Broadening Your Job Search Horizons

by Nicole Usiondek, Head Editor, INALJ Michigan

Broadening Your Job Search Horizons

NAUAs many in the library field are aware, you have to be flexible in terms of job location if you would like to increase your chances for finding employment. I was recently in this situation. I was looking for a full time librarian position, but after more than two years, I had yet to be offered any full time position in a library. I decided that I needed to be open to relocation and the idea of relocation came with questions that needed to be answered.

First, where would I want to live? I decided that it did not make much sense for me to blindly send resumes to places that I had no intention of living or would not fit into my long range goals. I created a rating system that helped me determine what matter most to me in regards of location. Did I want to have perfect blue skies and warm weather year round, a low cost of living, or be near friends and family? After I decided what was most important to me, I looked at a map of the U.S. and matched the states that fit into my ideal location scenario.

After my region was selected, I began searching for positions that fit with my previous experience and that would benefit my long term goals. I prepared application materials for each position I felt was a good fit for me and continued to promote my personal brand. I knew I was on the right track when I began getting requests for phone interviews.

I was fortunate, over the course of four months I had three great phone interviews with three different libraries in my targeted region. When it came time for the in person interviews I was starting to get nervous. All three positions were excellent opportunities, and yet I was unable to afford the travel to attend the in person interviews; and as we all know libraries are also facing budget constraints. I was weighing all options, when it occurred to me that I could suggest, that rather than an in person interview, I could see if the libraries were open to a Skype interview.

I can only assume that the libraries were also facing the same dilemma that I was, because when I was invited for the second interviews, two of the three libraries suggested a Skype interview before I was able to bring it up. I eventually was offered one of the positions that I interviewed for during the Skype interview.

My next post will cover the step to take to ensure a successful interview with a web platform and the potential pitfalls to avoid.


Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.