This is just a quick post to point you to some info that I think is valuable for anyone graduating from a library program (or anyone applying for a library job, for that matter). I don’t have any hiring committee experience to share with you, so I’ll pass you on to someone who does. Meredith Farkas from Information Wants To Be Free shares her Tips for library job applicants in a tight market (click through for all of her tips):
- This first one can’t be stresesed enough — tailor your cover letter to the job you’re applying for. Most importantly, address the specific requirements in the job ad. You may be particularly proud of how you designed your library’s intranet, but if the job you’re applying for has nothing to do with any of the skills you exhibited during that project, it’s not worth detailing in the cover letter. In all of the committees I was on, we’d go through each cover letter and resume with a list of required and preferred qualifications and would see which ones the applicant addressed. If they didn’t show evidence of one of the required qualifications, they’d be out of the running. Period.
- Tailor your resume to some extent to the job you’re applying for. Highlight things that you’ve done or skills that you have that are on the list of required’s and preferred’s for that job.
- Send a generic cover letter. Passing off a generic cover letter makes you look like you don’t want the job that much. And usually, it’s pretty darn obvious that a cover letter is the same one you’ve used to apply for 10 other jobs.
- Just list everything you’ve done in your cover letter. Specifically address what the search committee cares about — the required and preferred qualifications.