I have the incredibly happy duty to inform you all that I just got a new job! Deciding that I really needed some more substantial library experience if I wanted to be a real librarian upon graduation, I began my search in May. I had high hopes that were quickly dashed when I got a rejection letter for a entry-level substitute clerk position that didn’t even want to give me an interview. So I read lots of resume books and applied to as many jobs as I possibly could, giving each a fresh and individually tailored cover letter accompanied with unsolicited follow-up emails just to show I was serious. Yet I still did not receive any phone calls or emails for that all-important first interview.
Then, a light in the distance!
This job search taught me a lot about job hunting, librarian jobs, and the current market that I thought would be useful to you, my peers:
- Try to be understanding. Getting too frustrated early on and losing hope doesn’t help anyone. The Free Range Librarian‘s post on Why You Didn’t Get an Interview sums it up nicely: This job market stinks.
- Keep at it everyday. And I mean EVERY day. Take another look at your resume, read a little more in your job searching books, make sure to check your job sites.
- Read some books. Well, we like to do that anyway, don’t we? I checked out many “career” books from my local library that were at least mildly helpful, but the one I kept renewing and checked out multiple times was Yate Martin’s Knock ’em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide. This book gives advice on practically all aspects of the job search process. My library had the 2009 edition, so I don’t think it really matters what year you have. But for your resume, I’d recommend just looking at all the resume examples in your library’s various resume books for a good understanding of what makes a good resume. Then again, I still don’t think my resume is very good, so…
- Confidence is key! Once you do get over the initial hurdle of actually getting an interview, you have to seem like the person who knows they can not only do the job, but also give additional value to the organization in specific ways.
- Check out as many groups and listservs as you can. The way I found employment was INALJ (I Need A Library Job). Check out their Facebook page and sign up for their daily email with TONS of jobs worldwide. It’s actually quite awesome.
Good luck to all you job searchers out there! It’s can be very frustrating and depressing out there, but know that there are a lot of other people out there who sympathize. Solidarity!