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					Success in the Job Hunt


  Session 1021: OLA Super
       Conference 2008
      Toronto, Ontario
 Contact Information for the Speakers

 Dr. Heidi Jacobs                          Amanda Ross-White
       Information Literacy Librarian            Clinical Outreach Services Librarian
       Leddy Library                             Bracken Health Science Library
       University of Windsor                     Queen’s University
       hjacobs@uwindsor.ca                       amanda.ross-white@queensu.ca




 Melissa Helwig                            Dalia Smith
       Information Services Librarian            Academic Liaison and Information
       Northern Ontario Virtual Library           Resources Librarian
       Northern Ontario School of                University of Guelph-Humber
        Medicine                                  Dalia.smith@guelphhumber.ca
       Melissa.Helwig@NorMed.ca
              Some Links: Job Postings

 University of Toronto: Faculty of Information Studies Job List
     http://www.fis.utoronto.ca/component/option,com_jobline/


 The Partnership National Library of Canada Jobsite
     http://www.libraryjobs.ca/page/find%20jobs/ezlist_posts.aspx


 Jobs for Librarians and Information Professionals
     http://www.lisjobs.com/jobs/index.asp


 American Library Association Jobs list
     http://joblist.ala.org/
           Links: Help with Resumes

 Canadian Library Association: Canadian Association
  of College and Research Libraries
     http://www.cla.ca/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resume_Revie
      wing_Service_for_New_Librarians


 LISJobs, other librarians resumes
   http://www.lisjobs.com/onlineresumes.htm



 LISJobs Resume and Interview Forum
   http://lisjobs.com/forum/yaf_topics18_Resumes--
    Interviews.aspx
                Other Helpful Links:

 101 + Commonly Asked Interview Questions
   http://www.geocities.com/aer_mcr/libjob/interview.html



 Frequently Asked Interview Questions: University of
  South Carolina School of Library and Information
  Science
     http://www.libsci.sc.edu/career/invufaqs.htm
                  More Advice


     The following are responses to an informal

(and unscientific) survey Dr. Heidi Jacobs distributed

 to a range of librarians who are in different places in

                     their careers.
          Administrators’ Perspectives A

   As an administrator, I would look for a person ....


   who can display knowledge of current trends and/or research areas in academic
    librarianship (for example, Open Access, Web 2.0, information literacy, academic
    libraries as publishers, copyright, etc..);
   who can demonstrate a deeper interest in a specific area of academic librarianship that
    they've clearly given some thought to - possible research interests;
   who has enthusiasm and excitement for how academic libraries are evolving and
    developing - particularly in relation to new technologies, and how it has impacted the way
    academic libraries function;
   who has done their homework about the organization for which they're interviewing ...
    sounds basic, but you'd be surprised ....
   who has an obvious interest in people and in public service - a social conscience;
   who is generous with their knowledge, expertise and experience;
    demonstrates the potential to be a leader and innovator through their discussion of ideas,
    trends, etc..
   who can clearly articulate what skills and talents they would bring to the organization
           Administrators’ Perspectives B

   What one piece of advice you could offer someone hoping to work in an academic
    library?

   take a chance and apply for jobs that you don't quite qualify for. If you are in a pool of applicants all of
    whom don't quite meet all the requirements you might make the short list and get the job.
   read the ads, read them again and read them again and do your homework! There are no words that
    are in the ads by accident or that have no meaning. We put every word and phrase in those ads for a
    purpose. So look up what you don't know - find out the current thinking on a topic - go and talk to you
    professors about something you don't understand. If you don't have experience in something, knowing
    about it is the next best thing. We look for the indication that someone is thinking about things and is
    keen on learning about it all and participating in policy development about it all and so on. We look for
    the potential of what you will be able to contribute to the library beyond the specifics of the position.
    Even though the posting is about for example reference and collection development in the social
    sciences, what you can contribute to the overall development of the library and how the library
    functions in the larger institution and what the library is doing as a member of various consortia -
    these are all equally important and if you can shine on those points that may make the difference in
    you getting the job over someone else.
   Your cover letter should give a rich context to what you have in your C.V. not just re-list what is in your
    C.V. Here is where you show your interests, your keenness, what you think is important about what
    you can bring to the job. The cover letter is a way to give the employer a more in-depth view of your
    strengths and skills as they apply to the job.
            Librarians’ Perspective A

1. What one piece of advice you could offer someone hoping to work in an
academic library: Work in a special library first, it will give you an immediate
and relevant volume of experience and skills to work from, including flexibility,
multitasking, people skills, entrepreneurial skills etc
2. Complete the sentence: If I were a new librarian looking for a position,
I would: check out the 8Rs study, especially the 10 most important and difficult
to fulfill competencies and link all my work experience to these
3. In retrospect, the best thing I did while looking for a job in an
academic library was: do my research on the position offered and background
work on the priorities or challenges within the area I was applying for (systems
related, cataloguing related, etc)_____
5. Anything else?
Think beyond just how to get the job. Also think about what your priorities and
initial activities would be on the first week of work.
                Librarians’ Perspective B

1. What one piece of advice you could offer someone hoping to work in an
academic library? Get direct work experience any you can as it doesn't count if you have
   been a student who has lived in an academic library for over 6 years. The easiest way for a
   search committee to shorten a list of resumes is to divide the piles into "with academic
   library experience" and "without". Personally, I applied for many tenure-track academic
   library jobs but didn't make a single short list until I covered a 4-month maternity leave
   in an academic library.
2. Complete the sentence: If I were a new librarian looking for a position, I would create an
   online portfolio of your best work. Ideally, develop and demonstrate online technical
   skills beyond what is asked for in library school.
3. In retrospect, the best thing I did while looking for a job in an academic library was being
   in the right place at the right time.
4. If I had to do it all over again, I would have contacted the university's faculty association
   to better understand and prepare for my employment negotiations.
5. Anything else? Never send a generic cover letter; always customize it to reflect what was
   asked for in the job posting. It is not necessary to employ techniques to attract special
   attention to your application (coloured paper, being "cute" in your cover letter).
   Demonstrating that you are reliable and enjoy working with people is more important
   than what courses or marks you received in library school.
                Librarians’ Perspective C

1. What one piece of advice you could offer someone hoping to work in an
academic library? I would try to get experience in an academic library—whether it’s a co-op
   or even a part-time job during library school, experience is key. One of the things I
   noticed in my interviews was the focus on what I had done. Often there were questions
   like, “Describe something you designed that helped students” or “Tell us about how you
   have approached X.” I remember during my interviews being very grateful for my
   experience as it gave me concrete things to talk about.
I would also talk to as many people as I could who work in academic libraries—what do they
   like about their job, what do they know about the application process, what are the do’s
   and don’ts. If you don’t know people in academic libraries (or even if you do), read the
   blogs and various web resources—there is a lot of very useful information out there.
In library school, I would also, whenever possible, pick topics for papers and projects that
   relate to academic libraries.
2. Complete the sentence: If I were a new librarian looking for a position,
I would treat the job search like a job; make the time to do it. Read the job ads, be
   systematic and organized, dedicate time and effort to it. In my last semester of library
   school the job search came first and coursework second.
3. In retrospect, the best thing I did while looking for a job in an
academic library was thinking about the job search from Day One and being geographically
   open.
             Librarians’ Perspective D

1. What one piece of advice you could offer someone hoping to work in an academic
library?
Get to know as many people as you can. Connections help!
2. Complete the sentence: If I were a new librarian looking for a position,
I would volunteer, get involved in committees so I could meet as many librarians as
possible.
3. In retrospect, the best thing I did while looking for a job in an academic library was
keep my connections with librarians and let them all know that I am looking for
work. Taking a contract is a good way to get experience and get your foot in the door
somewhere.
4. If I had to do it all over again, I would have done another co-op in an academic library
while in library school. Doing one was good but I feel like two would have opened up even
more doors.
5. Anything else? I think it's pretty clear that in my case it has certainly helped that I have
known people and had done a co-op. I have observed that often people who are known to
an organization have more success in obtaining the position.
                Librarians’ Perspective E

1. What one piece of advice you could offer someone hoping to work in an academic library?
Network as much as possible. You never know where an opportunity may arise, the more
   people that know you the more chances you have to find these opportunities.
2. Complete the sentence: If I were a new librarian looking for a position,
I would make sure I tailor my resume to each position. Resume and cover letter are so
   important. They get you the interview.
 3. In retrospect, the best thing I did while looking for a job in an academic library was not
   limit my self to geographical location. You get more opportunities for interviews.
4. If I had to do it all over again, I would network some more. You should never stop. There
   is never too much networking.
5. Anything else?
Networking is also about seeking advice from those already in the field. I had a great group
   of librarians I worked with during my co-op placement, they were always willing to spare
   some time to offer advise, anything from negotiating contract, to interview questions, to
   advise on cover letter and resume. The other thing is try practicing for the interview.
   Having now had had experience sitting on hiring committee I really see the difference
   between being prepared and not, it leaves a huge impression.
                 Librarians’ Perspective F

 5. Anything else?
When applying for a job, the cover letter is key. Read the job advertisement carefully and
  then use the cover letter to highlight the particularly relevant aspects of your work
  experience, qualifications, skills etc. for that particular job. The cover letter should ideally
  not be longer than one page - two pages at the most. It should make search committee
  members want to reach for your CV and read more about you. A cover letter can make or
  break applications. If it's poorly done and/or reads like a form letter, then you may not
  get beyond the initial application stage.

Prior to a job interview, try to get to your destination with time to spare, so that you can give
   yourself a tour of the library and pick up any relevant handouts/guides. You'll impress the
   search committee if you produce some of these materials at the interview and talk about
   what you've already seen and experienced.

You need to promote yourself well at the interview - remember that ultimately you are your
  own best advertisement for the job. There's a fine line - you don't want to come across as
  being conceited and unrealistic about your abilities, but if you're very reserved and fail to
  highlight relevant skills, qualifications and experience, that may go against you. If you
  find job interviews very stressful - practice ahead of time with a friend/colleague.
 Thanks Again

Best of Luck!

				
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