Resume and cover letter workshop

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Presentation from UNCG LIS Resume & Cover Letter Writing online workshop on April 23, 2010

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Resume and cover letter workshop

  1. 1. Resumes and Cover Letters: Creating Your BEST Impression <br />Mary Krautter and Nancy Ryckman<br />
  2. 2. General tips with job ads<br />Apply only for jobs if you meet all or a very high percentage of the required qualifications.<br />If you meet some of the preferred qualifications, consider applying. <br />Look for key words, phrases, and sentences emphasizing the employers major strengths, initiatives, etc. Do these match your interests and strengths?<br />Consider the community or institution climate – will you be a good fit?<br />
  3. 3. And what’s not in the ad!<br />Go to the institution website and look at the organizational structure and other information<br />Check the local newspaper online – particularly if there are recent stories about budgets<br />
  4. 4. Ad for Academic Library Coordinator and Librarian for Humanities Collections<br />The University of Pennsylvania is a private, ….<br />The University of Pennsylvania Libraries offer an exciting leadership opportunity to shape the future development of scholarly resources and collections in support of the humanities.  The Libraries seek an experienced and innovative individual skilled at conceptualizing and implementing collection development and management activities across a large, complex, and rapidly changing information landscape.<br />The Penn Libraries include fifteen libraries and an off-site Heritage Collection Center.  System-wide scholarly resources number over 5.9 million books, 44,000 current serials (of which 16,000 are e-journals) and 700 databases.  The library is a leader in the development of digital library services and collections and is aggressively experimenting with and adopting new technology in research and teaching, including courseware. <br />Responsibilities include:<br />Coordinating the collection development and management responsibilities of other humanities subject specialists, including the determination of their budgets, totaling more than $2.5M in support of Art and Architecture, Cinema Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, French, German, History, Italian, Medieval Studies, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Spanish.  <br />Along with four other Collection Coordinators (Area Studies, Social Sciences, Engineering & Physical Sciences, and Health Sciences), who form the Collection Development Council, advising the Director of Collection Development & Management about the scholarly resource needs of Penn constituents. <br />
  5. 5. Academic Library (continued) <br />Acquiring scholarly resources in all formats and serving as an academic liaison primarily for graduate students and faculty in selected humanities departments with responsibility for advanced research consultation and instruction.  <br />Determining the optimal housing, location, and preservation triage for relevant humanities collections and designating materials for transfer to the High Density Library.<br />Monitoring trends in publishing and digital scholarship in the humanities to maximize and further develop the Libraries involvement in strategic initiatives on campus and beyond.  <br />In collaboration with the Libraries’ Office of Development & External Affairs, creating effective stewardship relations with donors.<br />Qualifications: <br />Graduate degree in the humanities and Master’s in Library Science or the equivalent combination in experience, training, and practice is required. Proficiency in at least two European languages, including French, German, Greek, Italian, or Latin.  The successful candidate should haveat least 5 years of experience in an academic or research institution; demonstrated knowledge of scholarly research resources, disciplinary issues and publishing trends in the humanities; evidence of innovative approaches to collection development, management and assessment; demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively within a collegial framework within and outside of the libraries; excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills; strong analytical and decision-making skills.  Successful candidates should have demonstrable leadership and managerial skills. <br /> <br />
  6. 6. Small College LibraryLibrarian—Library Learning Resource Center (part-time)<br />Responsible for performing duties associated with acquisitions, periodicals, circulation, reference desk duties, collection, catalogue processing, audio-visual coordination and reserve and faculty services. This is a professional position which reports to the Library Director. Extensive knowledge of library media operations and computer knowledge is essential. Will have considerable contact with faculty, students, and the general public. Duties include, but are not limited to, searching bibliographic data, ordering and budgeting periodical material (including microfilm), maintaining library procedures, selecting and maintaining reference collection, cataloging, classifying and processing materials; and supervising clerical, student assistants and other library personnel as required.   Education / Qualifications: Bachelor's degree required. Minimum of one year related experience required. LINCC or similar online library database knowledge required. Lead worker or indirect supervisory experience required. MARC Records knowledge required. Must have the ability to use various internet browsers to perform research. Detail oriented, good verbal and written communication skills, good internal and external customer service skills, good leadership skills, multi-tasking skills, organized and good time management skills are all required.   <br />MS Word, Excel, Outlook and Mainframe Database are required.<br />Master's degree in Library Science preferred. Teaching experience preferred.  <br />
  7. 7. Small Public Library <br />DATE ENTERED: January 12, 2010 <br />POSITION: Public Service Coordinator<br />LOCATION: The Washington County Public Library -- Abingdon, VA<br />DESCRIPTION: Public Service Coordinator: Put your experience and enthusiasm for providing outstanding customer oriented library service to use in a vibrant rural setting in the Appalachian Mountains. The Washington County Public Library, in Abingdon Virginia, has an opening for the position of Public Service Coordinator. Reporting to the library director, the Public Service Coordinator will join a staff of three other professional librarians who manage a library system that is experiencing record levels of activity. The library system is in the initials stages of two building projects, webpage design and restructuring of branch and outreach services. The Public Service Coordinator will assume a vital role in moving the library to the next generation of library service. This professional, managerial and supervisory position is responsible for the development and administration of public services for the library system with an emphasis on adult services, branch and outreach operations, and circulation services. Other duties include marketing and promotion of services, programming and community relations. Experience with social marketing would make a candidate even more appealing.<br />REQUIREMENTS: Include, but are not limited to, proven aptitude in professional library setting, at least three years demonstrated supervisory skills and an MLS from an ALA accredited library school.<br />SALARY: Salary Range is $32,000 to $45,000 – negotiable based on previous work experience<br />WCPL is located in the highlands of southwest Virginia, a region which is nationally recognized for its animal and plant diversity. There is ready access to many outdoor and cultural activities and direct access to interstate highways. The main library is located in the historic town of Abingdon, population, 9,000, home to an equity theatre, arts center, recreation facility and many other attractive features. USA Today ranks Abingdon as one of the Best Art Towns and Best Places to Retire. WCPL prides itself on a strong commitment to customer service and is dedicated to meet the needs of culturally diverse population. Visit our webpage for more information about our library system www.wcpl.net<br />TO APPLY: Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Submit letter of application and resume, to Administrative Assistant, Washington County Public Library, 205 Oak Hill Street, Abingdon, VA 24210. You may also email your application to dlester@wcpl.net.<br />
  8. 8. What Qualities Do I Have? <br />How much library experience? Kinds? (reference, cataloging, academic, public) <br />Teaching and presentations?<br />Technology skills?<br />Personality traits<br />Demonstrated leadership<br />Positive attitude, enthusiasm<br />Communication skills<br />How much managerial experience?<br />Transferable skills include supervising people, budgeting, project management, training, coordinating, organizing<br />
  9. 9. General Tips for Potential Contacts<br />Make sure your contact information is current and accurate so employers can easily reach you.<br />Your phone message should be professional. Check messages frequently. <br />If you’re giving a home phone as your contact, be sure that anyone answering will be courteous and will take messages accurately. <br />Use a professional sounding email address, not something like luvcats@triad.rr.com<br />
  10. 10. General Tips for Your Documents <br />Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important in ALL documents.<br />Careless mistakes on a resume are a very negative signal to a potential employer<br />Have someone else proofread everything – spell check can miss major errors<br />Avoid long strings of capital letters for addresses, emails.<br />Avoid acronyms or jargon that might not be familiar.<br />
  11. 11. Tips on Preparing a Resume or CV <br />Objectives– often used, but rarely effective.<br /> <br />Work Experience<br />Each job should have the month and year it started and ended.<br />Concentrate on skills and accomplishments – avoid lists of duties. <br /> Indicate the kinds of businesses you worked for and how they benefited from your skills and talents. <br />Show duties/skills/accomplishments that will translate to libraries and appeal to library employers.<br />Use “power” or “action” verbs—facilitated, collaborated, designed, created, analyzed, etc.<br />In indicating computer expertise, specify the program and how it was used.<br /> <br />
  12. 12. Tips on Preparing a Resume or CV (continued)<br />Work experience (continued)<br />Eliminate clerical-sounding items and focus on the duties that involved more responsibility.<br />Mention any supervisory experience. <br /> Provide any examples of teamwork.<br />For each job put the most library-relevant items or those duties that are most complex/responsible/etc. first in the job description.<br />List the most recent positions held plus any earlier ones that relate to librarianship. Omit irrelevant positions. <br />In most cases, omit volunteer work unless it is library-related.<br /> In describing duties, for past jobs use past tense verbs. For current jobs use present tense verbs<br /> <br />
  13. 13. Tips on Preparing a Resume or CV (continued) <br />Education<br />Show the highest degree first<br />Spell out the full name of the school and give the location unless it is part of the name<br />List scholarships, awards, and honorary societies in this section but not social fraternities or sororities<br />Include the year for each of the degrees<br />Committees<br />Make sure that the purpose of the committee is clear.<br />What did the committee(s) accomplish and what was your role?<br /> <br /> Professional Memberships<br />List if library related<br />List other organizations if you had leadership roles<br /> <br />Presentations<br />Include the title, full name of the conference or sponsoring organization, place and date of presentation, and if it isn’t obvious from the title, a very short sentence on its content<br />
  14. 14. Avoid list of duties <br />Branch Manager, Anytown Public Library. January 2005-November 2009. <br />Supervised branch library with 5 fulltime employees. <br />INSTEAD – Add Accomplishments<br />Supervised branch library with 5 fulltime employees.<br />Under my supervision, annual circulation increased from 59,000 in 2005 to 100,000 in 2009.<br />Number of community programs increased from 15 annually in 2005 to 30 annually in 2009. <br />
  15. 15. Tips for Preparing a Cover Letter<br />Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important. Use good English.<br />Inside address and salutation: check for the correct name and job title.<br />Salutation: begin Dear Mr. Smith… not Mr. Smith...<br />First paragraph: include the job position and the location of the ad.<br />Consider leading with an opening sentence that is a little different. e.g. “I am excited about the possibility of using my reference skills as a science librarian at the U…”<br />Convey a sense of enthusiasm and confidence throughout the letter but don’t brag.<br /> <br />Begin each paragraph with a sentence that gives the overall topic of that paragraph. Avoid long lists of accomplishments in single paragraphs. <br />
  16. 16. Tips for Preparing a Cover Letter (continued)<br />The order of the paragraphs should somewhat reflect the order of the requirements requested in the ad. Address how your skills and experience fit each requirement.<br /> Emphasize what you learned from your work experience and how that connects to their job responsibilities.<br /> Look at their web pages then tie your expertise to services or resources available in the advertiser’s library. e.g.<br />At UNCG I helped users choose and navigate the appropriate databases from over 400 that were available on a wide range of subjects. Many of these resources use search platforms identical or similar to those available through (advertiser’s library name) Library so I would feel quite comfortable making the transition to your reference department.<br /> <br />Most job ads specify good communication skills, especially if teaching is involved. The cover letter will illustrate your writing skills; the text should mention your oral skills. Discuss any teaching or training experience.<br /> <br />If appropriate, mention why you are interested in moving to the new city or state. <br /> <br />Read the finished letter out loud to catch obvious errors.<br />
  17. 17. Useful Websites<br />ARL Career Resources http://www.arl.org/resources/careers/index.shtml<br />Library Job Postings on the Internet http://www.libraryjobpostings.org/<br />LisJobs –detailed advice on all aspects of the job search process http://www.lisjobs.com/<br />
  18. 18. Questions? <br /> We’ll also be glad to answer individual questions via email. <br />Mary Krautter mmkrautt@uncg.edu<br />Nancy Ryckman nancy_ryckman@uncg.edu<br />

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