launch your library career: preparing yourself, and your materials, for the challenge

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  • 1. Launch Your Library Career:Finding, and Getting, Your Ideal JobPart 1 of 2Carrie Netzer Wajda & Susanne MarkgrenMay 21, 2013Preparing Yourself, and Your Materials,for the Challenge
  • 2. OverviewBy the end of this program, you will know how to: Analyze job descriptions Find traditional and alternative job opportunities Research potential employers Write effective cover letters and resumes Tailor application materials to a specific job Avoid common resume pitfalls and understandwhat employers look for in application materials
  • 3. Agenda10:00-10:15 Overview & Introductions10:15-10:45 Resumes10:45-11:00 Small Group Resume Review11:00-11:20 Searching for & Analyzing Job Descriptions11:20-11:30 Researching an Employer11:30-11:45 Break11:45-12:00 Dissecting a Job Description12:00-12:15 Cover Letters12:15-12:45 Writing Cover Letters12:45-1:00 Q&A, Wrap-up, Sharing, Next Steps
  • 4. Resumes: What Are They For? The purpose of a resume is to document your educational credentials, on-the-job experience, and professional service and activity. Generally limited to 5 pages, max (more commonly 1-2 in special libraries) Whats the difference between a resume and a CV? Both ask for basicemployment information, education credentials and contact information. CV or Resume? The CV is more commonly used internationally and in academia. In theUS, the resume prevails. CVs may include information not commonly included on theresume, such as date of birth, nationality, and summaries ofexperience and research specialization. The CV is generally longer and follows a carefully prescribed format.
  • 5. Elements of a Good Resume Clear chronological or functional Scannable selectively use keywords Tailored to fit the specific role No typos Must contain: education, workexperience, contact info, professional affiliationsor publications May contain: summary statement, keywords(bold cautiously), extra training, specific skill sets
  • 6. Page 1 Page 2
  • 7. GROUP RESUME CRITIQUE15 minutes
  • 8. Finding Job ListingsMETRO Job Bank: Joblist: Times*: of Higher Ed: Higher Ed: Hired:*Powered by
  • 10. Analyzing Job Listings Clear sense of the positions essential duties requirement vs. preferred Reasonable expectations of experience (beware BA in Library Science) Is compensation if listed in line with required degree & experience level? Sense of the institution you would be working in Some sense of how the role fits within the organizationBeware: Mismatch between qualifications & duties (i.e., MLIS degree required for shelvingbooks) Too many or unrelated responsibilities (i.e.Cataloger/Instruction/Outreach/Childrens Librarian) Too few or unpredictable hours, or both (applicant pools) Expectation of professional experience & education for low wages Requesting salary expectations bidding on the jobConsiderations: institutional restrictions, legal/HR language & how it affects listings
  • 11. Researching a Prospective EmployerCan you find? Who you would report to? Is this a new position? Is there someone else in thesame role/position/title? An organizational chart? Who would be your departmental colleagues? What are these colleagues doing? Are theyprofessionally active? Is there a mission statement for the library/institution? What makes the library /institution unique?
  • 12. Break
  • 13. HOW WOULD I FIT?5 minutes: In two columns, write down your understandingof what qualities the prospective employer wants and howyour experience fulfills that need.Prospective Employer wants: I have:MLS Degree MLS Degree1-3 years of experience 1 year of experienceLeadership experience Led a volunteer groupTeaching experience Taught English to ESL studentsPublic speaking experience Presented at a conference
  • 14. Cover Letters: Dos and DontsWhat You Should Do in YourCover Letter: Explain why you are right for the job. Mention where you saw the job ad. Relate your experience and skills to the jobrequirements. Explain gaps (if any) in your work history/resume. Explain why you intend to (or want to) move forthe job. Expand on one or two specific jobs or projects oraccomplishments (that relate to the job). Highlight one or two specific systems or toolsthat you have used in a current or previous job. Demonstrate that you can write well. Show a potential employer that you knowsomething about their library. Convince the reader that you really want the job. Be gracious.What You Shouldnt Do in YourCover Letter: Address it to the wrong person. State that you are the best person for the job. Discuss experience and skills that are notrelevant to the job requirements. Ignore any gaps in your resume/work history. Not express interest in relocating, if the library isin another city or state or country. Use generic language with no specificdiscussions of jobs or tools or accomplishments. Forget to convey interest/enthusiasm in the job. Forget to include any mention of the job orlibrary you are applying for. Not convince the reader that you want the job. Write poorly, with spelling errors or problemswith grammar or sentence structure. Be overly confident.
  • 15. Cover Letters: Telling Your Story Use proper formatting and send as an attachment(unless otherwise directed) Separate file from your resume Match your experience to the statedrequirements/preferreds Explain any gaps in your resume. Be direct, butbrief. Cover letters are writing samples, so use goodwriting mechanics active voice; avoid bullets
  • 16. Cover Letters: Telling Your Story Paragraph One: Say where you saw the job ad. State your interest in theposition, and explains why you are interested. Paragraph Two: Summarize your current situation: your role and your libraryand your organization/institution/etc. Pretend you are introducing yourself. Paragraph Three: Address the first (most important) job requirement and talkabout specific examples to connect your background (experience and skills) withthe job. Paragraph Four: Address the next job requirement (or next few job reqs.) andtalk about specific examples to connect your background with the job. Paragraph Five: Discuss other skills that you have that are relevant to the job(these might be the preferred qualifications), and be specific. If the jobrequires technical skills or inter-personal skills, or foreign language skills, or asecond masters degree, provide examples here. Paragraph Six (or final paragraph): Re-state your interest in the job and thankthe committee for its time and consideration of your application. Do not say thatyou will call them. Do not say that you are best candidate for the job. Do not saythat you look forward to interviewing with them. Just say thank you.
  • 17. Cover Letters: Examples
  • 18. Cover Letters: Examples
  • 19. WRITING COVER LETTERS30 minutes
  • 20. Q&A
  • 21. Thank you!Carrie Netzer Wajda: cnetzerwajda@gmail.comSusanne Markgren:
  • 22. Appendix of Resources Surviving Your First Library Job Search: or, What I Had To Learn the Hard Way, Reproduced Here, forYou, So That You Are Not Driven To Drink as Well. Steven Hoover -- Library Journal, 09/15/2009 Crafting a Winning Resume. Tiffany Allen. January 2005. Making Your Cover Letter Work for You. Tiffany Allen and Richard A. Murray. March 2002.How Do I Get There From Here? Changing Jobs, Changing Roles, Changing Institutions. SusanneMarkgren and Tiffany Allen. College & Research Libraries News, 6