16/03/2012 § 17 Comments
To follow up on Ashley’s post earlier this week on advice from a hiring manager, I thought I’d share my own perspective. I recently served on a search committee for a tenure-track academic librarian position and reviewed applications for a paid (!) summer archival internship. Nothing I’m going to share in this post is groundbreaking, but I just want to reiterate some key points to keep in mind when sending in applications for jobs and internships.
1. I really appreciate when your file names include your full name and what type of document (resume, cover letter) it is. While a file that’s named after the place you’re applying to is helpful for your own reference, it’s not helpful for mine.
2. This is definitely a personal preference, but I really love when application materials are sent as .pdf files. Never trust Microsoft Word to keep your formatting true. You also take the risk of leaving track changes on (oh, it’s happened — and yes, it looks bad).
3. One way I can tell if you’re detail-oriented is if you actually send in everything that’s asked for. If the job/internship posting asks for your availability, be sure to include it.
1. Tailor your cover letter. Show that you looked at the organization’s website and know something about it, and specify why you want to work there. You will especially stand out if you discuss why you are interested in performing the type of work explicitly listed in the job description. If you talk about how you’d love to learn about digitization when it’s not described in the position description at all, it’s a clear giveaway that you didn’t read it thoroughly — or that you’re just recycling an old cover letter without much editing. Oftentimes, I’ll see a resume that looks good but change my mind after reading the cover letter.
2. Think of your cover letter as exclusive from the resume. Please don’t just repeat what’s on your resume, but really explain why your past experience is relevant to the position.
3. Write clearly in your cover letter. If I need to read a sentence multiple times to understand it, you’ll stand out for the wrong reasons. One sentence does not need to take up five lines.
Of course, most of these are just my personal preferences. Be sure to check out the blog Hiring Librarians, which provides many different perspectives from hiring managers on what they look for in a candidate, and Open Cover Letters, which publishes cover letters from librarians and archivists who got hired.
15/03/2012 § Leave a Comment
Guess what everyone? We are pleased to announce that we have our first Conversation Starter Proposal for ALA Annual this year! Conversation Starters are 45 minute, discussions focused on emerging topics and trends. Ours will be a facilitated conversation focused on issues surrounding the library school experience. We hope it gets voted in and that those of you who are planning on attending Annual this year will join us.
This year, ALA is trying something new and is allowing members to vote on what proposals they want to see. This is from their website, “Your votes will count for 30% of the total, while ALA staff votes will also count for 30%. The ALA Conference Committee will weigh in with 40% of the votes, and we’ll announce the accepted proposals in early April.” Help us out, read more about our proposal and vote for us!
14/03/2012 § 8 Comments
Last semester I took an Academic Libraries class that required me to interview an academic librarian. I reached out to Courtney Young to help me complete this assignment. Ms. Young is Head Librarian & Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Penn State Greater Allegheny and serves on the ALA Executive Board.
The goal of the project was to get a real world perspective on some of the special academic library issues we had discussed throughout the semester. While I drafted interview questions to address this objective–I couldn’t help but see the interview as an opportunity. I was pretty confident that my interviewee had a hand in hiring at her library. Getting an interview can be tough, getting feedback from a hiring manager can be even more difficult. Knowing the struggle that many of my peers are facing in the job market, I thought it would be a good idea to ask her what she looks for in a job candidate. Courtney Young had some brilliant and unexpected advice that I hope you can put to use as you look towards the future and begin your job search. « Read the rest of this entry »
13/03/2012 § 7 Comments
This post was collaboratively written by Quasi-Con planners and School of Information Master’s candidates Kelly Davenport, Peter Timmons, Ilana Barnes (ALA chapter president), Kim Miller (vice president), Katy Mahraj (treasurer), Ryan Clement (webmaster), and Mariah Cherem (social media coordinator).
The DIY Library Conference: A Quasi-Guide
It was an experiment.
When Ilana Barnes pitched the idea of a student-led library conference at the University of Michigan School of Information (SI) during her tenure as ALA Chapter president, she chose the following theme: “The Future of Libraries?!”
Ultimately, we didn’t need the question mark. More than 70 students, professionals, and alumni gathered in January for the first Quasi-Con, a hybrid unconference and professional conference. We’re here to tell you how we organized it, and why we think you should plan your own Quasi-Con, in three easy steps.
20/02/2012 § 28 Comments
I’m sure you’ve all heard a million times by now that libraries are looking for young professionals with technology skills. And I’m sure you’ve all thought to yourself “But of course, I use technology all the time! I’m proficient in the Microsoft Office Suite, I conduct online research like a champ, I would medal in the social media Olympics!” And, of course, you’d be right. Libraries do need professionals that are intimate with and can teach software applications, are comfortable with online research both in databases and free web resources, and can smartly and strategically develop a social media plan. But I’m also increasingly sure that we need to up our game in order to stand out and better serve our patrons. I’m talking about the hard stuff, the stuff we were hoping we’d never have to think about because of our blessed IT departments, the stuff that puts us face-to-face with the command line: y’all, I’m talking about coding.