Tag Archives: Objective pronoun

Don’t Waste Your Time and the Space on Objectives in Resumes

Rear Adm. William Hilarides tours the Pritzger Military Library with senior librarian Theresa Embry

 

This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.

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

Intelligence and creativity
The candidate has good communication skills
The candidate plays well with others and can work without supervision.

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

If they don’t meet our required qualifications, we can’t even consider them for interviews
Poor people skills/customer service skills, regardless of the type of position. You need to be able to communicate and deal with people.

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

Boilerplate cover letters. Sometimes they don’t even change out the institution for mine. Do your homework. Read up on our institution. Customize it for us!
Typos. This is supposed to be their best work and they didn’t spend the time proofreading?

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

For entry level candidates, they often don’t think to include their involvement with either professional library organizations or student professional library organizations.
Be specific

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?

√ As an attachment only

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

Listen to our questions and provide thoughtful answers. Be prepared for our presentations and for our questions. Do your research on us as a library and as an institution.

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

Being poorly prepared
Being overly nervous or overly cocky. It’s ok for a candidate to be somewhat nervous or somewhat confident, but too often they go to extremes.
Not listening to questions, talking over people
Not having questions to ask us

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

As the market has tightened, the pool of candidates has increased significantly. Also we’re now using an online system. Workloads have increased.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

For us, the cover letter is really crucial. It’s best if you can dovetail it with what we’ve put on the posting. This is where you show us that you can write.
Don’t waste your time and the space on objectives in resumes.
Find a librarian in the field you want to work in. Have them look at your resume and cover letter.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

When I Receive Dozens of Resumes as Attachments, I Would Like to Find Yours Easily

James Library, Madison, New Jersey, ca. 1900This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.

 

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

enthusiasm for the advertised position
required skills and experience or the ability to relate your skill set to the advertised position
good communication skills

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

I understand you’re applying for many positions, but make sure your letter is addressed to me and my institution! I’ve received letters applying for the job at College X and I’m at College Y.
Don’t be late for an interview but don’t show up 1/2 an hour early either.

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

I’m tired of applicants not addressing the advertised position. I’m tired of applicants using the cover letter to reiterate what’s on their resumes. Tell me why you want THIS job.

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

This comment isn’t about what they include, but what they name the resume. When I receive dozens of resumes as attachments, I would like to find yours easily. So please name it  “jones barbara resume.doc” rather than “resume2.doc.”

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

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?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

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

√ I don’t care

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

Be enthusiastic and curious. Ask questions. It’s ok to take your time and give a thoughtful answer to a tough question.

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

Giving one word or one sentence responses – I want to hear about your experience and accomplishments and ideas.
Not having any questions for the committee.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Good luck!!

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

Reader Request: Greensboro Libraries

This interview is with Kathy Bradshaw, the Human Resources Librarian at The University of North Carolina Greensboro.  The University Libraries have 100-200 staff members. This interview was requested by a reader who is interested in their Diversity Residency.   These responses are not specific to the Diversity Residency posting, but are responses that are applicable to all positions. Ms. Bradshaw has been part of the hiring process as a manager, a member of a hiring committee, and in a human resources capacity.

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

  • Good writing skills.  The majority of the librarians at my institution are hired as tenure track faculty,  and publication is  expected.  Poor writing skills will not reflect well on your application.
  • A cover letter that outlines why the applicant is suitable for the position advertised.  The cover letter should tell us not only why you are a good candidate for the position, but how your skills and knowledge will benefit the organization, and how those skills are applicable to the advertised position.
  • Previous experience or education that matches the advertised position.  For entry level positions, internships and/or practicums, even volunteer  experience in a library is crucial.

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

  • Our professional librarians are required to have an ALA accredited MLS.  We always get applicants that don’t have the required degree.
  • Having an objective for a position that I didn’t advertise.  (I had an application from a person who gave her objective as “To obtain a position as a school media specialist.”  I work in an academic library-we don’t have any positions for school media specialists.)
  • Being unprepared for the interview (this happens more with telephone interviews.)
  • Applicants that send cover letters to the wrong employer (It happens more than you think; this is common because many people looking for a job, recycle both their resume and cover letters and use them for every job application.)
  • A poorly written cover letter.
  • Excessive typos (especially when they say they are a detail oriented person) in the cover letter or resume.

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

Letters with long descriptions of how hard working, industrious, etc. the applicant is, but fail to address the position requirements.

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

Hobbies are usually not relevant to the position advertised.  Listing your hobbies takes up precious space that could have been used to describe additional skills or accomplishments.  Applicants should also remember to put their full name and contact information (email, phone number) on every document that is submitted.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√  Two is ok, but no more

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√  Other:  We are an academic library, and it is expected that the experienced librarians we hire would have an extensive CV, detailing publication and presentation experience.  The exception would be for entry level positions.

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√  Other:  I actually prefer PDF, but what really matters is that the applicant follow the specific instructions outlined in the posting.

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ Other:  To me, an objective is a waste of precious real estate on a resume/CV.  Hiring managers know that your objective is to get a job.

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

√ Other:  Again, it is crucial to follow the instructions in the posting.  In our current system, sending me the cover letter in the email means I have to copy that info and create a Word or PDF document.

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

An applicant that is prepared for the interview and demonstrates to the Search Committee that they have done research on the position, the library, and our institution.

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

Not showing enthusiasm for the position and for the interview, talking too long in response to a question, not providing well thought out answers to common interview questions,  not having any questions for the interviewers.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

We request that references be submitted with the application.  Candidates should not only provide the name of their reference, but the full contact information for the reference (postal address, email address, phone number) and outline the relationship of the reference to the candidate.  Please let us know if this is your former supervisor, colleague, etc.  I have received reference lists with only a name and telephone number, a name and email address, etc.  I have no idea if the reference being provided is a former supervisor or your next door neighbor.

Please ignore this code, which is just some blog business: CECMZK72S3ZG

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, Reader Request

Rejection is Hard, But Often We Get Two or Three Really Good Candidates, and We Can Only Hire One

photo State Librarian James Stapleton and guests at the Book Week launch, Brisbane, ca. 1948This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.

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

1. A well-written cover letter that speaks to the specifics of the position.
2.  Intelligent questions that show an interest in the institution and the position, as well as evidence that the candidate has made an effort to learn something about the institution before the interview.
3.  Relevant experience and good references.

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

1. Obvious errors in spelling and grammar on the written materials of the kind that show lack of attention to detail.
2.  Generic cover letter.
3.  Lack of relevant experience, though there’s some wiggle room for entry-level positions.

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

1. Statements of why the job is great for the applicant.  That’s great, but I’m more interested in the other way around.
2.  People who cannot follow simple directions.  We ask for a vita, a letter, unofficial copies of all transcripts, and contact information for three references.  We always get several applicants who leave things out.  If transcripts are large because they are being sent by an institution, that’s not a problem, but I won’t consider a candidate who does not take the trouble to send a complete application.

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

I don’t like to have to piece together someone’s employment history.  If you left a job to go to school and didn’t work again for two years, say so.  Rule of thumb:  don’t make it an effort on my part to read and understand your resume and letter.  I may have 80 others to get through, and on the first pass I’m looking for reasons to weed some out.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

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?

√ I don’t care

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

√ Other: I prefer attachments, but it’s not going to hurt anyone’s chances if they do it another way, unless we specifically asked for an attachment

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

Be honest.  If you don’t know something, don’t BS.  Show good communication skills.  Again, ask intelligent, well-informed questions.  Prepare some in advance.  Also, send a thank you note the day after the interview to the chair of the committee.  As well as thanking us for the interview, you want to restate your interest in the position.  More than once I’ve been left wondering if the candidate was really interested in the position.

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

See above.

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

It hasn’t changed much, except we have more rules and procedures that HR says we have to follow.

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Keep at it.  Rejection is hard, but often we get two or three really good candidates, and we can only hire one.  If you are a finalist and the job goes to someone else, that does not necessarily mean that you are somehow lacking.  Also, be flexible.  Consider the job that requires some weekend or evening work, or the one located in an area you don’t prefer.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Original Survey