About two months ago I applied for a reference librarian job at a law school. It was a part-time distance job, and the pay was literally minimum wage where I live. I didn’t apply for the job for the money, I applied for the experience. My library experience has to date been limited to an internship where I cataloged books, magazines and the like, along with a dose of reference work tossed in. I applied because I figured I could continue my practice, continue looking for permanent, full-time library work, and get needed, practical experience.
The specs for the job were EITHER a completed law degree OR a completed MLIS/MLS, with the other to be finished within 6 months of appointment. Preferred qualifications include law practice or reference work. I have the law degree, will get the MLIS next month, have been a practicing lawyer for nearly 10 years, and have some reference experience too.
I heard back – itself a rarity – and didn’t get the job. But it was the phrasing of that rejection that makes me write. I was told I was “unqualified.”
I can deal with rejection; that is part and parcel of job hunting: if you have a thin skin, you’ll never get anywhere. But to be told you’re “unqualified” for a job for which you more than meet the requirements for the position, and have done all the tasks listed to boot is a bit much.
If I’d been told that others better met the requirements (like having more reference experience) that would’ve been one thing. I’d still be irritated but could better deal with it all and move on.
It kinda makes you wonder what search committees are looking for.
Or maybe it’s just that some people don’t think.