by Kelly Quaye
I just returned from the ALA Midwinter Meeting (this was 2012) so my mind is still abuzz with the many great programs and services on offer. Did you know that ALA has a Conference Placement Service where you can meet with a professional career counselor during conference? I highly recommend trying to get an appointment if you are a conference attendee…
Naturally, this service fills up quickly, but I was offered a 20 minute Telephone Career Counseling session as an alternative due to the popular demand of this service. I had my telephone appointment earlier today, and I thought it would be helpful to share what I took away from the session – we discussed how to approach the job search process in a strategic way.
Job Search Strategies:
There are 2 approaches when looking for jobs:
- Passive – you look through listservs as and when you have time
- Pro-active & strategic – formulate your approach with thought and structure
Strategic Job Search:
- Identify the library setting you are most interested in working in
- Consider identifying another setting you would be interested in working in (Plan B!)
- Create a resume template to use for each type of library setting you’re interested in and tailor it to fit the job you are applying for. For example,
Resume 1 = Public library focus
Resume 2 = Academic library focus
- If seeking work in academia, remember that oftentimes a CV is required.
- Consider inserting a summary at the top of your resume in which you list a cluster of key words and phrases
- Identify specific states to which I would really consider relocating and rank them. For example,
East coast (1-NY; 2-MA)
West coast (1-CA; 2-WA)
- Identify and select library systems within these states that are of interest and begin following them: learn about their collections, identify programs of interest, and reach out to librarians whose work you are interested in or with whom you share similar interests – use this as a tool for building your network in the event that future opportunities become available.
- Join a relevant professional association (e.g. ALA, PLA, SLA) and become actively involved at the local level in a task force or a committee where the work is of interest or where you identify an opportunity to develop a particular skill set you think would be useful for future applications. (Also consider joining your state library association)
- Take a strategic approach to networking – the contacts you make now may be useful in the future as these same contacts may end up on a search/hiring committee for a position you apply for 5-10 years from now.
- Linked In – does your profile display your interests to others? Use this as an opportunity to really show who you are, where your interests lie, and what you’re good at.
- Website: http://www.quintcareers.com/ for examples of CV formats.
- Website: http://www.wendyenelow.com/meet_wendy_enelow.php for listing of resume writing books by Wendy Enelow (Anything published recently should be helpful)
- Book: Resume Magic (Susan Whitcombe)
- Book: I’m on LinkedIn, Now what? A Guide to Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn (Jason Alba)
- Blog: http://www.jibberjobber.com/blog/ (Career Management 2.0 Blog by Jason Alba)
Kelly Quaye graduated with her MLIS from The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland in 2010 and currently works at The University of Pennsylvania as a Library Service Assistant. She is an ALA 2012 Emerging Leader. Kelly previously contributed a recipe to INALJ here: http://inalj.com/?p=1195 a wonderful comfort food!
reposted from 2/13/12