by Leigh Milligan, Head Editor, INALJ Wisconsin
Open Cover Letters
One of my favorite websites that gives me motivation during my job search is called Open Cover Letters. This website is a collection of anonymous cover letters submitted by hired librarians and archivists. Each cover letter is titled by the position that the anonymous person wrote the cover letter for. The website even breaks down the letters into categories such as the different types of libraries. This all is extremely helpful, especially when I am looking for motivation to apply to a specific type of library job, for example, Youth Services.
How do I know these letters are legit? The creator of the website Stephen Flynn looks into each letter he receives and makes sure the librarian was hired at said job by a Google search or by checking an e-mail address. Check the FAQ out more information about the website.
The cover letter is one of the most important aspects of the job search process because it’s the first impression an employer will get of you. It’s the first impression that will either get the employer to read your resume or put it in the discard pile, or it could be the first impression to achieve an interview. It is also the area of the job search process where most struggle, including myself.
There are many great websites out there that focus on sample cover letters and job search tips for librarians, however this is the first website I have come across that just focuses on cover letters for librarians and archivists, which is great for me because it is the field I want to work in. It is also very motivating that these cover letters actually achieved results for a real librarian or archivist, and are not just samples. It gives me hope that I will be able to find a library career and that some day I will be able to write a great cover letter and then become part of the library-working world.
This is my favorite cover letter to date: http://opencoverletters.com/2012/04/01/a-fuzzy-cover-letter/. It first attracted me because I myself am a crazy cat lady. It also shows how uniqueness and creativity is a great quality of librarians that most hiring librarians are looking for their employees to bring to the table. If done right, like this cover letter, it can achieve fantastic results!