29 8 / 2012
I am by no means an expert on getting a job. But, in my current position as a librarian, I am in charge of hiring two positions in my department. These are both entry-level, part time positions. I know a lot of y’all on tumblr are looking for jobs like these, so here are a few tips I think could help you make the right first impression. I get inundated with emails as soon as we post a job, and anyone whose application has all (or even some!) of these components in it goes to the top of the list.
1. Put your cover letter in the body of the email. With all the attachments, it’s very hard to keep track of what’s what.
2. Make your cover letter about why you love libraries/want this job. I can look at your resume for your skills and work history. For a part-time job that does not require an MLS, I really only need a couple of paragraphs that show me your personality and why you want the job. that’s it!
3. Get the names right. This drives me nuts! My name is listed as the contact on the job posting. I can’t tell you how many people address letters “to whom it may concern” or even to the wrong person entirely. And don’t even get me started on people who refer to the wrong library. I do not expect an entirely new cover letter for a totally basic job— but I do expect you to have taken five minutes to make sure the information is correct. That goes a long way!
4. Your only attachment should be your resume. Don’t bog us down with references and attached cover letters. Again, cover letters should go in the body of the email, and we’ll ask for references if we need them.
5. Your last name should be in your resume’s file name. I cannot stress this enough. If I am trying to find your resume, I will basically give up if I have to open 20 files named “resume” to find yours. My resumes have names like, “WarshauerResume2012” or “WarshauerResumeMarketing.” Do not deviate. Just follow this pattern: Last name-Resume-(any identifying info you might need to tell your resumes apart, if you have multiple.)
These are not just pet-peeves, they are dealbreakers. Good presentation allows hiring managers to pay attention to your qualifications. I can only speak to hiring the kinds of positions that I supervise, but I feel like this is probably good advice even if you were applying for an MLS position or, frankly, any professional job.
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- bookmarklibrarian said: very helpful, thank you!
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