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Reflections of a Recent Library School Grad and Job-seeker

I've been looking for work in libraries since before I even got into library school. Since losing my FT non-library job and, concurrently, graduating with my MLIS, I've been on a non-stop hunt for a library job.

Cristy M

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of Reflections of a Recent Library School Grad and Job-seeker

This is probably the most difficult part of being a new librarian on the hunt for a first job...even the Librarian I and entry-level position descriptions require or prefer one or two years of paid library experience.

If you're anything like me, you just want to shout, "Look at the rest of my resume! Look at all my skills and attributes! Take a chance on me! What's an interview going to hurt?????"
Years of professional experience out of libraries...great grad school transcripts....internship....volunteerism...
Any job-seeker in any industry MUST know this feeling:

You've done your due diligence and applied according to the job listing...but that resume's been out there and you haven't heard a thing back about it...
There's a lot of professional library literature about the right job-seeking behaviors and the best tools to use...
The ultimate prize will be the ideal library job; however, that's not really up to you, the job-seeker. Instead, what IS up to you is how you make the most of the time during which you're looking for a permanent position at a library.
Reflections of...
A librarian on the lookout...
...doesn't make up for the fact that you don't have the experience required to even apply!
Employers Just Don't Understand...
I've applied...now what?
...but does any of it get you a job?
Let everyone know that you're on the hunt for a library job
Keep in touch with your graduate school advisors and professors, old colleagues, and classmates...build your professional references
Take any and every opportunity to be known in your local library community: Keep volunteering, attend those conferences and workshops, offer to write for blogs....whatever it takes to...
The Application Black Hole Problem
In the meantime....
Reach out to your library community and ask them to review your resume and cover letter for you
Join associations (locally and nationally) and follow their career resources websites and lists
Apply to as many jobs as you reasonably can...assuming that you're applying to jobs for which you meet the criteria
Follow up when you can...with a brief email mentioning the position you applied for, when you applied for it, how you applied for it, and attach your resume packet (i.e. resume, cover letter, references) to it...you know, just in case
So what CAN you do?
Don't disregard job-seeker resources from professional librarians...but don't count on them, alone, to guide your behaviors
Take online courses, view webinars, attend conferences and workshops independently of an institution (some are free or reduced pricing for unemployed librarians or library students)
Contact librarians in your area and interview THEM about their job, tips for new librarians, marketable skills...anything that you could use to gain insight into the job market
...the "real" ultimate goal is becoming a better librarian for all the work that you've done while you've looked for a job
The "It Doesn't Get You A Job" Problem
Become the hardest working unemployed librarian...
By Cristy Moran
The "I Need to GET Experience Before I Can HAVE It" Problem
Make sure to update your resume and fill your librarian community members on what you've done to add to your marketability
Learn those skills...
Full transcript