01. May 2015 · Comments Off on Tips for the job search process for future librarians · Categories: Uncategorized

Click here for a video recording of my talk at the University of Maryland

Tonight is my talk at the University of Maryland on the job search process for future librarians. I will say that you need to be insanely passionate about working in a library as this desire will allow setbacks to only increase your resolve to find what you are looking for. If you find a position, not matter what it is, make sure you do the best possible work to bloom where you are planted.

After asking for input from the Linked In INALJ Group here are the main points that librarians on the job hunt should be aware of.

For me it is all a matter of strategy and how you plan to strategize your job search. See below for details. Compiling what I learned from the INALJ Group here are the tips I came up with.

  1. Do as much preparation work while in library school as you can. See below for details.
    1. Work in a library setting while you are in school to get valuable work experience
    2. Decide what types of positions you are planning to apply to and study job advertisements for those positions to get an idea as to what skill set you will need
    3. Join and Be Active in Professional Associations
      1. Student memberships are available for a discounted rate
      2. You gain leadership experience
      3. The networking is invaluable and you will need to make contacts
    4. Work on library projects that allow you to make contacts in the field and acquire mentors
    5. Ask the mentors for advice, the earlier you do this the better
    6. If you cannot find a paying job while in school then intern or volunteer at a library
    7. Start applying for positions within about a year of graduation, you will learn from the process and sharpen your skill set.


  1. Identify where you plan to be a librarian and what type of library you want to work in.
    1. Find the major communication source amongst the librarians in that state(website, ListServ,FaceBook,etc.)
    2. You’ll need to know who is hiring and what they are looking for
    3. Think about ways to connect with librarians from that place (i.e. webinar, national conference, etc.) The more contacts you have in that area, the better.


  1. Be willing to move to a different place to find the job you want. Look not only within the U.S., but internationally as well.


  1. Consider a non-traditional library job with a vendor, data management provider, etc.


  1. Invest in skills that will make you stand out such as foreign language, technical skills (i.e. Java, Ruby, Python or any current language) , grant writing, etc. I strongly advise developing a strong electronic presence by creating your own website or by getting active in professional social media venues such as Linked In.


  1. Make sure your cover letter is informative and that you attach this to your resume/CV. Know if the potential employer wants either a CV or resume. Academic libraries lean toward CVs. You can ask your mentors and contacts for advice on this.


  1. Even after you have a job, always be continuously learning. The more you know the more you can do. The more you can do the more valuable you are.


  1. Finally, don’t give up on the process even when things look dim. If there is a will there is way.


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