Pitch for Your Niche Cultivating a Professional Image in the Information Age: A Panel Discussion Cathy Hartman Academic Libraries Donna Kearley School Libraries Toni Lambert Public Libraries Valerie HillSpecial Libraries Kris Helge & Julie Leuzinger Beta Phi Mu TLA Austin April 15, 2011
Academic Libraries Job Seeking: the pitch, from beginning to end Cathy N. Hartman Associate Dean University of North Texas Libraries 940-565-3269 Cathy.Hartman@unt.edu 940-565-3269
Academic Libraries: Applying The position advertisement – Match? The application In the cover letter: Compare qualifications with job requirements Note qualifications that make you a good match Edit, edit, edit Indicate your strong interest in THIS position Vita: well organized, not too wordy, length appropriate to experience Hoops: forms, process, following instructions
Academic Libraries: Interviewing Telephone, then Onsite Interview Prepare: Read everything on the website – Mission, vision, strategic plan (library and univ.) Key personnel – names, their career activities Search committee Note questions you may have Be familiar with the current literature for the position (digital libraries, public services, etc.) Prepare for standard questions
Academic Libraries: Interviewing (cont.) Telephone interview: Important! Determines if you stay in applicant pool! Find a quiet location, good land line Focus and ask for clarification if needed Expect questions to focus in area of position requirements and your experience Have your questions ready
Academic Libraries: In-Person Interview Good match: for them, for you? Remember phone interview, indication of what is important More questions Presentation: prepare, practice Meeting with administrators Faculty status? Evaluation process? Promotion opportunities? Full day or longer
Academic Libraries: Post Interview Send note of thanks to chair of search committee NEXT DAY, then WAIT!!!! Offer – initially offered verbally, then in writing Negotiate salary, benefits Academic rank, if faculty status Start date Saying “no, thank you” No Offer – accept graciously
School Libraries Donna Kearley Coordinator of Library Services Denton I.S.D. firstname.lastname@example.org 940-369-0087
School Libraries How you lay the groundwork counts.
School Libraries Shake hands. Smile and call the interviewer by name. Bring your resume. Share your portfolio if it’s strong.
School Libraries If an interview goes wrong… Smile, share your passion for kids and libraries and good things will happen if you’re a good match for the job. Thank you to Leigh Ann Jones, Frisco ISD Library Coordinator for sharing her tips.
Public Libraries Toni Lambert Assistant Director of Public Services Austin Public Library Toni.Lambert@ci.austin.tx.us 512- 974-7466
Getting an Interview Resumes Cover Letters Online Image Professional Contacts The Application Screening Questions
Interviewing for a Public Library Position Visit the library’s website Do your homework Read the library’s strategic plan Prepare for the interview What about telephone interviews?
Public Library Professional Positions Youth Services Positions Reference Positions Management Positions Technical Services Positions Archival Positions IT Positions – Virtual Librarians
Do You Have What We’re Looking For? Relevant Experience Technology Skills Leadership Skills Flexibility Communication Skills Commitment to Excellent Customer Service Passion for the Public Library Mission
Special Libraries Valerie Hill Lewisville ISD TWU University Doctoral Candidate email@example.com 972-350-5544
Special libraries come in all formats. Exploring new media formats Embracing technology trends Balancing tradition with emerging information modes All libraries are changing
Embracing technology trends Digital resources Ebooks
Exploring new trends in information delivery User-generated content Augmented reality Virtual worlds
Exploring new media Social media Social networking Web 2.0 (blogs, wikis, RSS)
Balancing tradition with emerging information modes Knowing the community Personal learning networks (PLN’s)
Virtual Texas: an exhibit by TLA SL Community Group
The Library and the Librarian “It may be that the great age of libraries is waning, but I am here to tell you that the great age of librarians is just beginning. It’s up to you to decide if you want to be a part of it.” ~T. Scott Plutchak
PROPER PREPARATION CAN PRODUCE AN INTERVIEW THAT PROCEEDS WELL Kris Helge Public Services Librarian Texas Wesleyan University School of Law firstname.lastname@example.org 817-212-3812
Some interviewers will read your body language. Consider all nuances of the position. How long is the commute? E.g. “I will probably just take the bus.” Have you discussed this with your significant others? What skills are required (e.g. managing a website)? Be honest with yourself about these required skills Plan Ahead
Plan and select an appropriate attire. Double check yourself! E.g. Sock boy Be prompt. Use appropriate interviewing vernacular. Do not be afraid of selling yourself, but do not be arrogant. Hone your overall interviewing techniques… keep it simple but profound.
Research the company. Ask questions. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? Give simple, common sense responses. E.g. “I want to be doing the same thing I am now.” Think realistically about interviewer questions
Facebook LinkedIn Websites E.g. Subway sandwich lady… Clean up your electronic dossier!
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COVER LETTER Julie Leuzinger Reference & GLA Coordinator University of North Texas Libraries Why a Resume is not Enough email@example.com
Five Reasons for Sending a Cover Letter with your Resume You’ll increase your chances of grabbing the employer’s attention. Your letter can highlight aspects of your resume. It gives you a chance to start what could be the best conversation of your career. Your letter is probably your first opportunity to make a personable impression. You can directly ask for a job interview (Ireland, 48).
Catch an Interview with Your Cover Letter “Casting the Line.” (Who is the hiring manager?) “The Hook.” (Get the reader’s attention.) “The Line.” (The sales pitch.) “The Sinker.” (Close the deal.)
Cover Letter Do’s and Don’ts DoDon’t ~Mention how you heard ~Forget to run spell check about the position ~Mention the title of the position ~Use “canned” phrases ~Include the job number ~Forget to sign your letter ~Use action verbs ~Repeat your resume ~Request an interview ~Use negative language ~Answer the employer’s question: ~Use a generic letter “Why should I hire you?”
References Ireland, Susan. 1997. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Cover Letter. New York: Alpha Books. Plutchak, T. Scott. 2007. The Librarian: Fantastic Adventures in the Digital World. Serials, 20(2), 87-91.