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Jeannette Woodward jwoodard@windriverconsulting.com http://windriverconsulting.

com
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You can


Use your LIS skills to be a more effective job hunter. Reduce the time you’re unemployed Emerge with your self-respect and new 21st century skills.

You can keep this crisis from ruining your life
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Public, Academic, School and Special Librarians

     

New Grads Mid-career librarians Senior librarians Other LIS professionals
Jobless librarians Insecure librarians
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About 80% of the information in good career guidance books applies to library jobs The other 20% is unique to library culture
Important to understand that culture, know the territory Example
 Action verbs  Vitae vs. Résumé
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Outside the library
 Information broker

Inside and Outside the Library
      

Database specialist or trainer Web developer LAN coordinator Digital Services Electronic Access ILS (Integrated Library System) Systems
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  

Resurgence of vitality. Digital archives Competition keen
Employment expected to increase 20 percent in decade (pre-recession prediction) Less demand for printbased archives
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 

Austerity budgets and challenging times Libraries will have plenty of problems Library administrators will seek out problem solvers
Problems must be perceived by outsiders Problems must impact users directly Problems may arise from complaints or pressure from above
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Computerization means less emphasis on DOING and more on MANAGING Business management skills/courses look good
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 

Focus on users, not materials Responding to change:
 Societal, institutional, or technological changes

Example: Young adult services
 Working mothers  No transportation to after school activities  Decline of established youth organizations like

little league  High cost of daycare  Safety concerns

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Jobs closely tied to print resources Jobs that have been simplified or “dumbed down” by automation Jobs involving assistance with and interpretation of resources to users
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Bad news  Inexperience  Weak resumes  First to be let go
Good news  Viewed by older librarians as computer experts and problem solvers
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Bad news  LIS courses irrelevant  Computer skills assumed to be poor  Ageism: If you’re out of work, it’s more difficult to get a job Good news  In an aging profession, age is relative  If you have a job, you’re more likely to keep it
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Bring home important papers  Resumes  job descriptions  Accomplishments  Awards  Recommendations and commendations  Promotions  Forward email automatically
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Contacts
   


 

Networking is a big part of job hunting Get addresses and phone numbers for all professional contacts Keep or copy your Rolodex Export Microsoft Outlook data Keep communicating Socialize with colleagues Stay connected to the grapevine.
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   

Begin collecting information Create a system for keeping track Scan as much as possible Create a database to track openings
 Deadlines  When you applied  Information about the library, director, and staff  Responses received
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Where will you find your information?
Identify ALL the best LIS jobsites Submit your information to ALA’s JobList

Become an active member of LinkedIn
Bookmark and check them daily
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Identify the job titles that interest you
 Research job market

Identify the job titles for which you are best qualified
 Can probably survive the first cut

Research geographical areas
 Can you relocate?  How far?
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 


 

Unemployment = high stress Talk to your family Have fun. Enjoy family and friends Stay connected, don’t isolate yourself Get in shape Share with other endangered or unemployed LIS professionals
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Let friends and colleagues know your are looking for work
Network with friends of friends.

Cold calls are easier if you can say “Cynthia suggested I call.”
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Don’t tell off your exboss Keep your boss in your network and take advantage of her network too
Stay in touch with other colleagues
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Improve your computer skills
Sign up for relevant computer courses
 Local community college  College or university  Online LIS Program

Choose courses that are as advanced as you can handle
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Check your home office
 Recent computer  Scan and photocopy

 Office supplies
 Landline with features ▪ Cell phones are risky  Professional-sounding

voice mail message
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Identify the library’s focus and priorities
  

What is this job really all about? How does the director see the library? How do search committee members and other staff see the library? What’s the problem that needs solving?
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How are librarians hired in your type of library?  Who opens applications?
 Human resources?

 Secretary or administrative assistant?
 Library director or committee chair?

  

Who is involved in the decision? Will there be a search committee? How much input will staff have?
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You have total control

Emphasize most appropriate skills and experiences
 Entertain the reader

Edit carefully.
 Many librarians are English

majors

Make the letter work for you
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Goal: Make your résumé look like the others, only better

You want to stand out only for the right reasons. Professionally printed résumés restrict your freedom.
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Control your image. Don’t let the résumé format interfere
Emphasize achievements De-emphasize negatives Remove unrelated verbiage Never lie
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 


Put your strongest qualifications at the beginning Focus on for this specific job Use terminology in the job ad whenever possible
 Remember that HR or a clerk may

 

make the first cut
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Employers are looking for a story they can understand  Your resume must look reasonable
 A clear direction  Steady progress toward this particular job  A reasonable number of jobs  A reasonable amount of time in each one  Gaps should make sense

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Sculpt your resume
Make your resume tell a story Use the resume format that works best.


Don’t worry about “shoulds”
Beat the slush pile on the first page
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New Grads
 Many library directors

believe new grads have a computer chip embedded in their brains  Encourage this belief  Become the problem solver  Take classes, learn to talk the talk
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Senior librarians
 Must battle poor computer skills stereotype  Emphasize your strong skills

 Strengthen computer skills
 Learn to talk the talk  Less age discrimination than an issue than in

other professions
▪ Library administrators are older
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Two basic types
 Face-to-Face  Telephone interviews
▪ Skype interviews

Most libraries conduct more phone interviews
 They’re free  They take less effort  They can more easily be

standardized

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One Person
“Real” Conference Calls Group calls with one microphone Skype calls
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The selection group or search committee is meeting around a table. A microphone or speaker phone has been placed somewhere on the table. Half the group can’t be heard.

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Interviews aren’t about you
 They’re about the library  They’re about how you will fit in

They’re also about the interviewers
 Do they like you?
 Will they like working with you?  Do you like them?
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Interpersonal rapport is more important than you think
The more you have in common, the better your chances
 Interviewers have a vision  You must share that vision
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Look at camera, not computer monitor. Place your notes near camera but out of view.
Practice, Practice, Practice
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Stay calm, cool, and collected
Smile!

Let people know you like them.
Know your demons and be prepared . Plan ahead and use a checkoff list
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Be prepared for hard questions. Know your weaknesses. Admit what must be admitted and move on.
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