To apply for this job even though I don't meet the essential criteria?(29 Posts)
I currently work as a HCA in a hospital ward, I am seriously demotivated. I need something new. I have good A Levels and GCSEs, A's in all but 2 subjects.
I have seen a job in my local high school as a library assistant, this is just what I've been looking for. Perfect hours, close to home and I love library's and books. Only problem is you need library experience . Should I just go for it anyway or is it a pointless waste of time if I don't meet the criteria?
Nothing to lose. They may not get any fully qualified applicants.
If you don't apply, you are definitely not going to get the job!
Worst case scenario is that you waste a few hours on the application form and get rejected.
Best case might involve a job!
Why not try? You certainly won't get it if you don't apply.
In our area the library has cut down on staff and introduced self scanning machines for books. I believe many were made redundant so I guess if it's the same in your area there may be experienced people around to apply.
Stress that you can do (or are willing to learn) first aid as that is an extra that some don't want to do and also that you have experience with members of the public.
It depends on job demand in your area. When I recruit we get at least 40 applicants per vacancy so those who didn't have essential criteria wouldn't get a look in.
But enthusiasm counts for a lot and there's nothing to lose by trying!
What does the essential criteria actually say?
"Library experience" could mean experience spending time in a library and so knowing how it works. Different thing to working in a library.
If it is an essential criteria rather than desirable, from my experience as a shortlister and interviewer - your application would not be considered.
How about getting in a weeks work experience working in a local library between now and the application deadline? At least then you would have something to say in relation to this criteria.
Yes what have I got to lose? I'm going to apply. It's says experience working in a library but it's been re-advertised, I didn't apply the first, now I see this as a sign!
include anything/everything that shows your love of libraries...book clubs, volunteer work, school librarian, etc. to show that you're taking the job seriously and would not flake out after a short period.
Include anything that have which is relevant, even if it's not listed. E.g. first aid (as someone mentioned), working with the public, etc.
Good luck. Include a cover letter to explain why you're applying.
Good idea about the cover letter, I can definitely sell myself. Oh this job is so me! I have my own library at home, could that count as experience?
Apply! I used to work for an American company and the ethos was always, what is the point applying for a job that you can already do 100%? You won't learn anything or stretch yourself. They always hired for attitude not skill.
Sorry I'm digressing but apply - good luck!
Always ask if you want something. The worst a person can do is say no.
Apply but also call them up and have an informal chat and make sure they know that you have the enthuisasm and are willing to learn eventhough you dont have the experience.
First impressions count so make sure you leave a positive first impression before the shortlisting stage.
Organise some work experience at your local library, read up on issues relating to library & information management. See if the OU/local uni offer library information management courses to help you become familiar with that type of work.
Another vote for definitely throwing your hat into the ring.
Its a good idea to tailor your CV so it cries out "Im an ideal candidate for a library assistant!"
- show evidence of good organisation skills, attention to detail, high standards, literate and numerate. Best to prioritise the most important exam results first, according to the new role's desirable skills, eg English, Maths, any language skills.
- Highlight your strengths in IT and computing, which systems have you used where you have transferable skills, as these will always stand you in good stead as most libraries are computerised nowadays.
- customer care skills, dealing with members of the public is your forte!
- in your personal interests, mention you enjoy reading, keeping up with current affairs, keeping your home library organised with a wonderful catalogue system, anything like that.
Transferable skills _ whAt do you do now that fits? Find medicines especially that are stored via a particular system? Do you have to replace things where they belong quickly and efficiently? Find items at short notice and second guess where else they might be if not in th e right
Definitely. I applied for my current job with zero experience. Got it and love it.
Definitely throw your hat in, why not?!
To emphasise some points from above -
Libraries are about way more than books, in a school library there will be journals, and audiovisual as well as e-resources.
Customer service is so very important - and you will meet a full range of humanity in a school. You really have to like people. From quiet, easy going kids to the more exuberant. There will be hormones ;) You'll be working closely with teaching staff too to ensure the library provides appropriate supporting resources for their curriculum.
You may have pupil helpers, can you give examples of staff management and appropriate delegation of tasks?
As mentioned above, IT skills are important. Just as important is information literacy - a key skill we can teach young people today is how to evaluate the resources they find on the net when researching. Books are edited, peer-reviewed, invariably accurate and factually correct (though they may still present a one-sided view of course!). The net is full of crazy people who think they know stuff about stuff...it's a critical skill to evaluate a resource to judge its reliability, credentials etc. and one which a school library will be involved in teaching.
There will be fiction as well as non-fiction. Familiarise yourself with the popular authors for the age-groups in your school.
Know your alphabet (you'd be surprised!) and have a look to see how non-fiction files in your local library - many schools use a simplified Dewey (there will almost certainly be shelving tests).
I wouldn't be surprised if in a school library interview you would be asked about child safeguarding...
As an assistant you shouldn't be responsible for leading on any of the above. There should be a librarian or teacher librarian. I'm delighted to see some schools still advertising such posts as cuts have decimated library staff in schools.
Sorry, very quick answer as I'm doing bedtime! I'm a librarian who had close relationships with our schools library service when I was in public libraries.
Best of luck
Thank you all so much for your helpful replys. I'm working night duty right now and haven't great network but will try and get to read them all I'm full soon. I definitely am going to apply and will read all the links so. Thanks so much for your help.
The very kind lady who PM'd me (on phone and can't scroll back). Thank you so much. I will reply to you when I can but I really appreciate all your info.
You're welcome OP no need to reply just hope info is of use to you. Some brilliant posts on here with lots of helpful advice.
Absolutely, but don't be surprised or upset if you don't get a response.if they receive many applications that do have all the criteria they may use that as a quick first sift. But don't let that out you off..no guts no glory!
definitely apply, but maybe see this as practice for a future application if you don't get it this time. In our city there are always library assistant jobs being advertised so this won't be the last opportunity.
Do you have a little bit of spare time you could use in volunteering? you might be able to get relevant experience through volunteering - perhaps at a charity bookshop, or a hospital library service, or in a school library - loads of places can't afford to pay for as much librarian time as they really need and would benefit from a few volunteer hours.
What have you got lose. The worse thing that'll happen is you wont get the job, well that's not the end of the world is it, as you never had that job to start with.
Good luck. If possible. Keep us posted.
From your current job you will have a lot of transferable skills and it sounds like what you lack in library experience you certainly make up for it with enthusiasm.
You've got absolutely nothing to lose and as my late nanna used to say " what's for you won't go against you"
Best of luck op
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