ALA just announced the Get A Job website which can be found at http://getajob.ala.org
I sent in a quick bit of my own advice and apparently the posted it to the site. I haven’t found it yet, but they tell me it’s there. Maybe they just lied to me so as to not hurt my feelings. 😉 Anyways, thought I’d share it for your reading enjoyment.
Hey! Congrats! You’re a librarian! You’re searching for a job and worried out of your mind, aren’t you? Guess what – you shouldn’t be. Is it going to be easy? Oh heck no! Is it going to be fun? Well, it might be. But do you have amazing librarianship skills that are sure to delight and amaze? OF COURSE! Here are four tips that I hope you find helpful:
Be excited about our profession – now and always – and be consistent and genuine about your enthusiasm
- A little enthusiasm in our profession goes a long way. Be truly excited about our profession and the direction it is headed. You need to be the greatest champion for yourself and your profession. If you’re not, who will be?
Walk into every interview and presentation like you own the room and are meeting with friends
- When you head into that room, no one wants to see you fail. NO ONE. When you hear someone sing at a concert or hear a great speaker, how often do you think “Man, I hope this dude blows this thing…” Never. Well, unless it’s American Idol, but I digress. Those people in that room want you to be relaxed – they NEED you to be relaxed – because trust me, they’re nervous too. Take a deep breath and smile, because they’re rooting for you.
Never meet a fellow librarian and not ask for a business card
- It’s crucial to get business cards or contact information from people when you meet them. Asking if they’re on Facebook or Twitter isn’t enough. Don’t be shy about asking. I’ve got a box of 2000 business cards and I’m not keeping them around to be a nice paperweight. Once you’ve gotten their card, shook hands and walked away, take note about what made that person stand out in your mind. They have a dog, their a law librarian, they went to see U2 in concert just like you did. Whatever miniscule detail seemed to give you two a connection. That info will come in handy because…
You should always follow up with the people you meet by sending a brief hand written note or email
- If you connected with someone, if they seemed eager to help you, even if they were just plain nice – send them a follow up email or note. It doesn’t have to be long or poetic or prize-winning. Say hi, thank you for the conversation, I’m seeking a job, if I can ever be of assistance or if you hear about a job that might fit me, let me know. It’s not a contrived gesture to reach out to a fellow profession in a polite and respectful way. They’ll be glad to hear from you.
Even if you are fresh out of library school, you have a lot to contribute to the profession. Don’t cheat yourself by approaching your job search with a sense of self-doubt. People in the library profession are generally eager to help and want you to find a job. And if you meet someone who doesn’t, move on – because you’ll meet plenty others who will gladly help.