Tag Archives: Special library

Treat both the position and applicants as professionals

digres hunting lodgeThis 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  a year to 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, and Special Librarian.  This job hunter is in an urban area of the Midwestern US, and when asked if willing to move, said:

After relocating for a spouse’s job, relocating for mine would not make sense.

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

Intellectually interesting
A genuine way to make a difference to users
A good place/institution and group of people to work for and with

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, SAA, SLA, LinkedIn, regional library job boards, INALJ digest, Indeed, Archives Gig, and specific area employers whose jobs don’t make it to any of the above

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

√ Other: I expect it and while its not a red flag, it does give me pause when an employer doesn’t list it, especially if the employer is large.

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

The cover letter (business format) is the piece that takes the longest every time since it is customized. My resume/CV usually stays pretty consistent from packet to packet unless I see the need to alter it to emphasize skills the employer is looking for.

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 follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
√ Other:  I only expect selection-stage contact if the applicant pool is large.

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: All of the above is fine; whatever works for the employer.

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
√ Being able to present

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

Be honest and upfront. Say what the salary range is from the get-go. Treat both the position and applicants as professionals. Treating a job as a para-professional position when you clearly require professional (and mid-career professional at that) qualifications is unfair and disrespectful to applicants and the institution in the long run since it won’t be able to attract the top candidates.

If you are an academic institution, don’t automatically discount someone who hasn’t spent their entire career in academia.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Who knows. If I knew that, I’d be a millionaire.

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, Midwestern US, Urban area

Write the Sweetest Rejection Letters

Eerste Wereldoorlog, luchtoorlogThis 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 libraries, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level. This job hunter is in a rural area in the Western US and is willing to move to the Eastern US.

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

Congenial working conditions
salary & benefits
professional development

Where do you look for open positions?

Alerts from particular employers
ALA joblist
INALJ
SLA
USAjobs

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 review and reread the job posting several times. I consider whether I have a reasonable “argument,” that I am a candidate for the job. I consider how to address weak spots. I review my resume and tweak it if I need to. I write a cover letter. Then I go online and complete the application. It takes 2-8 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
√ 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

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

Simplify and clarify the job posting. It’s easier for a candidate to determine whether they’d be a good fit that way. Some of the job postings I’ve seen want a candidate to do everything and be qualified for everything. I’ve seen job postings offering ten dollars an hour and requiring years of experience for a person who will do everything, even walk the dog. It’s just crazy.

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

More communication. Write the sweetest rejection letters. I wish employers would be more honest. Sometimes I know that is not possible, but I would like to know if the interview process is a charade (that is, they already have someone in mind) or if I actually have a chance.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing people before the job posting.

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

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

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, Special

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

This Should Be a Profession That Cares and Has Empathy, Not a Profession That Reinforces a “Dog Eat Dog World.”

raymond wangRaymond Wang volunteers at both the East Los Angeles College library and the Pacifica Radio Archive. He is proud of his work with students, both in his current position as a part-time tutor, where he has helped three students go from struggling to getting an A or B, and in his previous work at the Prince George County Public Schools (DC suburb), where 95% of students are on free or reduced lunch and his 7th grade Algebra class achieved an 80% student pass rate on their Maryland High School Assessment Test. Mr. Wang has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months, in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the entry level. Here is how he describes his experience with internships/volunteering:

Pacifica Radio Archives Feb 2013
East Los Angeles Community college Jan 2013- Present
Santa Barbara Public Library Aug 2012-Dec 2012
Duke Univ Perkins Library Jan 2010-May 2010

Mr. Wang was previously a college radio DJ at WXYC Chapel Hill and KVRX Austin, and he plays violin, keyboard and laptop. In his free time he collaborates with friends to make music. He has a featured article and a poem on the APALA segment “What’s Your Normal?” Mr Wang is in an urban area in the Western US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

TRAINING
TRAINING
TRAINING

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, Libgig, email listserv (CALIX, INFOLIT)

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 review the job description very thoroughly
Contemplate for hours to see if I meet the job description
If I decide I do, then I tailor my resume to the posting
Write a cover letter that showcases my experiences and skills to explain why you should hire me.
Send it to friends for edits (usually several iterations)
Contact references via email to make sure they are OK with me using them
Provide my references.
Fill out the application attach resume, cover letter and references.

Usually a week or 20 hrs for a library fellows position, depends on the job.

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

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To 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
√ Other: Let me know how I can improve my application

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

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

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

Provide a clear and succinct job description.
Be honest and realistic with regards to qualifications, experiences and job duties
Librarians are not clowns, we shouldn’t have to wear 20 different hats and juggle 5 batons or more. We didn’t go to school to work for Ringling Bros.
Show some respect,support and encouragement towards potential job seekers, don’t treat them like just another number. Always follow up, communicate, explain why and take the time as we have taken the time to fill out your application.

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

They need to make the online application more user friendly with less hoops.
Make it more personal.
Answer questions about the position with detail and honesty
Be thorough and not ambiguous
Most of all be respectful and understanding that there are people who have been unemployed for 2 or more years without income, experience and accumulated a lot of debt.
This should be a profession that cares and has empathy not a profession that reinforces “a dog eat dog world.”

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Connections
Hard Skills
Soft Skills,
Experience
AND MOST OF ALL TIMING!

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

Thank you for taking the time to create this survey. Also, I hope this will let the politicians and higher ups know how difficult it is to get a job. Library Fellowships need to be more flexible on the terms of graduation dates! There are also needs to be more of 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 Job hunter's survey, Urban area, Western US

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!

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Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

Hire More Often

On the trail - Buffalo Hunt (LOC)This 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 More than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Senior Librarian. Here is how this person describes his or her experience with internships/volunteering:

I’ve had two internships, one at the area Historical Society, the other at the genealogy department of the county library. I learned a lot at the historical society, no so much at the library. I’ve also volunteered at the state archives and the local genealogical society. For me personally, it’s hard to keep a commitment to a place where you don’t get paid.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.

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

1) a feeling of my contribution being important
2) something interesting to do, something that will aid and/or benefit patrons, users, etc., even if it is just ‘busy work.’
3)decent pay

Where do you look for open positions?

everywhere! I have a list of websites local to my area that I check at least twice a week.

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?

Even though I find the whole thing somewhat time-consuming and sometimes, at least at this point (over two years of effort with no luck) futile, I do try to write the cover letter to respond to the needs of the advertisement, and hope for the best.

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?

Be willing to be flexible on requirements.

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

Hire more often.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I don’t know….If I knew, I wouldn’t be filling out this survey!

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

How much impact, if any, does entering this field at a later age have on the ability to get a job? For me personally, I quit a long-term secretarial job several years ago to return to school full-time, completed both a Bachelor’s and a Masters, and now I cannot find work. I don’t know if its because I’m older, or that I have limited experience in a library setting, or that I’m essentially changing careers in mid-life. Probably a combination all these things.

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, Midwestern US

To Do Something That a Trained Monkey Couldn’t Accomplish Just as Easily

Hunting Party Near The Writing-On-Stone Royal Northwest Mounted Police Detachment Galt Museum and Archives on the Flickr CommonsThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has 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 Archives and Special libraries, 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:

2 internships, one in a special library (during grad school) and one in audiovisual archives (after grad school for more experience); 2 years volunteering with a public library.

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?

Experience, an interesting environment, to do something that a trained monkey couldn’t accomplish just as easily

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, SLA listserv

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?

Probably about 10 minutes, more if the requirements are more stringent or the application process is more complicated (looking at you, UNICEF)

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?

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 should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Be more forthcoming (with requirements, reservations about candidacy, reason for hiring/not hiring). And if they’re rejecting a candidate, especially after one or more in-person interviews, there is no excuse for failing to contact the candidate.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing someone in the organization or being able to namedrop; not being overqualified.

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

I Agonize Over Every Sentence

Leslie Norman has a  MLIS (Rutgers, 2005) and a MA in Political Science (John Hopkins, 1997).  She has worked as a news librarian, and has research credits for eight published articles and two books. However, newspapers have shrunk and Ms. Norman is currently without a job. She is looking for a research position in the metro NYC area, while contemplating a change to cataloging or archive work.  She has been looking for more than 18 months, in Academic libraries, Archives, and Special libraries, for positions requiring at least two years of experience. Ms. Norman is in a city/town in the Northeastern US, and would be willing to move:

Only if my husband found work also

She is an information junkie, loves mystery books and long-form non-fiction essays, kills tomatoes in the summer, forgets to feed the backyard birds, and watches too much TV. You can find her on Twitter@no1newshound

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

Challenging work where I learn new technologies, new ways of improving  work skills, and help the organization achieve its goals.

A manager that knows how to manage, provides essential training and wants me to succeed in my position while I give my best to move the company forward.

Decent salary for the area I live in.

Where do you look for open positions?

Many job boards

LinkedIn

Job alerts set up from job boards

LibGig

Emails from local library schools, local library associations, Chronicle of Higher Education, and local SLA chapters listservs

I Need a Library Job

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?

Tweak resume to match job ad

Write cover letter to address the qualifications listed in the ad

It takes a long time for me to write cover letters because I agonize over every sentence. Unfortunately that effort is not resulting in interviews.

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?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

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

√ Tour of facility

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

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

Write job announcements with detail.

Place the ad in as many local places as possible.

Specifically target local chapters of library associations, alumni associations of library schools and library groups like SLA and ALA.

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

Provide application deadlines if possible.

Notify applicant if she doesn’t get the job after the interview.

Provide some information as to why an applicant didn’t get the position within.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I think it’s having the right experience and good internships. Previously, I didn’t understand the importance of internships.   Now that I need to possibly change specializations, the market is saturated and only students can get internships. I have two MAs but I don’t have enough experience to get an academic position. It’s difficult to live in the metro NYC area which is a competitive market.

Networking is important also but it can be very difficult for an introverted person like myself.  The bottom line is applying for jobs where one’s experience matches the ad and believing in oneself despite the circumstances.

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

Sadly…..being young

Hunting party on the shore State Library and Archives of FloridaThis 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, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, and Special libraries, at the following levels:Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Western US and is not willing to move.

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

1. Job satisfaction
2. Job security
3. Fair compensation

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ
SimplyHired
Library websites
various listserves

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 modify an existing application to fit the job.
Two hours of rereading and revision.

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

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

Not limit hiring to inhouse or interns only.

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

Have applications online.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being positive.
Doing research about the library.
Knowing someone in the organization.
Sadly…..being young

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

Being able to relocate or travel is very helpful.

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, Western US