Tag Archives: Northeastern US

The Renaissance Person

This post originally appeared on February 17, 2013. We are posting a follow up with Ms. Schuldner in just a few minutes.
Dina Schuldner
Dina Schuldner is a recent graduate of Queens College, holding an MA and an MLS. She is an Adult Reference Librarian assisting in Young Adult and Children’s Services at  Mineola Memorial Library, in Nassau County, NY. Ms. Schuldner was hired within the last three months, but previously had been job hunting for less than six months, looking in public libraries for entry level positions. Here is what she has to say regarding her internship/volunteering experience:

As a paid library page at Mineola Memorial Library, also attending library school, I was permitted during my off hours to be trained by the librarians on the staff. During that time, I was taught computer systems, weeding, purchasing, reader’s advisory, programming, etc. I did that for about a year.

She is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US, and does not anticipate moving but will do if necessary. She is a member of ALA, RUSA, YALSA, ALSC, and NCLA (Nassau County Library Association).  She can be contacted on Twitter (@DinaSchuldner), or on LinkedIn.

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

Working in a public library, in the same county where I live, as a librarian.

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional Listserv, Nassau County Civil Service

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 an online portfolio whose link I include on my resume, which I send via paper or email in response to job postings.

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

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: In person

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

√ Other: Determining what type of professional service I’m expected to provide.

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

“Best” means fitting the organization’s needs. Therefore, they should be specific in the job announcement about exactly what would be required of the librarian.

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

Allow the applicant to have some say in the time and day of the interview.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being flexible enough to work in any environment with all types of personalities. The Renaissance person.

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

A question you could ask is what interview styles candidates have experienced in their job search, and how they accommodated themselves to the interviewer in order to get the job they got.

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, Suburban area

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

The Clothing Must Be Appropriate for the Specific Library Environment Where the Interview Is Taking Place

Trying too hard by Flickr user kmiller799This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Urban area in the Northeastern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Other:Academic/Legal/Corporate—yes. Public/K-12—no.

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ True

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ No, but it’s not a dealbreaker

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Strong perfume is not a deal breaker but all other things being equal it could be.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Other:Depends on the type of library

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Other:Depends on the library

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Other: Depends on the library

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

The clothing must be appropriate for the specific library environment where the interview is taking place–no one shoe fits all. Typically, a candidate would be able to get by in conservative dress however if the opening is at an art school then a conservative dress would probably count against. I look at the person from the perspective of how they will be viewed by the patron/client. Will our patrons be comfortable asking this person questions.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

Academic–black suit. Public–dressy skirt/top. My first interview at public I wore my “black suit” and it was overkill. The clothes always make a difference in how you feel at the interview.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

5

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business formal

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Jeans
√ Flip flops
√ Visible Tattoos
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans
√ Sneakers/trainers

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Name tags
√ Badges

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Trying too hard by Flickr user kmiller799

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Personality and fit. You can always learn the position but you can’t learn to be a better fit for a position or team.

January 30, 1907This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently not employed, 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, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager, and Director/Dean. This job hunter is in a rural area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Fit, satisfaction, money. I would really like to pay off my student loans before I die.

Where do you look for open positions?

Highered.com, ala job list, inalj.com, chronicle but they seem to be a bit snooty

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?

Research, research, research. Get your ducks in a row and remind your referees that they are listed as a referral. Have someone read what your writing.

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?

Give them an idea of the salary and cut the bs language. Tell them what they are going to be doing and stick with it.

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

For the all day on sight interview, give the candidate some time to reflect before, during and after running the gambit.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Personality and fit. You can always learn the position but you can’t learn to be a better fit for a position or team. Personalities make a big difference.

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

Honesty, more than ever I would like to see honesty in job ads and in interviews!

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, Rural area

At This Point Actually Getting an Interview Would Be Great

Getting the scentThis 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 Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, School libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

Student teaching

This job hunter is in a rural area in the Northeastern US and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

A livable salary

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ
Websites of individual organizations
professional listserv(s)

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

Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

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?

Email

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

√ Other: At this point actually getting an interview would be great.

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, Public, Rural area, School, Special

Suits Are Not Expected and Would Probably Be Intimidating to Students

Reflections of myself - 022_365 by Flickr user Adam Jarmon BrownThis anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Urban area in the Northeastern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ False

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Other:depends on the weather and the candidate’s age and style

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

No, wish I did have a story to tell! Appropriate business attire is fine. Anything else would not be acceptable.

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

No, all recent candidates were dressed appropriately. We are an academic institution, so suits are not expected and would probably be intimidating to students.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ No

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Earrings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Attention to detail counts, so a little makeup and overall appropriate grooming counts. Cigarettes would be a deal breaker for me.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

Business casual; probably a skirt and nice top.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Other:no formal policy, but business casual is probably correct.

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Other:everyone seems to dress appropriately, thank god.

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Other:wearing IDs is optional. We tried name badges, but that didn’t last long.

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Reflections of myself – 022_365 by Flickr user Adam Jarmon Brown

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Most People Look Fine

Outfit for interview by Flickr user Josh Delsman

This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Urban area in the Northeastern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ Other:depends on the outfit

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Other: doesn’t matter

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ Other: should look clean and well-groomed, so whatever level of makeup but not clownish

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

The person should be clean and neat. Business or business casual works well. This is not horrifying, but a recent candidate wore a shirt that had sleeves too long that had to be folded up–you could notice it under his blazer. While not a deal-breaker, it did make me wonder about him. Why would he not get a long-sleeve shirt that fits or wear a short sleeve shirt? What you wear should make you look confident and competent. It should not distract people from learning about your talents and abilities.

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

Most people look fine.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Other:Jewelry should enhance not distract — less is more

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Other: there is more latitude for non-natural colors, e.g., pink, for arty positions rather than management

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

It depends on the position, but in many library jobs you need to interact with the public. You will want to project a positive image of the library. So part of my evaluation of a candidate is whether he or she will be able to act in an appropriate manner for a variety of situations. An important element is appearance. You don’t have to bury your personality, but you should be able to dress in a professional range.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

I dress a little more formally, e.g., suit, dress. I want to look professional and competent too.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Flip flops
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)
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√ Other: N/A

Do you have any other comments?

Some questions should include “no opinion”, “not applicable”, etc.

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Outfit for interview by Flickr user Josh Delsman

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

The Renaissance Person

Dina Schuldner
Dina Schuldner is a recent graduate of Queens College, holding an MA and an MLS. She is an Adult Reference Librarian assisting in Young Adult and Children’s Services at  Mineola Memorial Library, in Nassau County, NY. Ms. Schuldner was hired within the last three months, but previously had been job hunting for less than six months, looking in public libraries for entry level positions. Here is what she has to say regarding her internship/volunteering experience:

As a paid library page at Mineola Memorial Library, also attending library school, I was permitted during my off hours to be trained by the librarians on the staff. During that time, I was taught computer systems, weeding, purchasing, reader’s advisory, programming, etc. I did that for about a year.

She is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US, and does not anticipate moving but will do if necessary. She is a member of ALA, RUSA, YALSA, ALSC, and NCLA (Nassau County Library Association).  She can be contacted on Twitter (@DinaSchuldner), or on LinkedIn.

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

Working in a public library, in the same county where I live, as a librarian.

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional Listserv, Nassau County Civil Service

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 an online portfolio whose link I include on my resume, which I send via paper or email in response to job postings.

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

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: In person

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

√ Other: Determining what type of professional service I’m expected to provide.

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

“Best” means fitting the organization’s needs. Therefore, they should be specific in the job announcement about exactly what would be required of the librarian.

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

Allow the applicant to have some say in the time and day of the interview.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being flexible enough to work in any environment with all types of personalities. The Renaissance person.

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

A question you could ask is what interview styles candidates have experienced in their job search, and how they accommodated themselves to the interviewer in order to get the job they got.

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, Suburban area

When I See a Long Grocery List of Exaggerated Required Skills, I Walk Away

Hunting Party at Norderhamn beach near the Cave of Stora Förvar, Stora Karlsö, Gotland, SwedenThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed, 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, Public, and Special libraries, at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

several years as a volunteer reference librarian and reference administrator at the ipl2, collection development internship at the ipl2, volunteer experience at several school libraries

This job hunter is in a rural area, in the Northeastern US, and is not willing to move.

Where do you look for open positions?

INAlJ, listservs,organization web sites, professsional association web sites (e.g. AALL, NJLA)

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?

typically many 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?

√ 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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Be clear and *realistic* about your needs for the position. I’ve seen too many ads for library clerk positions, at a clerical salary, listing qualifications one would normally expect from a professional librarian. I’ve also seen professional positions where the list of requirements is just ridiculous. We all know that it’s an employer’s market out there and that realistically most librarians will fill many roles in their organization. But do you really need an MLS, a PhD in computer science, 5 years of experience with the exact OPAC used by this library, and be fluent in Mandarin Chinese to do a good job in this position? I’m exaggerating for effect of course, but when I see a long grocery list of exaggerated required skills, I walk away.

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

Communicate! I am left with a bad taste in my mouth when I spend hours and hours putting together an application packet that is tailored to a particular job position and I do not receive any acknowledgment. A form letter acknowledging receipt and letting me know I will be contacted if they are interested in interviewing me is sufficient. Be polite – it does not take that much effort. When I don’t receive any acknowledgment at all, I tend to revise my opinion of the organization – and not in a good way!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking

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, Rural area

Opportunity to Grow/Ability to Be Creative/Friendly Atmosphere

Jennifer CrutchfieldThis interview is with job hunter Jennifer Crutchfield, a 2008 alumnus of Simmons college. She is currently a Reference/ Instructional Librarian and Archivist at Manchester Community College, CT, where she enjoys very friendly co-workers.  She is a member of SAA, NEA, and ALA, and is looking for part-time or full-time archivist work. Ms. Crutchfield has been hunting for more than 18 months, looking in Academic libraries, Archives, and Special libraries for positions requiring at least two years of experience. This is what she has to say about volunteering:

I volunteer a lot. I’ve loved every place I’ve volunteered with. They all really appreciate you. But at some point you realize that you have to make some money. It doesn’t mean you have to stop volunteering, it just means you realize how hard it is to get a paying job in this field.

She is currently in a suburban area, in the Northeastern US and is willing to move within the Northeast.

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

Opportunity to grow.
Ability to be creative.
Friendly atmosphere.

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, CT Library jobs, Archives Gig. Random web searches.

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 spend about an hour or so on preparing my application. It may take longer if it is an online application where you need to fill in a lot of information. The cover letter takes the longest for me because I try to tailor it to each job.

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

√ Other: Maybe a little. I write this because sometimes you are capable of doing a certain task, but may not have had to do it in your current position.

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?

I think they should have an open mind. Just because someone has 20 years experience doesn’t mean they are the best for the job.

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

Contact us no matter what!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

It is who you know as well as what you know. Many jobs I have applied for left me thinking “Why didn’t I get this job?” When I ask for some of the reasons why I didn’t get the position, many times it comes down to the position being filled by an internal applicant or someone who has the qualifications and is recommended by the employee who is leaving the position. This is just my experience.

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, Special, Suburban area