hunting Dog, 1945, Washington County, NC 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 Six months to a year. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. This job hunter is in a suburban area, in the Western US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

A sense of fulfillment, or somewhere where I feel like I am able to help people or make a difference

A salary I can live on

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ
ALA Joblist
State professional association joblists
Government joblists
Websites for specific cities or counties

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

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

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

I have a “default” cover letter and resume that I update to highlight qualifications and skills mentioned in the job ad. 1/2-2 hours depending 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 tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ 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)?

√ 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 about your expectations and needs, if a skill is needed don’t put __ preferred. I don’t want to waste your time or mine if my not having that skill is going to rule me out.

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

Keep applicants informed during the selection process

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Either knowing someone on the selection committee or having something unique in your application to make you stand out

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

No, this was great

For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Entry Level, Job hunter's survey, Public, Suburban area, Western US

Further Questions: What Should Candidates Wear?

Edited on January 29, 2016 to add…

Wow, lots of discussion about this post! While there is much that could be said in response to the dialogue of race, gender, privilege, etc. and all associated expectations in the library world, I want to make this note brief. I am sorry that the wording and/or images on this post caused some bad feelings. That was not the intention, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of this blog’s creator and volunteers.

When the question about interview attire was posted in 2012, responses generated good discussion (and even some about non-Western/ethnic dress, so check that out too). When this question was posed recently, it was copied verbatim. Since 2012, we have learned a lot about assumptions and gender and dress. Due to my workload and personal circumstances, I did not stop to fully consider how such phrasing may be received in 2016. Similarly, time constraints (as well as copyright notices on websites with images I initially wanted to use) did influence the image choices.

Are there better images that could have been used? Yes. Do I wish that diversity (of all types) was more apparent? Yes. However, as with all questions and replies on Further Questions, time and other constraints render it nearly impossible to fit every scenario or address every consideration fairly. This is true for the blog’s creator and volunteers, as well as the panelists and all who have filled out a survey on Hiring Librarians over the years. Panelists rarely answer every aspect of a question, so I would have been surprised if each image was equally addressed. Regardless of how this post was received, I’m happy to see Hiring Librarians causing discussion all the way to the end! If you wish to dialogue further, please email me at hiringlibrariansquestions@ gmail.com. I would love to chat with you and share more than can be said in a short blog post! Thanks for reading! –Sarah

—–

This week we asked people who hire librarians a question that was asked previously, and still remains popular on Hiring Librarians… the inevitable “What should I wear?!?!” question that nearly ALL job seekers struggle with during the job interview process.

Which outfit is most appropriate to wear to an interview with your organization? Please pick one for women and one for men, and feel free to provide commentary as to why you chose one over the others (or share how you might change an outfit). Bonus question:  Can you share any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits?

Female A : What Should Candidates Wear?

Female A. Source: Rotary Club of Clayton-Ladue, click on image for original.

Female B: What Should Candidates Wear?

Female B. Source: Accurate Court Reporting, click on image for original.

Female C: What Should Candidates Wear?

Female C. Source: J’s Everyday Fashion, LLC, click on image for original.

Female D: What Should Candidates Wear?

Female D. Source: Plus Size Outfits, click on image for original.

Male A: What Should Candidates Wear?

Male A. Source: The Denver Post, click on image for original.

Male B: What Should Candidates Wear?

Male B. Source: The Fashionisto, click on image for original.

Male C: What Should Candidates Wear?

Male C. Source: The Working Wardrobe, click on image for original.

Male D: What Should Candidates Wear?

Male D. Source: Epaulet New York, click on image for original.

Christine Hage songstressBased on attire only I would hire any of the first three women with a slight preference for the first woman. She looks like people in my community. I’m not sure how long the second woman would make at one of our services desks in those heels!
I’d feel comfortable with the guy in the suit and the guy in the shirt and tie, with a preference for the shirt and tie. He looks relaxed yet appropriately dress for work.
It also depends on the job the person is applying for. Reference? Youth services? Outreach? Library director? Bookmobile librarian?
I do look at how a person is dressed and figure this is the best they will look when they come on the job.
Clothing fit is important. I once interviewed a fellow that looked like a kid wearing his dad’s dress shirt. I appreciated his effort, but questioned whether he looked in the mirror before he came to the interview.

Years ago a library director colleague friend of mine got a complaint from a parent about a youth services librarian. The librarian had VERY high end designer tastes. The parent felt the librarian was dressed like a hooker, because she had a mini skirt on with high heeled leather boots on the came over the to of her knees. 

Neat, clean, well groomed, good smile and an upbeat personality go a long way with me, especially the smile. Does the person look approachable? Will they make our customers feel welcome?  Will they fit into our community?  Does their attire look like the used common sense putting their look together?

– Christine Hage, Director, Rochester Hills Public Library

Laurie PhillipsFor a woman, I think A and B are most appropriate. Honestly, I don’t care if someone if wearing a matching suit jacket and pants or skirt. Candidates should be dressed professionally and a notch more formal than you would normally wear to work. Female C is not inappropriate, *however* the blouse is a bit sheer. I have had a young female faculty librarian wear a similar blouse to work with a hot pink/coral bra under it and wearing a jacket that matched the bra. That’s just a no-no. Cute but not work appropriate. So I would say C would entirely depend on how you wear it. A jacket or cardigan could make it look more appropriate, but I’d skip the sheer blouse. I’ve seen women wearing a dress and jacket that looked more garden party than job interview. Be careful about that. Male A is the obvious choice. He’s wearing a suit with a solid shirt and tie and appropriate dress shoes. B and C are way too casual. Those shoes on B are not dress shoes. D would be ok if he was wearing socks and a jacket. I don’t mind personality or print. We don’t expect to have you completely strip away your personality. Show personality in your accessories! I don’t really have any funny stories, although I did have a friend who had a candidate who was trying to remove a knot from his shoelace with his teeth. Probably not a smart choice.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

Jessica OlinSince gender isn’t a binary, I say you wear whatever you feel is appropriate to the level for which you’re applying. In general, dress just a little bit nicer than you think you would dress if you got the job. If you feel unsure, check with a friend/contact who already has a job in the kind of library where you are interviewing. Don’t know anyone? Feel free to reach out to me and I’ll get you in touch with someone who can help.
– Jessica Olin, Director of Parker Library, Wesley College

MargaretI know you asked us to pick one for each gender, but honestly, I don’t have opinions on any of the outfits, even the more casual ones. They all seem fine. I might judge a man in an extremely ill-fitting suit, like David Byrne in the 80’s, or something that’s completely unflattering (“that pattern…girl…., whose couch did you have to kill for that?”), but even that won’t have much weight on my decision. As long as they’re clean, fully clothed and give a good interview, a person’s professional fashion sense is not really a deal-killer for me. Now, if you had put up pictures of people in ripped jeans and t-shirts or a tank top and flip flops, we’d be having a different conversation. Also, the City I work for has a rule about visible tattoos, wild hair colors and visible non-ear piercings (like nose) so those are issues that are usually brought up if someone is offered a job. I wonder, is this a generational thing? I’m at the tail end of Gen-X. We thought flannel and baby-doll dresses were a good idea.

– Margaret M. Neill, Regional Library Branch Manager, Main Library, El Paso Public Library

I work at a public research flagship institution in New England. Generally, business formal or one step down is going to be the best bet here because candidates will probably interact with the director, associate director, and department heads during their interviews, and half the staff at that level dress in business formal attire, while others generally dress in business casual attire. Candidates for department head and coordinator positions should definitely wear a suit or the equivalent for women. The fit and state of the outfit also matter; some candidates wear clothing that is too large or small, and they just look uncomfortable. I have also seen wrinkly or stained clothing and that can be a little distracting. Candidates will often take a tour of the library and will walk across campus for lunch, so comfortable shoes are important.

 

For a woman, outfit A, B, and C would all be appropriate, but in my opinion, it looks dated when the shirt collar comes over the jacket (as in image A).

 

For a man, outfit A would be appropriate, and outfit D would also be appropriate if accompanied by a jacket. Here is an article explaining why.

– Anonymous

 

Jason GrubbI feel the position you are interviewing for and the location of the position determine what you should wear. In Wyoming, any of these outfits would be appropriate. Male A and Female B may be too much if interviewing for a non management position, but better to be over dressed than under. We are flexible and casual. As a consequence, nothing surprises us, so no funny stories to share. Be yourself and wear what you are comfortable in.

– Jason Grubb, Director, Sweetwater County Library System

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email us at hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com. Special thanks to the websites providing the images. Please click on the image to be linked to the original.

Thank YOU for reading!  If you liked reading, you’re going to really love COMMENTING.

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Filed under Further Questions

Job Hunter Follow Up: Laura Perenic

We last heard from Laura Perenic on December 26, 2014, in the post titled,  It is hard to imagine all the form completing and hoop jumping I have been doing really results in finding quality staff.

Where are you now? What’s your work situation like, and what path did you take this last year?

I have been employed full-time since April 2015 after four months of unemployment. I work as the Children’s and Teen Services Librarian at the main branch of the Clark County Public Library in Springfield, Ohio. My work situation contains a variety of tasks and responsibilities. I have many opportunities to collaborate with co-workers and the public we serve. I plan and implement numerous programs for children, teens and families. I also provide outreach in the community. I am dedicated to youth services. The percentage of time I focus on kids or teens can change but I don’t see a time where I won’t be involved with the needs of the 18-and-under crowd.

Looking at last year’s answers, have any of your attitudes changed?

I was able to get through my unemployment with minimal harm to my career. When I read over my previous answers I feel frustrated that my experiences did not better equip me to help those who are currently unemployed. I feel more sad and jaded about the job hunting process. I see myself as having many desirable qualities that would make me an asset to an employer and it still took months to find a suitable job. As someone who still cannot get management experience in my chosen field, I wonder how newly minted librarians will ever break into the workforce if we hold their lack of library experience against them? I’ve seen quite a few cruelly funny memes indicating that to get a library job you need an Olympic medal. For those trying to land or change library jobs this black humor is all too accurate.

What’s your best advice for job hunters?

My best advice for the unemployed is to treat your helpful friends and family, who often have job advice that isn’t practical, as if they are offering you an opportunity to practice your elevator speech. Rehearse your answers to questions such as: Why are libraries relevant? Why are you relevant? Convince those around you of your value and worth. Sell yourself at every turn. This will allow you to interview with extreme confidence. In the really dark times, when your ego cannot take one more rejection letter, you can remind yourself what you are fighting for. Being unemployed was one the hardest things I’ve ever survived and I wouldn’t wish it on most people.

Anything else you want to share with us?

My job hunt showed that networking was the best tool I had. Surround yourself with people of all skills set as if they are your office. Create a team that cannot and will not let you down. You are going to need them and someday they might need you. Don’t do this alone. Take time to craft an online footprint that will attract employers to you. Also take time for yourself. I had to remind myself to stop job hunting sometimes. Running was the best, free activity I had and it was also the most enjoyable part of my day.

If readers ask questions in the comments section, Laura is willing to answer them.

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Filed under Job Hunter Follow Up

Further Questions: How should job seekers display their degrees and certifications?

This week we asked people who hire librarians

How should job seekers display their degrees and certifications in documents like resumes or signatures (in cover letters or emails)? Should they put “John Smith, MLS, MIS” at the top of their resume or when signing a cover letter or email, or should that information be included elsewhere, as in an education section, or text in the cover letter? Does etiquette change if the degrees are terminal such as a PhD or JD (or the MLS)? What about librarians who hold other degrees beyond the master’s level such as a subject area PhD, EdD, etc.?

Laurie PhillipsNo. I personally think it’s pretentious. It should be in the education section of the resume. I wouldn’t ding someone for doing it, but it’s unnecessary. We require an ALA-accredited MLS (or equivalent degree) for our faculty positions and we do not require any other master’s degree or Ph.D. or Ed.D. Some do for Dean or Director level positions and some do for subject-specific librarian positions (for example, I believe a friend of mine completed her PhD in musicology for a position at UC Boulder, where they have stringent tenure requirements and she’s now teaching in the music school). Many of us have or have had second master’s degrees in a field. I have an M.A. in musicology but I would never put M.A., M.L.S. after my name. For hiring, it’s just not necessary. If someone were applying for a position as a law librarian where a J.D. is required, they might do it, but truly, putting the initials after the name is not necessary.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

J. McRee ElrodAt least once as initials, e.g.,

J. McRee Elrod,  A.B., MA, MA (CLT), MLIS

 

 

 

– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging

MargaretI personally don’t use my degree as part of my signature, so I really don’t notice it much when others do. Put all your education and degrees on your resume, most definitely, but putting a Ph.D. or JD after your name won’t be something I’ll note in a cover letter or email beyond a superficial sort of acknowledgement. I think those things probably carry more weight in  academic libraries than public, where specialization can be a very important part of the job (like having a Master’s in English and being the library liaison to that department).

– Margaret M. Neill, Regional Library Branch Manager, Main Library, El Paso Public Library

Celia RabinowitzI think it is important for a job seeker to be sure potential employers know about their academic qualifications and credentials.  A resume or cv will have the person’s educational history and so I don’t think it is necessary to include the degrees (e.g., MLS, PhD) at the top of the document.  I think it is appropriate to put those at the bottom of a cover letter in the signature much as many of us do in our email signature files.  It makes most sense to include required or terminal degrees, but not others.  So – MLS holders already have a BA (or BS, etc.) so it is not necessary to include that.

Including that information in your personal or work email or other correspondence is partly a matter of personal preference, I think.  They can certainly send a message or reminder to our colleagues on campus about our professional preparation which is useful.  That might be preferable to feeling as if we have to tell people we have one, or more, graduate degrees.  So – for job applications and letters be sure you educational achievements are clear (what degrees, which institutions, what program), and for your ongoing digital or print identity, whatever makes you feel most comfortable about you represent yourself.
– Celia Rabinowitz,  Dean of Mason Library at Keene State College in Keene, NH
Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email us at hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com.

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