Learn from successful (and generous) library folk with Open Cover Letters

For the past few days, the biblioblogosphere has been buzzing with news of a new resource for library job seekers. I first heard about it on the Re:Generations blog, but others blogs I follow have mentioned it as well. The site is called Open Cover Letters, and the idea is simple. Librarians and archivists send in the cover letters that landed them interviews in the field, and the letters are posted, with identifying information removed, on the website.

I remember writing my first cover letters for professional library positions – it was terrifying! How long should it be? What kind of language should I use? And the worst part was that people kept answering these questions with “it depends.” And of course that’s the only appropriate answer anyone can give, so it makes a lot of sense to look through some real life examples. Even if you’re not applying for exactly the positions that these cover letters are for, you can learn a lot about style and content by reading through a few. I highly recommend it to anyone who will be writing a cover letter in the reasonably near future.