In this second posting, the Question and Answer session from the SfNP Summer Seminar continues. In this post, we post questions relating to minimum wage, CVs and the Recruitment Panel give their top tips for getting a job.
Q7. Should we be applying for jobs where the salary is less than what ARA recommends for a starting salary for qualified professionals?
The panel advised that if we apply for these jobs it could undermine us as all a profession if we keep accepting these badly paid jobs. Sometimes you see employers re-advertising the same job later on possibly indicating that they haven’t been able to recruit to the post.
It is possible that if some organisations look at salaries being offered by other places, salaries will start going down and people will start paying less. On the other hand, other companies won’t pay reduced salaries because they know they won’t attract the right candidates if the money is too low.
Q8. Is it worth changing your CV for each job you apply for?
Yes. The CV should be tailored for the job. Go through the Job Description and make sure your CV is relevant to the post.
Q9. When you don’t have all the experience that a recruiter is wanting in their criteria listed in the job advert, do you miss out that part of the criteria, or how would you try and address it?
Try to address it by using other transferrable skills or what you’ve learnt on the course. As long as you’ve answered the question – even if it’s not completely relevant – shows that you haven’t ignored it.
Don’t ignore the question, otherwise it will be obvious that you haven’t addressed it and so, in the interview, the very first thing they’re going to do is ask you about that aspect. They may not even shortlist you if you’ve not answered all the questions.
You could also write what you’re going to be doing in the future to address that missing area. You may not have experience in certain areas, such as disaster planning or preservation, but if you are going on a course relating to these areas, mention it because it shows willing and that you recognize it as an area of weakness that you’re willing to address. Be honest about the areas in which you lack experience and what you plan to do about it.
Q10. Could the panel each give a top tip for the new professionals?
a) Try to do something that makes you stand out, such as having worked abroad. It can be an interesting talking point in interviews. It could be something you’ve done in a previous position, such as something that you’ve organized or done something out of your own initiative, such as creating a blog or Twitter. Do one thing that makes you stand out and it will hopefully get you across the barrier from application to interview.
b) Maintain your enthusiasm. No-one chooses archives and records management because they’re going to be a high flyer. You choose it because you’re really interested and committed to it. You’re enthusiastic about what you’re going to do. That is a privilege. There are not that many careers where people go into it because it’s what they really want to do. Keep your enthusiasm and there will be opportunities.
c) Don’t get too downhearted if you don’t enjoy your first role, there will be other opportunities.
d) Try to imagine yourself in the role that you’re being interviewed for. Be prepared for when an interview panel asks ‘what would you do in this scenario’, or ‘what would you do to attract students?’ You have to imagine yourself instantly in that position. These are the kind of questions that have been asked in post-course interviews. This is where by doing your research and knowing that job description inside out pays off.
e) Ask them questions in the interview. It’s a chance for you to find out if you want to work there. You’re interviewing them as well. Use these questions wisely. In some places, the panel is really rigid in what they have to ask. This is an area where you can shine by asking good questions, such as asking the panel why they enjoy working there and why should I work there? Another good question to ask is what is their favourite thing in the collection?