The Library Musings of Jaime Huaman

5 Things You Must Do Before Applying for a Librarian Position

So you have just entered the job market and are looking for the perfect job.  This can be a scary and confusing time for those just entering the profession as well as those who have been laid-off or are returning to work for the first time after a long absence.   Due to the worldwide economic depression as well as the competitiveness of the profession, landing the perfect position can be very difficult.  Applicants must find a way to stand out from the crowd and show that they are the best person for the position. Competing with people with more experience is a difficult thing to do, however, if you follow the 5 golden rules than you will be able to stand out in the crowd.

1.  Determine your ideal organization and position

Determining your ideal organization and position is probably one of the most important steps you must complete before thinking of applying for a position.  Many new graduates, recently laid off librarians, and librarians reentering the job market may be feeling desperate to find a new job, especially considering the long application periods for some positions and the fierce competition for positions.  These applicants often make the mistake of applying for anything and everything in order to just get their foot in the door; this however, may be counter productive.  Casting the widest net may not be the best strategy because it may make a candidate seem desperate to search committees, especially if they apply for several positions within an institution.  Employers remember people who apply for every open position and not for good reasons. It is because these applicants seem desperate for a paycheck.  In this situation, the candidate is not focused on the particular position rather on getting any position and it is noticeable to the potential employer.

The best course of action is to determine first the position you want and then the type of organization.  Do you want to be a reference librarian?  If so what kind of reference?  Are you interested in government documents or history? Do you want to be a systems librarian or work with digital repositories? It can be difficult to narrow down which type of position you want and if you are not sure than you can do some research or contact someone who is in your ideal position and see if they would be willing to give you a tour of their library and provide you with the pros and cons of the position.  I have done this on more than one occasion and the librarians that I have met with have always been a great source of information and always seemed excited to share their ideas about the position and librarianship.

Once you have identified your ideal organization and position than you can evaluate your skills and weaknesses and determine how you can make yourself a more competitive candidate for a position.

2.  Evaluate your skills and weaknesses

Before you apply for any job you need to know what your skills and weaknesses are.  At this point in the game you probably have a pretty good idea of your skill sets, however, you really need to evaluate them to determine what you excel at and where you need more experience or what skills you need.  Most people over look this step in the job search because they feel it’s not important or they think that they can come up with a list at the drop of the dime.  It is important to realize that you will be competing with dozens if not hundreds of other applicants who bring their own unique skills and experiences. Some of them have far more experience or education than you do and you need to provide a convincing argument for why you are the most qualified for the position in question.

Create a list of your skills and how you obtained these skills. For example, if you know how to create databases with access than add that to the list and write down all the databases that you have created.  Other items on your list could include reference, information literacy courses, social media, or website design.  Some people have difficulties in identifying their skills or they do not feel they have many skills.  If you find yourself having a hard time creating this list than ask your coworkers and colleagues what skills they think you have.  Sometimes it is difficult to identify these skills and another person’s opinion can be very helpful. This list will be helpful in preparing for your interviews and writing cover letters.

Next create a list of your weaknesses or the skills that you need.  To create this list you must have done step one.  Once you know what type of position you want than you can identify the skills that you need to be a competitive candidate.  If you are not sure what skills you need than you could ask someone who is in your ideal position or you can examine job announcements.  For example, if you want to be a reference librarian and you notice that many positions require teaching experience and you don’t have any than that would be a weakness that you can work on.  Once you have identified your weakness than you can examine ways to acquire the skills that you need to be a more competitive candidate.

3. Update your resume

This seems pretty self-evident.  If you’re going to be starting a job search than you need to have your resume updated.  However, there is more to it than just adding your current title or adding a graduation date.  In the past year, I have attended several panels that provided tips to job seekers.  During these sessions, the panelists who were in charge of hiring at different types of library institutions described their ideal resumes and cover letters.  There was a general consensus that your resume should be formatted specifically for the type of institution your applying for.  For example, academic libraries wanted graduation dates on resumes to verify years of professional experience, whereas public and special libraries did not want graduation dates on resumes because it could lead to assumptions of the candidates age and therefore opened up the possibility of age discrimination or other assumptions. In other words, you will have to format your resume according to the type of organization that you want to work in.

4. Select your references

Before you start on your job search you want to find 3 or 4 references.  References should be people who are working in libraries and can attest to your work skill.  Your references can be professors if you’re a student or work colleagues/supervisors if you’re already in the profession. The person you choose should have a good understanding of your current position and your skills.  Don’t pick someone you worked with on a committee for one week and never saw again. They will not be able to provide enough information when potential employers contact them.  If you have been in the profession for a while try to choose people who have similar positions or work in the type of organization you’re interested in.  This ensures that your references can talk about the challenges of working in a particular position or organization and how you will succeed.

Once you select potential references make sure that you ask them if they feel they can provide a positive review of your skills to potential employers.  This is not an attempt to coach your references, rather it is just ensuring that they will enhance your job application and not be a negative in your application.

It is important to keep your references informed of your search.  Explain to them what type of institution you want to work in and your ideal position.  Your references will keep an out for your ideal position as well as to provide you feedback on your search and interview techniques. Just remember they are doing you a favor, so try to respect their time and do as much as you can to make their experience easier.  You can do this by informing them of interviews you have been on, providing your cover letter, resume, and job announcement for the position, and explain to them any concerns the search committee had with your application.  Your references should never be surprised by a call for a reference. Overall, they will be a great source for information and opinions.

5. Create and manage your personal brand

Your uniqueness, your skills, your experiences, are arguably the most important part of your professional reputation, in other words your brand. A simple Google search of your name will bring up your online presence.   Your online presence is made up of all the websites, social media sites, blogs, forums etc. that you use.  It is important that you determine what your online presence is and that you monitor it. By creating a professional website, blog, Facebook/twitter/LinkedIn pages you can ensure that if a potential employer googles your name that they will find information on you.  You could even put your website in your resume or cover letters to ensure that hiring committees see your online presence. Using the same photo across all your sites makes your profiles easy to identify and your professional presence can be used to enhance your resume.  For example, you can talk about your pathfinders in a resume, but you can show it to them through your website.  In other words, your personal brand becomes another way to sell your talents and skills.

At this point you also want to create a professional email address that you can use on applications.  Foxyroxy@yahoo.com might not send the right message to possible employers.  Consider getting an email address that contains your first and last names which will make identifying your emails easier for employers.

Librarian Toolkit: Google Drive

In this week’s Librarian Toolkit, we have a tool that is just been made  available and there is a waiting list to use this service.  Despite this, Google Drive seems to have a lot of potential for library use.   Google Drive provides a way to store files from many devices, such as your cell phone or computers, and retrieve them from any location that has an internet connection.  Google Drive’s cloud storage service is similar to dropbox and SkyDrive.  What makes Google Drive particularly attractive is that it allows you to create and collaborate on documents, share files with colleagues, and open files in your browser even if you don’t have the program installed.  They also utilize Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and image recognition on everything that you upload.  So for example if you take a picture of the Washington Monument and store the picture to Google Drive, than Google will identify the photo.

Google utilizes its other Google products such as Google+, Gmail, and Google Docs, by providing special features with in Google Drive.  For example, videos and pictures in Google Drive will be made available in Google+.

Google offers a free account with 5GB of storage after that you will have to fork over $2.49/month for 25 GB, $4.99/month for 100GB, $49.99/month for 1TB.

Google has not yet made this service available to everyone.  You must first sign up and wait to receive an invitation.  I am anxiously awaiting my invitation as I believe this service has many uses for librarians.  One thing you want to consider before using this product in a professional setting is the terms of use of Google which can be found here: http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/policies/terms/regional.html  I was not able to find an individual privacy policy for Google Drive.  For a compairson of the terms of service between SkyDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox click here.

For more information and to sign up for Google Drive when it becomes available, click here: https://drive.google.com/start#home

Google Drive Android App (free): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.docs&hl=en

Librarian Toolkit: SlideShare

SlideShare (slideshare.net) is a great tool that allows you to share your presentations and to view other presentations. Their website boasts over 60 million visitors and being “amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world” (http://www.slideshare.net/about).  Obviously, this a fairly well known tool, however, if you haven’t heard about it than I will explain why you should be using it.

The great part about SlideShare is that you can use it for professional development.  If you want to learn more about a topic such as Library 2.0 or embedded librarians than SlideShare is a great tool.  Instead of waiting for a webinar or presentation at a conference, you can search SlideShare for a presentation on the information your looking for.  Often times the presentations on SlideShare are uploaded by library professionals or presenters of webinars and conferences.  SlideShare can also be used to see how others are presenting and can spark some creative ideas for your own presentations.

Slides are manually moved by the viewer and there is no audio so the viewer has to read the notes for the presentation in order to fully understand the presentation.  Despite this, SlideShare is still a great place to go to share your knowledge and learn from others.

Basic memberships with SlideShare are free and only allow for uploading and sharing presentations, however, it’s important to know a basic membership uploads all presentations as public.  There is also a silver, gold, and platinum membership which offers more bells and whistles such as removing ads, uploading videos, private uploads, creating a personal SlideShare page, a LinkedIn widget, and statistics of your SlideShares.

SlideShare supports a variety of formats.  Files that can be shared include PDFs, power point, open office, videos, and webinars.  Flash files such as those created from Prezi presentations cannot be uploaded to SlideShare, however, you could create a video of the presentation and then upload it.

Using SlideShare is easy.  You just go to their website and type in the subject you’re looking for and you instantly get your results. Uploading your own presentation is also very simple.  SlideShare has done a brilliant job ensuring that its website provides an intuitive browsing experience.

If you’re looking for ways to expand your knowledge on library topics than SlideShare is a tool that you should have in your toolkit, because it’s easy to use and quickly provides ideas on how to present on your own topics as well as being a great source for sharing your ideas and learning from others.

Examples of Library topics in SlideShare:

Library 2.0- http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=library2.0

Embedded Librarians- http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=%22embeded+librarians%22

Reference Interview- http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=%22reference+interview%22

Federal Depository Library System (FDLP)- http://www.slideshare.net/tag/fdlp

Librarian Toolkit: Google Alerts

This week we are highlighting Goolge Alerts.  I love Google Alerts because it allows me to stay current on professional development as well as allowing me to monitor my personal brand.  A personal brand is established through online presence on sites such as Facebook, twitter, linked-in, personal webpages, blogs, articles, and comments.  Managing your personal brand is absolutely essential for the working professional.  Whenever you apply for a job, establish partnerships, or network most likely those people will do a basic internet search on your name.

Do you know what is being said about you?  Creating a Google Alert on your name will  insure that anytime your name appears in the internet that you will receive an alert. Alerts come in the form of daily, weekly, or instant emails.  Not everything the Google Alert retrieves will be of value, but it will give you the latest news on your search terms.

Setting up a Google Alert is very simple. Just go to Google.com/alerts and fill out the form. You can limit results to news, blogs, or videos and you can also set the frequency of how often the alert will be sent to your email address. You can edit or cancel your Google Alerts at any time by logging into your google account.

You may want to considering setting up several Google Alerts.  For example, I have a Google Alert set up for my name, emerging trends in libraries, my employer, and other organisations of interest (for example the GPO).  You can also you Google Alerts to inform you of the latest trends which you can blog about or tweet about. The possibilities for searches are endless!

So what do you do when your Google Alert brings up a less than flattering picture or a comment on a forum that you did hastily?  Well you can contact the website owner to have pictures or content removed.  You can also sign into accounts you still have access to and remove unwanted content or change the privacy settings.

Google Alerts is an excellent tool for people who want to maintain their personal brand and embrace professional development.  As librarians, we are constantly networking and creating partnerships and by using Google Alerts it ensures that when people look for information, they don’t find anything negative.

Click here to see a YouTube video on how to setup a Google Alert.

Professional Development Opportunities

FREE Instructional Technology Summit

Where: Charlotte, NC

When: April 4, 2012

Who: Metrolina Library Association (http://www.mlalibrary.org/)

 

The event is free of charge and will take place from 2 – 4 PM.  The summit will cover popular free technologies that you can use to teach your patrons, such as Prezi, Screen Cast O Matic, and Google Apps for Educators. Members of the executive board will present these technologies in a casual, collegial format with ample time for questions and discussion.  Be prepared to learn how to ‘wow’ your library patrons with these cutting-edge technologies.  (Text from Email Announcement)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

NASIG 27th Annual Conference

Where: Nashville, Tennessee

When: June 7-10, 2012

Who: North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) (http://www.nasig.org/conference_registration.cfm)

 

The North American Serials Interest Group’s 27th Annual Conference, June 7-10, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee is fast approaching, and preconference spots are going fast.  Make sure to secure your spot in one of these remaining preconference sessions today!

Early Bird registration is still open!  Early Bird ends May 4, 2012, 5 p.m. Eastern.

To register:
http://www.nasig.org/conference_registration.cfm.

(Text from Email Announcement)
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

IASSIST 2012 conference

Where: Washington, DC

When: June 4-8, 2012

Who: International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology (IASSIST) (http://www.iassistdata.org/)

 

Registration is now open for the IASSIST 2012 Conference!

IASSIST 2012 conference site: http://www.iassist2012.org/index.html
Conference Theme: Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information
Dates: June 4th – 8th, Washington D.C. USA.

Register before May 1st to take advantage of special conference and workshops rates. Fees and other details are available at:
http://www.iassist2012.org/indexfolder/Register/index.php

The theme “Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information” reflects the growing desire of research communities, government agencies and other organizations to build connections and benefit from the better use of data through practicing good management, dissemination and preservation techniques.
Information about the papers, panels, and other events can be found
at:
http://www.iassist2012.org/indexfolder/program

(Text from Email Announcement)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

eResource and Emerging Technologies Summit

Where: Mississippi State University

When: August 3-4, 2012

Who: Mississippi State University Libraries (http://library.msstate.edu/)

 

Mississippi State University Libraries is dedicated to hosting top quality conference opportunities for Academic Libraries. For more than a decade the MSU Libraries has hosted the Mid-South eResource Symposium, as well as pioneering discussions about technology in libraries with the Emerging Technologies Summit. Both conferences have experienced growing popularity and attracted a national following.  Building on that success and finding common ground between the two conferences, the MSU Libraries are relaunching them this year as the MSU Libraries eResource and Emerging Technologies Summit (MSU-LEETS).

 

Call for Proposals

The 2012 MSU LEETS programming committee is accepting proposals for Steal-this-Idea speakers and poster sessions. The Steal-this-Idea talks will be 45 minutes to one hour in length, including time for discussion. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that share their own experiences in working with eResources and/or applying social media and emerging technologies in academic libraries. Potential topics include, but are not restricted to:

 

eResources:

–the impact of eResources on technical services

–managing eResources (P vs E)

–ERMS implementation and use

–institutional repositories

–managing multiple URLs in an OPAC

–licensing and access issues in a consortium

–eBook acquisition and workflow

 

Emerging Technologies:

–tablets and/or mobile applications in an academic environment

–eBooks and e-readers

–social media applications

–cloud computing

–campus outreach

–augmented reality

–assessment strategies

 

Please submit 150-200 word proposals for Steal-this-Idea or poster sessions (Emerging Technologies only) by filling out the application located here: http://bit.ly/msuleets_submissions. Proposals must be received by May 11th in order to be considered.

Registration begins June 4, 2011.  The cost for the two-day conference will be $80, or $50 for a single day.  Library School students will pay $50 for both days, and NASIG members will receive a 20% discount. MSU LEETS is proud to be a NASIG sponsored continuing education symposium.

(Text from Email Announcement)

Webinar Alert: Using FDsys to Navigate Federal Government Information

On Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 1:00pm EDT, join GPO as they offer an hour-long course on navigating Federal Government information using FDsys. During this session, attendees will learn about basic and advanced searching, browsing, retrieving by citation, Help tools, and working with FDsys search results. Space is limited to the first 175 registrants on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register for the webinar, point your browser to: <http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=169&evt=FDsys04032012>. Registration is required to attend. Once registered, you will receive an email confirmation, which will include instructions for joining the webinar.

Librarian Toolkit: Prezi

So you have a presentation to do and you really want to impress the crowd with something new and creative.  Microsoft PowerPoint has become the norm for presentations and is often expected.  However, if you would like to avoid death by power point, than you should consider using Prezi.  Prezi is presentation software developed in 2009 that allows for zooming in and out. It also allows you to rotate the presentation and to move from place to place on the background image.  There is no software or subscription to buy and presentations are cloud based which makes it easy to access content from any computer that has an internet connection.

I first saw Prezi used by a coworker who was presenting at the North Carolina Library Association’s biennial conference.  I was amazed by the fluidity and creativity of the program and have become a huge fan of Prezi.

A screen shot of my prezi background.

About a week ago, I got a chance to use Prezi for the first time during a presentation.  I did a presentation about Government Information in an Academic Environment (see it here: http://jaimehuaman.info/index.php?module=conferencesandpresentations).  Being new to Prezi I decided to modify a template.  I watched all the tutorials that are offered on Prezi’s website; however, I found the best way to learn the product is to actually make a Prezi. The controls are fairly easy to use, but it does take some time to learn how to use them properly.

There are some good features and bad features of Prezi.  For example, they offer a number of templates that you can modify and also numerous examples of other presentations.  All these templates and examples come from users who have a free account.  While Prezi is free to use it also requires you share all of your presentations with others.  The only way to stop this is to pay for a membership.  One great feature of Prezi is that you can take your old PowerPoint files and make them into a Prezi presentation.  So if you have a great presentation that you want to convert to Prezi it is really easy to do.  Another item to keep in mind is how you set up your presentation and the speed can make people motion sick.  So you really have to be conscience of how your presentation will affect the viewer, something you didn’t have to consider when using power point.

Overall Prezi presentations are creative and innovative.  If you really want to impress your audience then this may be one way to do it as Prezi is still relatively unknown.  Anyone who uses Prezi to present will surely have questions about how it works. The bad news is that your presentation will be on the internet for anyone to see unless you pay for a membership.  Also, Prezi can take a bit longer to learn as its navigation system is rather unique.   However, any investment in creating a Prezi will surely be returned by the enthusiasm of your audience after seeing your presentation.

Below you will find links of interest:

Prezi: http://prezi.com/index/

Library related Prezis: http://prezi.com/explore/search/?search=Library

Resume related Prezis: http://prezi.com/explore/search/?search=resume

YouTube video of how to create a Prezi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIyWCghj4ms

 

 

Librarian Toolkit: doPDF

The Librarian Toolkit is a new series to the blog where I will highlight new and emerging tools that can be used by librarians.

Have you ever wanted to save a website or screen as a pdf? DoPDF is an exceptional tool when you are trying to make webpages or screens into a PDF that can be saved, emailed, or printed.  It’s important to note, that doPDF does not work with multimedia files. In other words, you can’t make a PDF of a video using doPDF.

Basically the way doPDF works is that you install the program on your computer and it acts like a printer.  Once you find a page you want to make a PDF from, you simply hit control and p.  The printer box will come up and you choose doPDF.  This creates a pdf version of the page your looking at. For more detailed instructions check out the step by step directions on NewbieMania.

As a librarian, I use this program often.  I have a need to take web based newsletters and create PDF versions.  This program allows me to make a PDF from each page of the newsletter.  Another use of this program is to create PDFs of job announcements.  I find that job announcements normally are removed from the internet once a position’s closing date has passed.  Creating a PDF of the job announcement allows me to save it with my resume and other things I send when applying for a job.   That way if I am called for an interview, I have a precise copy of the job announcement at the time I applied.  It also makes it possible to send copies of the job announcement to your references when you get an interview.  Using doPDF is a better option then just printing out job announcements because

To download the program click here: http://www.dopdf.com/

Tips to Job Seekers: Notes from Panel Discussions

In 2011, I had the opportunity to listen to two panels that provided tips to job seekers and I am taking this opportunity to share what I learned.  I attended CareerWise 2011, a workshop for library professionals, sponsored by the North Carolina chapter of the Special Libraries Association, the North Carolina Library Association Round Table for Ethnic Minority Concerns (REMCo), and the North Carolina Library Association Reference & Adult Services Section (RASS).  In addition to providing information on how to use your social media profiles in your job search and how to dress for success, there was a panel knowledgeable in library hiring.  Panelists included Tiffany Allen, UNC Libraries, Mariel Christian, RTI International and Kim Hailey, City of Greensboro Public Libraries.  At the North Carolina Library Association 59th Biennial Conference, I attended Tips and Tricks for Job Seekers a panel discussion featuring library professionals from special, academic, and public libraries.

In this blog post, I will share with readers what I learned about the hiring process.  While I have done my best to take notes at the time of the event, not everything may be completely accurate, as I may have misunderstood or my notes may be wrong.  In any case, the following blog reflects what I took away from these events.

Even though the two events had different panelists, there seemed to be consensus on some ideas. Panelists described the hiring differences in academic, public and special libraries and provided advice for resumes, cover letters, and interviews.   Panelists explained what they expected in applications and what things annoyed them.  For instance, panelists described being turned off by grammatical errors; small font, unprofessional email address, and ring back tones on cell phones.   They highly recommended that an applicant customize cover letters and resumes to jobs they are applying for. Resumes and cover letters should be customized to reflect the skills and knowledge that are described in the job announcement and they also recommended using the same vocabulary in your cover letter as what was used in the job announcement.

Issues of underemployment and unemployment were hot topics during these panel sessions.  The experts were sympathetic to people who lost their jobs or were unable to find professional positions; however, they recommended that people look for other ways to gain skills.  Volunteer work was discussed as a great way to gain experience in the type of library you are interested in.   They also recommended having some relevant experience to the position you are applying for or your application will go to the bottom of the pack.  For example, if you apply for a public library position it would be good to have some experience in libraries.

During one of the panel sessions, an audience member questioned the panel about underemployment.  The audience member was in the position where her full time position became paraprofessional, but she was offered a part time professional position.  She asked if staying in the paraprofessional position would look bad to search committees if she had a MLS and worked as a paraprofessional.  The panel explained that given the current economic condition that they understood short stints as a paraprofessional; however, if someone with an MLS stayed for a long time in a paraprofessional position then the committee would see this as a negative.  The panel recommended that the audience member take the part time paraprofessional position as opposed to staying in the full time paraprofessional position.

Below I have summarized some of the points talked about during the two sessions:

Cover Letters and Resume Tips

  • Limit cover letters to 1 page for special libraries, 1- 1.5 pages for public libraries, and 1-4 pages for academic libraries.
  • Customize each cover letter and resume to the job (i.e. if the job calls for CONTENTdm experience make sure your cover letter and resume state that). Make sure you parallel your skills to the skills called for.
  • Do not address cover letters “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam”.   If the advertisement doesn’t specify a contact then address it to the department manager.  This shows your researching the library.
  • Make the reader want to read your cover letter.  Keep it upbeat and interesting.
  • State where you saw the job advertisement.
  • Recruiters often like to be asked for an interview and to be thanked for their time and consideration in cover letters.
  • Remember your cover letter will be evaluated for writing skills.  Make sure there are no grammatical or spelling mistakes.
  • If you don’t include your references in your application then put “references available on request” at the bottom of your resume. (This typically only applies to special libraries)
  • Do not fold your resume or print it on colored paper.
  • Save cover letters and resumes as PDFs or formatting can be lost or changed accidently.
  • For public and special libraries it is not necessary to put graduation years.  Academic libraries want graduation dates to ensure candidates meet requirements.
  • Put volunteer experience on your resume.
  • Due to the nature of the economy if you don’t have direct experience your application may go to the bottom of the applicant pool.
  • If your state has public library certificates than get it.  You never know when you may need it.
  • If you have an online professional presence than put it on your resume/cover letter. This shows you stay current.  Social media sites will most likely be checked by the search committee.

Interviewing Tips-

  • You may be asked about weaknesses or interpersonal conflicts make sure you can provide an answer.  It looks bad to the search committee if you cannot answer these questions.
  • Prepare for STAR type questions.
  • During an interview suites are not required, but formal wear and comfortable shoes are a must.
  • You may want to conduct site visits of the library before the interview just to become familiar with the library.
  • In telephone interviews, make sure that the interview does not go longer than the slotted time.  (Keep your answers short and ask fewer questions if you run out of time)
  • Remember if you’re on an academic interview then you are being interviewed all day including lunch and breaks.  If smoke than you might want to use a patch as someone on the committee may be sensitive to the smells of tobacco. Limit your use of perfumes for the same reason.
  • Make sure that you have questions about the position and demonstrate your knowledge of the library and organization.  Remember you are interviewing your potential employer to see if the position is a good fit for you.
  • Make sure to read the job announcement before going on the interview and do research on the library and community
  • Have a response to why you’re interested in the job.  You might be surprised at how many people are unable to answer this very basic question.
  • Talk about your accomplishments and have the numbers.  For example, if you eliminated a cataloging backlog than make sure you know how big the backlog was.   Numbers provide a better understanding of your accomplishments.
  • Be polite no matter the income.  The library community is fairly small and you don’t want to get a reputation for being rude.
  • Make sure to send hand written thank you notes to all interviewers. Email thank you notes are acceptable for phone interviews.   If there were many interviewers than it is acceptable to send one thank you note where you ask the recipient to thank the rest of the panel.  Thank you notes let the committee know you are still interested in the position.  Notes/emails should be sent in less than 24 hours after the interview.  If there were any concerns the committee brought up about you filling the position or if you feel you answered a question poorly, than you can address that in your thank you note.

Use your social media accounts to find a job!

Join the ALA JobLIST Placement Center’s free Online Career Chat “Using Social Media for the Most Effective Job Search” on Thursday, Feb 23 and discuss how social media makes your job search more effective.

If you’re only responding to posted job ads by sending out a resume and then hoping to get a call or an interview, you can do a lot more to take control of your search and make it more effective. We’ll focus in this chat on social media tools and other strategies that every savvy job seeker needs to know about—and use—to increase their  network, find out about new opportunities, and promote themselves and  their skills to potential employers.

The chat is on Thursday, Feb 23, 2012, 12:00-1:00 p.m. (Central) Register at http://bit.ly/yUSeEK

Post Navigation