Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Hired Librarians: Who doesn’t want a “…technically savvy and customer-focused librarian!”

This post continues the feature Hired Librarians, wherein we hear from both a successful candidate and the librarian that hired her.  This post features Catisha Benjamin, the new Digital Acquisitions/Collections Development Librarian at Jones eGlobal Library, and Scott Wiebensohn, Manager of Library Services, the hiring librarian.  

Jones eGlobal Library

Jones eGlobal Library is a special library, located in Centennial, Colorado but with clients all over the world.  It has 13 staff members, and it’s growing.


The Successful Candidate: Catisha Benjamin

Catisha Benjamin

Where are you in your career? When did you graduate, and how many years of experience do you have?

I graduated from the University of Denver August of 2006 with over 5 years of experience I am currently a Digital Acquisitions/Collections Development Librarian, working to create and enhance K-12 digital libraries. For the past three years I have been employed in the elementary and secondary field, which prepared me for my positions I currently hold. I have also been employed as a university librarian; my first job as a librarian out of library school.

Why did this job pique your interest?

I have built libraries since I started my profession and felt it would be a challenge to assist in building K-12 libraries in a digital format. Something new and different, but exciting!

How many pages was your resume? Cover letter?

My resume including my cover letter is now 5 pages.

What research did you do before submitting your application?

I researched the background of Jones eGlobal and the library. I was already a contract librarian for Jones as well (Education Doctoral Librarian for Jones International University) and asked my former supervisor about the position. Always make sure you network!

What did you wear?

I wore black slacks, a red blouse, a black jacket, and black boots.

Can you describe your process in preparing for the interview?

I researched Jones eGlobal Library and researched library interviewee questions.

What questions did you ask?

What are you looking for in a candidate?
What are the challenges in the position?

Why do you think you were hired? What set you apart from other candidates?

My K-12 background assisted in my hiring process and my library of science degree. I was exactly what they were looking for.

Is there anything else you want to tell my readers about why you were chosen? Or any general job hunting advice you want to dispense?

Make sure to let everyone in your circle know you are looking for a job. They may have a lead for a job. Also make sure you do your homework and research the company before you go to your interview. Interviewers love to see when applicants want to find out more about their company or point out facts about the company.

The Hiring Librarian: Scott Wiebensohn

scott wiebensohn
What stood out in this applicant’s cover letter?

We were looking for a unique individual with a blended background. This position functions as the primary resource for K-12 collection development and digital content curation. Her cover letter demonstrated that she had the ability to choose from an array of e-books, periodicals, and online resources that would strengthen our library and better our users’ experience. Who doesn’t want a “…technically savvy and customer-focused librarian!”

Did she meet all of the required qualifications listed in the job ad? How many of the desired qualifications did she meet?

Interesting question as I don’t know if a candidate ever truly meets all of the qualifications for a specific job posting. What a hiring team must determine is if the candidate does not meet all of the qualifications can he/she learn the basic and more complex tasks expected. Catisha met a high majority of the qualifications otherwise we would not have interviewed her for our opening. There is only so much someone can write down on paper, thus the traditional need to interview face to face.

In comparison to the rest of the pool, did the applicant have more, less, or about the same years of experience? What about for the other people you interviewed?

I can honestly answer that this candidate had more experience than the majority of the candidate pool. In comparison to the others we interviewed it was plus or minus a year or two.

What was the interview process like?

It was a two round process. The first was an interview with the HR representative who prescreened candidates to determine if they truly met the basic qualifications and if there were any immediate red flags. Then the candidate interviewed in person with the librarian team for about 45 minutes. Following this interview was a conversation with the research and development team and the company President. A discussion followed and a candidate was chosen.

What stood out in this applicant’s interview?

Not only did she have the desired skill set and applicable work experience. she was hungry for the job and had three years of work experience with one of our sister institutions. She also had a contagious smile and a warm personality.

Were there any flags or questions you had about this person’s abilities, and how did they resolve them?

We are not a typical library in that we have library users circulating throughout our building. Everything is based on a digital platform within a corporate business setting. Conveying this work environment to each of the candidates was a must and Catisha fully understood because of her prior work with our sister company. So the question was in a straightforward manner and answered clearly and concisely.

Is there anything else you want to tell my readers about why this candidate was chosen? Or any general job hunting advice you want to dispense?

The entire eGlobal Library team is truly delighted to have added Catisha to our library. Even in the short two weeks that she has been with us, she has expressed an eagerness to tackle a variety of level of projects. My best advice is that you have to put yourself in a situation to be mobile. It is also quite helpful to think outside of the box, be strategic, and apply for jobs that are at a level to push you to succeed!


If you’re part of a recent hiree/hiring manager pair who’d be willing to be interviewed for this feature, please contact me.  Or please pass along this request!
Thanks so much to Elisabeth Doucett for suggesting this series. Check out her blog, The Irreverent Librarian

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Hired Librarians, Special, Western US

The Web is Made of Links, or I Know Where You Came From

WordPress provides a list of referrers, as part of its Blog Stats page. I love looking at how people get here.  I think, “People are talking about the blog on the internets!” It’s very exciting.  It’s also great to see what they are saying, both when it’s an opinion about the blog, and when the blog is presented as part of the context of someone’s job hunting experience. So here is a post about some of my referrers, in the spirit of both vanity and reciprocity. This is part one, because this post is long enough already, and I’m not even close to being finished with the list.

The majority of traffic to this blog comes through search engines, closely followed by the anonymous gates of Twitter and Facebook.

Following that, I Need A Library Job has sent a lot of you here, as has LinkedIn – in particular this post in the group Librarians in the Job Market.

Hack Library School, in addition to collaborating on our Library School Career Center Series, has mentioned us in several great posts about library employment:

Tips for Your Job or Internship Application

Avoiding the lull after the storm – Reflections on the ending of library school and the job hunt

Congratulations! Now Get a Job

LISNews helped me gather participants for a surveys here and here, and Ask A Manager also helped me get off the ground by introducing me here.

American Libraries Live has linked to posts on a few occasions, for example here and here, as has the ALA_JobLIST newsletter.

LISCareer was kind enough to publish a piece I wrote a few months after starting Hiring Librarians, and I also posted an excerpt from their book, which they talk about on their site.  Both links send people here weekly if not daily.

One thing I think it totally awesome is that Librarian Hire Fashion was inspired by this blog, and Jill’s linking and discussion sends readers here regularly as well.

Tumblr sends fewer people here than Facebook and Twitter, but one thing I prefer is that I can more often see the specific thing that has driven traffic.  Sometimes I can see a link where a specific profile has shared or reblogged a post, such as Library Journal, but other times people are just browsing a tag, such as mlis, library job, librarian, librarians, or library school, and so those Tumblr tag pages show up as links in as well. Reddit is another online community which allows for specific links.  There are three such conversations herehere, and here.  LiveJournal has also sent many of you here.  Sometimes I can see the specific link (as part of the advice on applying for jobs here) and sometimes I can’t.  Pinterest has also sent people here via pins such as this one and this one.

Fairly soon after this blog first started, mental_floss’ Miss Kathleen linked here, and that post sent quite a few of you over.

Being in the blogroll on the History of News Libraries site is a traffic driver, particularly I think when people have gone there to look at job postings.

American Libraries’ article on Toughing It Out in a Tight Job Market thrilled me not only because I got to see the blog’s name in print, but because the online version of the article sent some of you here.  And, you know, good advice and all that.

Michael Adrian, whose profile pic makes Ottawa look FREEZING cold, blogged twice about Hiring Librarians, here and here.

New Jersey Librarians may have arrived here after reading about it on the NJ-SLA Jobs Blog.

Library School career pages and blogs also link here: Wayne State, Drexel iSchool, University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Hiring Librarians is also on the Resources page of Library JobLine.  Another LIS Career site, Library Jobs in California, wrote a post about us.

The sites of contributing Hiring Librarians, namely Sue Hill’s Recruitment Agency and The Library Career Center send some of you here.

The BeerBrarian (one of my favorite types of Brarian), linked here in his post about the search to fill a position at his library, and then was kind enough to do a survey interview.

Kate Tkacik linked here in a Library Journal BackTalk article about how tough the job search is for recent grads.  Don’t I know it!

One blog about a successful job search that sends people here is Robin Camille Davis

Some people have linked in when talking about upcoming presentations, such as Alexandra Carter and John Dupuis at Confessions of a Science Librarian

For a great paisley photo, and some thoughtful analysis, take a look at The Interview and You, on LLOPS

Probably the most random link in is from a community called Makeup Alley. Or maybe not that random, given that they’re linking to the interview outfit survey, and I’m sure there are plenty of Makeup-wearing librarians.  They talk about Hiring Librarians on Ravelry too, but I buy into the knitting librarian stereotype, so that one doesn’t seem so out of left field. And LibraryThing seems very appropriate.

I find a lot of the photos I use here on the Flickr Commons.  For a while, I was writing a comment on the photo to tell the owning institution where I’d used it and say thank you.  Those comments link back in sometimes, which was only part of my purpose in commenting.

This blog has been used as a citation at least twice, once by Alyssa Vincent on In the Library with the Lead Pipe, and once by Raymond Wang in an APALA article.

People using Scoop.It sometimes like to scoop Hiring Librarians articles, namely Africa Hands at the LIS Career Information resource,  Library Collaboration, Professional Development of Librarians, K-12 School Libraries, and The Information Professional.

I’ve gotten to interview several candidates for library association boards, and they’ve often linked to the interview on their campaign sites.  For example: Courtney Young, Gina Millsap.

Sally Pewhairangi has linked into the site more than once on her blog Finding Heroes.  I really like it when she links in, because then she includes my Twitter account when she tweets a list of “library heroes.”

I love the title of this wiki: Help for Librarians.  They link in here.

Ok, will talk about more later.

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Filed under News and Administration

Hired Librarians: A Strong Sense of Who I Was and What I Wanted to Do

Here is our next installment in the feature Hired Librarians, where I interview a successful candidate and the librarian that hired her.  This post features Recent Hire, Youth Librarian Brooke Rasche, and Hiring Librarian Marge Loch-Wouters, who is  the Youth Services Coordinator at La Crosse Public Library and a regular contributor to Further Questions.  

La Crosse Public Library

La Crosse Public Library is in the Midwest, and has 85 staff members.


The Successful Candidate: Brooke Rasche

Brooke Rasche

Where are you in your career? When did you graduate, and how many years of experience do you have?

I am still very new to the library world. I graduated in 2011 from Indiana University. I had a job offer before I completed my degree and moved to Virginia right after I graduated. I worked as a Children’s Librarian for about 10 months before I was promoted to Children’s Coordinator for the library system. Then, I applied and was chosen for this job in early 2013.

Why did this job pique your interest?

I was very homesick and really wanted relocate back to the Midwest. However, I also wanted to make sure that I was going into a library where I really fit and I didn’t just apply for everything out there. I wanted to find a library that shared my vision and passions for youth services. This job fit every aspect I was looking for.

How many pages was your resume? Cover letter?

Then were both one page.

What research did you do before submitting your application?

When I was in graduate school I took the “apply to everything” approach. While this worked in my favor and I found a job, I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. I looked at information about the city and the surrounding area. I made sure I could afford to live in the city with the salary they were offering. I checked the library website and looked at every department’s page. I also went through probably years of blog posts on both Marge’s blog and another coworker’s blog Sarah Bryce. Librarians are very honest in their blogs and I wanted to make sure I had a good feel for the work culture before I threw my hat in the ring.

What did you wear?

I wore a black skirt suit and heels. I would always prefer to be overdressed than under, so I was happy with my decision.

Can you describe your process in preparing for the interview?

The interview process was a long one– about 3 months from start to finish. So I was very invested in getting this job by the time the in-person interview happened. I was also traveling over 1000 miles on my dime, so I wanted to give myself the best possible chance I could.

I went through Marge’s blog and read as much as I could about the library and her philosophies. It was also a great opportunity for me to find out things that really mattered to Marge as a manager and as a youth services advocate. I also went though Sara Bryce’s blog and found out about all of the programs that were being done for school age children. I wanted to make sure I went into the interview with knowledge about the programming being offered for all ages.

Then, I made a portfolio that highlighted some of my previous library work. I also included 4 sample programs I thought would be successful with their service population. Since I was only going to be in front of the hiring committee for an hour, I wanted to make sure they left with a strong sense of who I was and what I wanted to do.

What questions did you ask?

I asked questions about the community and library culture.

I also asked “What is your favorite thing about this library? What is the most challenging thing about working in this library?” This question is one of the easiest ways to find out how the hiring committee really feels about their job.

Why do you think you were hired? What set you apart from other candidates?

I think it was my passion and overall flexibility. I was willing to move 1,000 miles and told them specific reasons why. I am very open to change and new experiences and I think it really came through in my interview.

Plus, I am a very outgoing person. I know it is hard for people who are more introverted, but you have to be as outgoing as possible in your interview, especially if you are looking to work with children. The hiring committee is looking for someone to represent their specific department and the library as a whole, so you need to prove that you are going to be a good choice for them.

Is there anything else you want to tell my readers about why you were chosen? Or any general job hunting advice you want to dispense?

Do some research before you apply to every library job you see. Five minutes of googling the library/area could save you an hour of applying for a job you wouldn’t take anyway.

Also, if you are applying for a job that would require you to move- acknowledge it in the cover letter! I have moved over 1,000 miles for both of my professional jobs. I believe I made it past the initial review round because I specifically stated in the cover letter that I was looking to relocate to their area.

The Hiring Librarian: Marge Loch-Wouters

Marge Loch Wouters

What stood out in this applicant’s cover letter?

Brooke highlighted information that specifically related to our posting; she answered the playfulness of our ad with playfulness in her response and her cover letter didn’t repeat what was in the resume but rather added depth and clarity to that document. She also explained why she would be willing to move halfway across the country to work for us.

Did she meet all of the required qualifications listed in the job ad? How many of the desired qualifications did she meet?

Brooke hit every qualification. In addition to that, she brought some strength in other areas that indicated to me that she would be bringing us even more than we asked for in our ad.

In comparison to the rest of the pool, did the applicant have more, less, or about the same years of experience? 

She had one year of experience. This put her slightly ahead of the new grads but we had people with more experience also throwing their hats in the ring. I would say her experience put her at the slightly “ less” end of the spectrum.

What was the interview process like?

After our initial closing date we had 76 applicants,. We selected the top 20 to choose two of three essay questions to answer. From that pool, we selected 10 finalists for a Skype interview. After that step we decided on our final four to invite in for an interview with our panel. At that interview, the candidate answered questions, and had a tour of the department.

It took about three months.

What stood out in this applicant’s interview?

Brooke had researched the community; made a cogent case on why she would re-locate; blew us away with her command of the issues and knowledge about the service population; and laughed and talked easily. Since time with the public is such an important part of the job that really put her over the top.

Were there any flags or questions you had about this person’s abilities, and how did they resolve them?

No

Is there anything else you want to tell my readers about why this candidate was chosen? Or any general job hunting advice you want to dispense?

We had an extremely strong field of candidates. Brooke was able to “play’ in response to our playful ad and make the case that she had the experience we were looking for. She came to the interview prepared and articulate with a binder full of examples of her work that related to our job (and not just a collection of everything but just what was germane to our needs).


If you’re part of a recent hiree/hiring manager pair who’d be willing to be interviewed for this feature, please contact me.  Or please pass along this request!
Thanks so much to Elisabeth Doucett for suggesting this series. Check out her blog, The Irreverent Librarian

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, City/town, Hired Librarians, Midwestern US, Public, Youth Services

That MLS and Undergraduate Degree, Everyone Has One

Librarian's_grave_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1232991

This anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee. This person works at a public library with more than 200 staff members.

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

match of knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for the specific job
interpersonal skills
passion for people

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

 This depends on the job and on what the candidate says. For example, a cataloging job would cause me to look very closely at details of the application. A candidate who says “detail-oriented”, better be just that.

In the interview: more than 15 minutes late (though I can easily understand emergencies–in that case, the candidate should ask to re-schedule), obvious lack of knowledge about or interest in the employer and/or the specific position.

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

Objectives. Why? We all know you want a job.

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

Generally, librarians do a great job. What people should remember though is that *every single candidate* meets the minimum qualifications. So, that MLS and undergraduate degree, everyone has one. What makes you different? What do you bring that other candidates don’t? How might you be a better fit for the job? Once, a candidate neglected to mention on her resume that she had been the treasurer of a touring choir (based in her church, but acting as a 501(c)3) in an interview for a job that required budgeting skills. She did mention this in the interview, but almost didn’t get considered (she got the job, by the way).

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

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?

√  .pdf

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√  No

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√  Both as an attachment and in the body of the email

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Be prompt, know about the job, use humor appropriately, be yourself (not a plastic version of a librarian). Pay attention to the questions. Don’t be afraid to challenge the logic of the questions. Ask a few questions yourself.

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

 Generic answers.

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

In each organization where I’ve had a hiring role, I’ve moved to include more peers and immediate supervisors in the hiring process.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Original Survey, Public

A Positive Work Environment

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

Talk to Library Schools and Professors That May Know Good Candidates

Meagan SchiebelThis interview is with Meagan Schiebel, otherwise known as Miss Meg. She will graduate from the SLIS program at UW-Madison in May with a concentration in public libraries and youth services. Miss Meg works as a storytime librarian and has a summer LTE job in the children’s department of a public library. She has been looking for a new position for less than six months, in public libraries and other youth services positions, at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she describes her experience with internships/volunteering:

I did a 120 hour practicum during the summer in a children’s department of a local public library. This included planning storytimes for all ages and book clubs for elementary age children, collection development and management, readers’ advisory, and helping with special events.

I also have done a 40 hour reference practicum at both an adult reference desk and a children’s reference desk.

Currently I work as a storytime librarian and do 1 storytime weekly at a local public library.

Meg enjoys spending time outside, weather permitting, and exploring the area on her bicycle. She is in a city/town in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere. Check out her new website, Miss Meg’s Storytime , or learn more about her via LinkedIn

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

The ability to be creative
New experiences
Professional development opportunities

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ
ALA listserv
local state library listserv

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 start out by looking up the library’s website and the wikipedia page for the town (since I’m looking nationally). If I still want to apply after looking up that information I start by making a cover letter. I have a couple templates that I use for cover letters that I usually combine and tweak to make a new cover letter. I use the language in the job description to help me make a cover letter that is specifically for that job. I usually end up spending about an hour.

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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Outsource– talk to library schools and professors that may know good candidates for their position.

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

Communication!!!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being yourself and being able to take your experiences and tell the hiring staff why that will help you be the best person for the job.

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

Maybe a “how far are you willing to travel” question (my answer would be anywhere!)

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, Public, Youth Services

Update: Interview Questions Repository

The Interview Questions Repository is one month and one week old!  124 people have clicked through to share questions they were asked in a recent library interview.

If *you’ve* had a library interview recently, help this resource grow by reporting the questions you were asked:

http://tinyurl.com/interviewquestionsform

or by sharing this link widely with your friends and colleagues.

If you are about to go on an interview, use the spreadsheet:

http://tinyurl.com/InterviewQuestionsRepository

to help you prepare.

Top tip: Switch the spreadsheet to list view, in order to be able to limit by answers – you can choose to only look at the phone interviews at public libraries, for example.

Bottom tip: For respondents, you should be able to edit your answers, if you think of something to add, etc.

You will also always be able to find these links in the sidebar to your right ———>

If you’d like to respond to any other surveys, or otherwise participate in this blog,

this page

will give you links and options.

Thanks for reading, readers!  Thanks for contributing, contributors!

E. H. Elam, interviewer for the TVA, making personal interviews at Stiner's Store, Lead Mine Bend, Tennessee, with applicants for work on Norris Dam, November 1933

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Filed under News and Administration

Offer the Applicant a Cool Drink of Water and Show Her Where the Ladies Room Is

Regine KellyThis interview is with Regine Kelly, who is currently employed as an adjunct at a private college. Ms. Kelly has been job hunting for six months, in Academic, Public and Special libraries, at the following levels: Reference and Instruction, Supervisory, Senior Librarian, Assistant Library Director or small library Director. Here is how she describes herself:

I am a service-oriented librarian and an experienced teacher of information fluency skills in both the college and public library spheres. I have experience in access, circulation and reference and have managed and scheduled students, civil service para-professionals and librarian assistants. I have project-management experience in exhibitions and events planning. I have managed facilities projects having to do with the physical plant. I am a writer and poet with two college aged sons.

Ms. Kelly is in an urban area of the Northeastern US, and is willing to move.

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

I wish to be able to work hard as a librarian—helping patrons with research, reference and teaching information fluency skills. I wish to be encouraged to professionally develop and add to or change duties as needed (with support if necessary.)
I would rather not to be subject to random political agendas brought on by cuts to library budgets.
I would like to work for a skillful and reasonable mentor, supervisor, boss, head librarian or Dean.

Where do you look for open positions? (e.g. ALA Joblist, professional listserv, LinkedIn)

all these

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 prepare and adjust when needed.
Several hours.

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 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)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Other: Being able to present an information fluency class.

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

Employers have the advantage and need to post in the right places and be honest about the position that is really open. Accurate job descriptions.

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

Make the hiring process transparent. Offer the applicant a cool drink of water and show her where the ladies room is.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Presentation of self and skills, service oriented attitude, friendliness.

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

I am an adjunct at a college very close by where I live
I need a full-time job with benefits
I have public and academic experience and my greatest desire is to be able to work hard as a librarian, teaching information fluency, critical thinking and not be constantly worried that the College Administration is going to seize the library as in a “land grab,” or gut the staff. Librarians teach critical thinking skills and the increasingly larger amount of information available makes critical thinking and finding skills more essential than ever before.

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, Urban area

Go to professional meetings and see who’s there

October 28, 1902 via National Library of Ireland on the CommonsThis 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 More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, Special libraries, and

anyplace that will hire me

at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how this person describes his or her experience with internships/volunteering:

I had a archives internship and two graduate assistantships, one in archives one as a reference librarian before I graduated. Since then I volunteered for my local archives for 4 years, held about 5 temp positions in archives and worked for my local library part-time for about 4 years. I have become a certified archivist though my volunteer work.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is not willing to move.

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

Someplace in the New York Metro area
With Decent pay, if it’s in NYC I would have to take a train in and that would need to cover it.
A place with a possibility of growth

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional Listservs, LinkedIn, INAJ, Archives Gig, METRO job bank, NY ART job bank

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 usually spent about an hour on it. I read the job posting and try to use the words in the posting in my cover letter. Sometimes I might see if I can find where the job is located and maybe some background on who works there. I used to address my cover letter to the director but recently I favor using Hiring Manger instead. Seems less stalker like.

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)?

Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

I think they should put the salary in the posting and decent one at that. They should talk about the probability of growth in the company. They might want to express their involvement in local professional organizations or conferences. Go to professional meetings and see who’s there. The people who go there already on their own dime are the people you want to work for you.

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

Keep in contact with the candidates. I wish they would be more upfront with your possibility of employment there. One place flat out told me they were legally obligated to interview anyone who showed interest in the position and that I probably wouldn’t be a good fit for what they were looking for. Yeah it was painful in the short term but I also wasn’t sitting by the phone waiting for them.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I have no idea, if I did I think I would be hired by now. That said I think research on the subject of the work you’re doing, and being personable helps.

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

I would add a question of what a job seeker learned since she/he started his search. I’m not the same person I was when I first started my search and I’ve become much wiser.

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, Urban area

Rewrite the Job ad for readability and with realistic expectations

A hunter and his dog quail hunting De Funiak Springs, FloridaThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not 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: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, and Supervisory.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is not willing to move.

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

1. A collegial environment where information is shared readily and all stakeholders are included without second thought.
2. A learning environment where professional development activities are encouraged.
3. An environment where taking on increasing levels of responsibility is possible and encouraged.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, INALJ, LinkedIn, LibGIG (on twitter), HigherEdjobs, SLA, LISjobs, #libjobs RSS feed. I also check on job posting pages of specific places I have researched as places I’d like to work.

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 first locate the employer. I am bound by location so the job has to be within commuter distance. Then I research the employer to decide if it will be a good fit for me. Then I study the job ad and redraft my resume to highlight those skills that match the job ad. Lastly, I write a cover letter for the job to emphasize how my skills and experience will contribute to the workplace. Lastly, I put all of that information into the job system if necessary. The whole process takes up to 4 to 8 hours.

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)?

Meeting department members/potential co-workers
Being able to present

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

Rewrite the job ad for readability and with realistic expectations. I find most job ads are dry reads with poorly constructed bullet point lists of qualifications. Many job ads have lists upon lists of qualifications that only someone in the job for 5 years could have. There doesn’t seem to be room for learning and growth on the job anymore.

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

The job systems are so difficult to get through. I wish there was a better way to submit applications.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Network, network, network. After that, a sparkling cover letter and resume that match the job ad perfectly.

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

Thanks for all you do to help library job hunters!

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, Northeastern US, Urban area