I listened to a webinar done by LLAMA (Library Leadership and Management Association) a couple of weeks ago and I thought I’d post some of my notes in case they are helpful for anyone else.
Webinar: Job Hunting for the Recent or Future MLS Graduate
November 18, 2010
— presenter was Brian Keith — HR at University of Florida Libraries
When starting your job search:
- Know what your salary requirements are. If you can’t afford to live off of what the job will pay, it isn’t the job for you. But it’s also wise to remember that what you’re paid will be based on your education and experience. There are a couple of surveys that could help you figure out your salary requirements — ARL Salary Survey, ALA Salary Survey for both public and academic libraries.
- It is tough to know how many applications to send out. The better they’re done, the more complete they are and therefore the more time you spend on them, the fewer you need to send out. However, if you can compose a well-crafted cover letter that can have minor adjustments for future job applications, you are saving yourself time. But make sure you make all the necessary adjustments. Don’t apply to a job at the Green Library and give them a letter addressed to the Yellow Library.
The application itself:
- CV vs Resume
- Both are acceptable; pay attention to what the job description requires.
- CV is usually for academic professions and can be as long and detailed as is necessary.
- Resume is for business professions and is usually 1-2 pages.
- Cover Letter
- Develop and deliver your message early in the cover letter. This is your chance to shine!
- Look back at the job description and highlight the required and preferred qualifications listed. Focus on your strongest qualifications.
- Explain your interests or your career path or personal goals. Explain why it would be a good move for both you and the organization.
- If your experience isn’t library-related, explain why it is still relevant and how it improved your suitability for the job. (This can also include education and volunteer experiences)
- This should be well-written, proofread and be 1-1.5 pages.
- Choose your references wisely. If the application is looking for someone with supervisory experience, your reference should be someone who knows about your skills in this area.
- Prepare your references by sending them an updated version of your CV or Resume, a copy of the job description and your cover letter.
- If links and reports and other information are included in the job application or other emails you receive after being selected for an interview, know what that information says. The organization is handing you the answers to interview questions and you will be able to get a better grasp of the organization if you’re aware of it early.
- Be able to answer: “Why do you want this job?”
- Show engagement, enthusiasm and leadership in librarianship
- Remember that search committees are not necessarily skilled recruiters. You may have to ask them questions if you the questions you were asked do not cover everything you have to say.
- Ask questions during your interview:
- Why is this position available?
- What do you like best about working with this organization?
- What are the expectations for this position?
- What are the opportunities for advancement?
- What are stakeholders in this organization looking for?
Those are my notes. Any additional ideas or tips?
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