Back in September, I totaled my overall Job applications stats to date. Here, I’d like to reflect on my job search in 2011 and what I learned since I don’t think I’ll be applying to anymore jobs in the next few days. In 2011, I expanded my criteria for jobs, applying to jobs which are not in the LA area, and which are sometimes not in California.
I applied to 11 jobs
I went on 6 interviews
I filled out 1 supplemental application beyond the initial one included with the application
and I took 1 written exam
Out of those interviews, I received 1 job offer for my part-time LAPL substitute position that I have only been able to go to once, 2 of those interviews were phone interviews, and at one place, I made it to the second round, out of which they picked the candidate, so that’s not too shabby.
What I learned…
- Phone interviews are scary, but, according to the librarians who conducted it on the other end, I came across friendly, confident, and knowledgeable, which they said is difficult to do. They are also awesome because you don’t have to dress up – although I did for both. The first one because it was supposed to be a Skype interview, but they couldn’t get the Skype to work on their end, and the second one because I had to leave for work as soon as my interview ended.
- Read all job postings very carefully. For one job, I found out that there was a caveat – they were only reading the first 200 applications and I took my time with my supplemental questions and turned it in the day before it was due. Apparently there were more than 200 applications and mine was never read (and let me tell you, it was an amazing supplemental application). In the postings on list-servs and the job application descriptions I read I never saw this announcement, but a peer said that they saw it in one of the postings on a list-serv, so I need to read all of them and read them thoroughly and don’t procrastinate and turn in the application with plenty of time to spare
- Don’t get too comfortable. Depending on the interviewers and their style, sometimes I get too comfortable with my answers. Interviews are not a time to be playful or joke around, no matter how the interviewer may seem. You never know how your words can be misconstrued and since its a high stress situation and you’re kind of on edge anyways, who knows what will come out of your mouth.
- Be descriptive. Sometimes places don’t even look at my application because I’m only part-time and they feel that I haven’t worked enough hours to meet their minimum 2-years experience requirements. One HR department let my friend in on a little secret – list everything. List hours worked, # of months doing out of classification work, paid and non-paid professional level work. Some places literally count minutes on the HR part of your application, so make sure you’re well-represented.
Here’s to lessons learned in 2011, an interview the first week of 2012, and hopefully a shot at a full-time job.