This post originally appeared on February 20, 2013. A follow up with Mr. Miessler will post in just a few moments.
R.C. Miessler is a recent graduate of Indiana University, Indianapolis (MLS, 2012); previously he graduated from Christian Theological Seminary with an Master of Theological Studies degree (2010) and received his BA from Franklin College (2002). When not filling out job applications, he works as technical support specialist for a small helpdesk and volunteers at a seminary library. Mr. Miessler has been job hunting for six months to a year, looking in academic libraries at the entry level. Here is how he describes his experience with internships/volunteering:
My internship was at a small theological seminary, where I spent a lot of time in public services and cataloging. I am still volunteering on a part-time basis in order to continue to grow professionally and strengthen my CV.
Mr. Miessler is in an urban area of the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere. His professional interests are in reference and instruction in theology and religion, open access publishing, information-seeking behavior, and video games in the library; in his free time he enjoys writing fiction and cooking. You can follow him on Twitter (@iconodule), or find him on LinkedIn.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
1. Proper fit – do my career goals and previous education/experience match the requirements and duties?
2. Development – will this library/institution further my professional and personal development?
3. Geographic proximity – is the job located close to friends and family?
Where do you look for open positions?
Individual library/institution sites
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?
Review the job posting, visit the library/institution webpage and review mission/vision statements, check out the library/institution (and the city) on Wikipedia, customize resume/CV, customize references, customize cover letter, complete online application … this generally takes about 1-2 hours per application
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
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?
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?
Provide clear job descriptions with open and close dates and make sure that the qualifications (required and desired) are specific. Provide salary ranges and benefits in job descriptions.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Communication … let applicants know where they are in the process, even if it is just a form email/letter. If a “desired” qualification is really going to be a “required” qualification except for a very few exceptions, just make it a required so we can know if we should spend time on the application. Note entry level jobs as such. When jobs are closed, remove them from the websites … it’s a horrible feeling to spent time working on an application just to find that they’ve already filled the position.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Networking and knowing the right people. It’s hard to get recognized on merit/education/experience alone …
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!