Tag: job hunt

This is Your Online Life….

There are many, many days when I feel like I have more of a life online than I do in the real world. I have friends, colleagues, and coworkers that I’ve never met IRL. With the majority of them I have a healthy relationship. There are the ones I hear from all the time, the ones who check in and remember details that are just amazing, and the ones who you pass by on email and go–right, you, we have to swap bad work/interview/date stories again sometime!!

Not all relationships are healthy, though, and I am continually amazed by the people who put themselves into the online world and then start to create a negative persona. This has been a recurring problem that I’ve noticed on the list serves wherein I participate. Everyone has a bad/cranky day and those vents are generally taken at face value, dismissed as soon as we read another email. However, among the professionals there tends to be an understood law of civility–for most of us. The exceptions always make my blood pressure rise. Deliberately inflammatory posts, derogative, mean, and often without much background information…..

I’ll admit it–if you interest me, I might Ask or Yahoo! you. If you annoy me–it’s almost guaranteed that I’ll run a search on you to see what turns up. One point that always makes me fail to take someone seriously–if I can’t find a trail. If you don’t appear to have existed online until last week (literally a problem I encountered with two provocateurs), how am I to know that you’re not using a false identity? Shouldn’t you exist…somewhere? Another point is when I find someone who just seems to complain on a VARIETY of list serves that are publicly archived. Then the person looks globally whiny–not just on my list.

The other point that bothers me–people who think their online reputation won’t carry into the workplace, interviews, etc etc etc. Particularly in the small profession of library science, where we do all know each other, people network and remember. An insult or slur goes much further online than it can in person because now there’s an archive of it. In the past six months I’ve heard only too often a chorus of “me expressing my negative opinion means I get picked on…” and other such woeful verses. I understand the frustration (often about job availability) but not the tone. Do you think I won’t remember when you insult a librarian younger or older than you? Do you think I won’t remember when you verbally attacked another person? Do you think your name won’t trigger a warning bell if I ever see your resume? I think of it less as personal bias than professional preservation.

Said provocateurs are, of course, always just using their own right to freedom of speech. Yet they always seem incredibly affronted when others suggest that these very negative online manners might not assist their career paths. They seem to hold an assumption that “anything goes” online and that employers can’t hold snotty online remarks against a candidate. I even heard an argument that we (the rest of the list readers) shouldn’t judge anyone by their online presence but only by their printed resume. Only—what if I find your resume online? Does it not count because it’s not a printed piece of paper? If you email it to me–isn’t your cover letter then also online remarks? Should I discount that also?

We exist in an online world as much as we do in our physical one and our presence is as important if not more so here.

We now return to the real world so I can pay attention to the incredibly cute, “always ignored,” pathetic cat who just crawled into my lap and started purring.

Pre-Interview Nerves

I have an interview on Thursday!!! Yay!! It’s always a pick me up to be invited to an interview. It’s so much like dating–putting yourself in an online dating service and hoping that your wierd quirks fit someone else’s wierd quirks out there. Hoping you’re not totally un-dateable. Then comes the silence…the checking of your email and phone on the hour hoping someone other than the roommate or mother has called.

Lots of practice at this one 😉

An interview is a huge pick me up though–it’s proof that perhaps there is a perfect fit and to that end…it’s time to find the “look.”

For this interview, I’ve the great advantage that a friend of mine works for the system. I’ve been able to pick her brain on all kind of topics before I go in to meet with them. This not only gives me inside info on the system, it also allows me to ask questions that might not be correct for an interview. Over my two years of recent interviews and numerous online discussions, I’ve learned that there are a number of areas that are “fuzzy” when going into an interview. Sometimes you can ask and it’s fine…other times not so much.

I’m nervous, of course, and I’ll change my mind on my outfit six times. And of course, it’s going to be a high of 40 that day. It’s October people!! 40 should be my low…not my HIGH. I’m not in the upper peninsula of Michigan!! I’ll be freezing in a skirt, but I should wear a skirt.

Alright…enough library stuff for the evening…I’m going to do another post on my knitting obsession and then get back to the hat I’m working on right now.

Cheers

Be specific in your job ad

The job hunt continues and the rejection letters occasionally trickle from my old address in the Big Apple. There’s a hope that now that I’m a local candidate the trickle will become a drip or shut off entirely.

One request I have to employers: please be specific in what you are looking for when you post a job ad. If you want years of experience or specific experience in a certain kind of library, be up front about those requirements. It is unfair and unkind of you to not put it in the job ad and then site it in my rejection letter.

I received one note which stated that I was not selected for an interview because I didn’t have experience in that kind of library. I opened up the saved copy of the job description on my computer and carefully read through it. Had they asked for experience? They had not. No mention of preferred background or experience was mentioned anywhere in the ad. This made me mad. I had applied for a job where I met all of the posted requirements and where I believed I could be successful. No, I don’t have years of experience in that particular type of library. I only got my degree a year and a half ago…

I don’t want to rant about the lack of entry level library jobs (though it’s true) but I do ask that if you’re looking for something specific…tell me. Let me know if I could meet the needs you’re looking for in a candidate. If I’m not, why make me waste my time pouring myself into a cover letter, sending it with the trepidation of a teenager asking someone out for the first time, and then be crushed when I’m told that I’m being rejected because of a scale I didn’t know existed. I’d rather read the ad, be mildly frustrated that I don’t meet your requirements, and move on to something where I could be their ideal candidate.

For those employers who do put detail–believe me, it’s greatly appreciated!!!!!