by Lauren Arnsman, Head Editor, INALJ Puerto Rico
So you need to write a cover letter…
One of the most frustrating aspects of job hunting, for me, is writing the cover letter. When I first started job hunting about six months before my graduation date, cover letters were no big thang. Cut to over 100 job apps later and I was ready to inflict bodily harm on the inventor of the cover letter (ok, so I’m sure there is no ONE guy, but still, ugh). So many sites had conflicting information (“it should only be one page,” “it should be a million pages!”) that it became overwhelming for me.
It was especially frustrating because I could find sites that catered toward business cover letters, engineering cover letters, marketing cover letters, and so on. There didn’t seem to be a place I could find tailored to librarians. Enter opencoverletters.com. This site was EXCLUSIVELY for those in the library and information profession. I happened upon it when it was just a baby website but it’s grown up a lot in the last few years. The best thing about it is how organized it is (though, what would you expect from LIS people?), with metadata galore. I’m pretty certain you could find an example of a cover letter for any kind of library out there. They have ones for business librarians, youth services librarians, archivists, government librarians, and many more. The best thing about this site is all of the cover letters have been personally submitted by the creators and those people have all gotten the job. So it’s pretty safe to say there are a lot of good ideas. Of course, you should never plagiarize the letters (this should go without saying but better safe than sorry), just use them as guidelines. This site is especially if you’re uncertain of how to format a letter correctly.
I highly recommend opencoverletters.com for all of you job-seekers out there. It has helped me immensely.
(Please note: this author is in no way affiliated with the website, she just really, really likes it!)