Resume Writing and Interviewing Quick Start!
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Resume Writing and Interviewing Quick Start!

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Robert Newlen, CRS, presentation Friday, July 10, 2009, at the FAFLRT Careers in Federal Libraries event.

Robert Newlen, CRS, presentation Friday, July 10, 2009, at the FAFLRT Careers in Federal Libraries event.

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Resume Writing and Interviewing Quick Start! Resume Writing and Interviewing Quick Start! Presentation Transcript

  • Resume Writing And Interviewing Quick Start! 2009 Careers in Federal Libraries Robert R. Newlen July 10, 2009
  • Some Resume/Cover Letter Bloopers  Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave  Failed bar exam with relatively high grades  Let’s meet, so you can “ooh” and “aah” over my experience  You will want me to be Head Honcho in no time  Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details  Marital status: often. Children: various.  Finished eighth in my class of ten 2
  • Resume Writing - Goals  Examine different types of resumes  Review step-by-step the process for writing a job-winning resume  Take away at least one new idea 3
  • Chronological Pros Cons  Easy to read and write  Less desirable for those who  Focuses on job progression have been in one position for an extended period  Draws attention to name of  Can focus on employment your library or organization gaps  Makes all your jobs have equal weight  Not good for career changers  Can accentuate vague job title 4
  • Senior Research Librarian, 1991 - Present The Library of Congress, Legislative Reference Service • Extensive reference service, including in-person assistance, to Members of Congress and congressional staff. • Specialize in issues related to arts and education. • Expert searching skills using a wide range of databases such as NEXIS, WESTLAW, and DIALOG. Use of Internet protocols and resources: Gopher, World Wide Web, and E-mail. • Experience with archival and special format materials using Library of Congress and other collections related to film, photographs, and music. • DOS, Windows, and Macintosh proficiency for research and technical support. • Supervisory experience in delegating and reviewing work of librarians. Special Assignment, Team Member, User-Evaluation Special Project, 1991-93 The Library of Congress American Image Project • Evaluated American Image prototype (an electronic version of archival materials in Library of Congress collections). • Chaired site selection subcommittee, prepared report, and presented results to senior managers. • Coordinated orientation and training sessions at Library and at selected sites throughout the U.S. • Wrote sections of instruction manual, interviewed site coordinators, analyzed site experiences, and was one of three authors of final report.
  • Functional Resume - Pros  Good if you have been in one position a long time – focuses on skills and abilities  Works well for career changers  Works well for those re-entering the job market  Makes employment gaps less noticeable  Good for job switchers or those in part-time or temporary positions 6
  • Functional Resume - Pros  Good for recent library school graduates and those with limited job experience  Works well for those with jobs which are unrelated and don’t reveal a distinct career path 7
  • Film reference and research  Provided in-person and telephone reference service in major university film library.  Created major bibliographies on film history, production, and personalities.  Examined and prepared special collections inventory of Ritz Radio Theatre disk recordings.  Excellent research skills with archival and special format material using Library of Congress and external collections related to film, photographs, and music. Web and database searching  Extensive searching experience including use of NEXIS and Dialog.  Use of Internet protocols and resources: Gopher, World Wide Web, and E-mail.  DOS, Windows, and Macintosh proficiency for research and technical support.
  • Combo Pro Con  Can be useful if you  Needs special attention have been in one in how it is presented position or institution for graphically a long time  Highlights distinct jobs as well as skill areas 9
  • Senior Rese arch Li brar ian, 1991 - Pr esent The Li brary of Congress, Legislati ve Refere nce Ser vice Reference a nd Research • Extensive reference service, including in-p erson assistance to M e mbers of Congress and congressional staff. • Spec ialization in issues related to arts and education. • Experienc e with archival and spec ial for mat ma terials using Library of Congress and other colle ctions related to fil m, photographs, and music. Au tomation • Expert searching skills using a wide range of databases such as N EXIS and DIA LO G. Use of In ternet proto cols and resources: Gopher, W orld W ide W eb, and E-mail. • DOS, W indows, and Ma cintosh proficien cy for research and te chnica l support. S pec ial Assig nme nt, Tea m Me mber, User- Evaluation S pecial Projec t, 1991-93 The Li brary of Congress A merican Image Pr oject Project Evaluation • Evaluate d A merican Memo ry prototype (an elec tro nic version of archival materials in Library of Congress co llections). • Chaired site selection subco mmittee and presented results to senior managers. • Coo rdina ted orientation and training sessions. W riting • Co-authored instruction manual fo r digital prototype. • Wrote final report for th e proje ct.
  • Seven step approach  Personal inventory  Identify job objective  Identify knowledge, skills and abilities that meet job objective 11
  • Seven Step Approach  Identify YOUR major knowledges, skills, and abilities that best meet your job objective  Identify your accomplishments  Assembling the resume – how it looks  A final checklist 12
  • Step 1: Personal Inventory Professional work history  Reverse chronological order, list all position titles and organizations  List your accomplishments under each position 13
  • Professional work history  What are your responsibilities?  How many employees have you supervised?  Can you quantify your accomplishments?  What personal skills have you developed?  What did you initiate or implement?  What leadership skills have you developed?  Awards? Writing skills? Public speaking? 14
  • A ssistant Director, Red ford County Public Library District, R edford, AR 199 1 to present • Assisted Director in managing a budget of $ 4 . 5 million, a staff of 105 , and a collection of over 275 , 000 items • W orked closely w ith Bo ard consisting of 7 members • Library Building C ommittee - Chaired this committee for 2 years • Coo rdinated transition team to plan move to new building • Designed Lib rary's Disaster Plan • Designed and i mplemented A DA Strategic Plan • W rote Supervisory M anual for the library • Advised 5 Department Heads on writing job descriptions • Counseled Depa rtment Head s on employee problems A cting Director, Redford C ounty Public Library District 199 0 • For six month period, served as A cting Director • Neg otiated the new build ing plans w ith Bo ard and C ounty government W orked closely with co mmunity groups on all aspects of building pla n • Proposed budget that w as passed on the first a ttempt by Library B oard • Responsible fo r all ad ministrative functions of the Library A ssociate Librarian/Head of Technical Services, R edford C ounty Public Library District 198 9 - 1 991 • M anaged all aspects of Technical Service Department including acq uisitions, serials, interlibrary loan, and cataloging functions • Extensive use of OCLC and the Dynix automated library system • Exp erience with AAC R2 and M AR C formats • Extensive audiovisual cataloging • Supervised a staff of 7 • Outstand ing performance evaluation
  • Head of Reference, Redford C ounty Public Library District 1 987 - 1989 • Supervised a staff of 8 reference librarians and 4 library aides • Served on the collection development committee • Chaired com mittee on user access • Revised and improved library reference guide • Developed and monitored database budget of over $25 ,00 0. Reference Librarian, San Angelo F ree Public Library, San Angelo, TX 1 984 - 1987 • Provided extensive reference service • Coordinated staff training on new online catalog • Redesigned quick reference collection for more efficient use Elementary School Librarian, Sam Houston Elementary School, Eagle Pass, TX 1 982 - 1984 • Developed and maintained library and multimedia center for school of 3 50 students • Created Parent Advisory Committee for library to increase parent volunteers • Implemented automated circulation control for the library Substitute Reference Assistant, Springdale College, Springdale, TX 1 981 - 1982 • Performed part-time reference services for college library serving 80 0 students • Staffed reference and circulation desk • Routinely used college automated catalog to assist patrons Documents Technician (part-time), Grinnell College Undergraduate Library, Grinnell, IA 1 977 - 1979 • Worked with Federal Depository Library collection • Sorted and shelved documents • Maintained collection
  • Non-professional work history  Have you learned any skills that apply to your job objective? 17
  • Education, Specialized Training, and Language Skills  List degrees, schools, dates of enrollment  Awards, scholarships, fellowships, internships, etc.  Training courses  Technology skills  Emphasize skill proficiency (routine or occasional use of a system) 18
  • Professional Association Involvement  Professional association memberships  All activities and participation  Attendance at professional conferences 19
  • Publications  Names and titles of books and articles  Experience in writing articles for association or staff newsletters  Keep a master file of publications 20
  • Presentations  Presentations at professional conferences, workshops or seminars  Courses you have taught  Tours you have led 21
  • Research and Grant Activities  List ongoing research  Grant supported research 22
  • Volunteer Work and Personal Interests  List volunteer work  Volunteer skills you have acquired: organizational, public speaking, fund raising, budgeting, publicity, meeting deadlines, coordinating meetings, planning for events, leading a team, recruitment, training, scheduling 23
  • Personal Interests  Sports  Hobbies  Community activities 24
  • Step 2: Identify Your Job Objective  Helps you tailor your resume 25
  • Specific Job Objectives  Coordinator of Children’s Services, Houston Public Library  Electronic Services and Reference Librarian, Tennessee Technological University  Library Systems Administrator, Prince Edward County Public Library  Metadata Services Cataloger, Wichita State University 26
  • Broad Job Objectives  User instruction librarian in an academic institution  Collection development librarian  Corporate librarian  Archivist/special collections librarian 27
  • Step 3: Identify knowledges, skills, and abilities or functional areas  Link these to job objective  Start thinking like the employer  What skills are most desirable?  Refer to critical skills identified in the job announcement 28
  • Job objective: Instructional Services Librarian in a public library  Significant library instruction and reference experience  Knowledge of electronic resources and library systems  Experience with Web page design and development  Ability to work collaboratively 29
  • Step 4: Identify Accomplishments & Abilities That Support Each Skill or Quality  For example, a job applicant (Janet Taylor) wants to be a director in a small or medium- sized library  What skills are needed for this position? 30
  • Skills needed for position as director of small or medium-sized public library  Experience in a public library system  Fiscal management skills  Supervisory experience  Ability to interact with community, library boards, and local governments  Leadership skills  Experience with technology  Strategic planning  Organizational skills 31
  • Janet Taylor’s Selects These Skills and Quality Areas  Supervisory and administrative skills  Community and government relations experience  Technology planning skills  Fiscal management skills 32
  • STEP 5: Identify Your Accomplishments That Support Functional Statements  Keep the language tight and phrases short  Don’t use the first person “I” 33
  • Accomplishments: Use incomplete sentences  Planned and implemented the network  Initiated after-school reading hour  Coordinated acquisition proposals  Evaluated cataloging policies  Wrote training manual  Administered budget of over $ 2 million  Simplified archival acquisition procedure 34
  • Use Action Verbs!  Achieved, administered, compiled, converted, effected, expanded, improved, increased planned, reorganized, streamlined, trained, etc 35
  • Avoid Terms Found in Job Descriptions  Responsible for….  In charge of….  Duties included….  Scope of responsibilities…. 36
  • Use Plain English  Avoid insider technology and acronyms  Don’t use: Represented the library on District Steering Team for WPL-WASB Pilot project  Don’t use: Established the IMC routines  Don’t use: Represented the section on interlibrary team 37
  • Quantify Your Accomplishments  How many people did you supervise?  How much money did you save?  What size budget did you manage?  How much did circulation improve?  How did productivity increase 38
  • Quantify, Quantify, Quantify  Instead of “Changed procedures for checking-in serials”  Use: “Successfully streamlined procedures for serial check-in which saved 8 hours of staff time a week 39
  • Janet Taylor’s Accomplishment Statements Supervisory and administrative skills  Wrote comprehensive library disaster plan  Assisted in the administration of over 100 staff  Coordinated transition team to move central library to a new building  Chaired library building committee and submitted plan that was approved by library board  Counseled department heads on employee problems 40
  • Janet Taylor’s Accomplishment Statements Community and government relations  Designed and implemented ADA Strategic Plan  Met monthly with library board on a wide range of issues  Represented library on Redford County Business Development Committee  Negotiated building plans 41
  • Step 6: How the Resume Looks  Resume length – one page? Two pages? More?  Use plenty of white space  Don’t compress margins  Don’t shrink font size  Used good quality paper 42
  • STEP 7: Final Checklist  Proofread – check and recheck grammar, spelling and punctuation  Is it neat?  Have someone else critique your resume: peers, mentors, managers, some in the area of librarianship which you are pursuing, someone outside of the library world, someone who hires in the area of your job objective 43
  • Final Checklist  Have you described your position in your own words?  Have you included relevant nonprofessional work experience and volunteer experience?  Have you accounted for periods of unemployment?  Have you used acronyms that will have no meaning for the employer? 44
  • Final checklist  Will your resume pass the New York Times test?  Is your resume concise and to the point?  Have you checked and rechecked to make sure every statement in your resume supports your job objective?  Have you carefully proofed for typos? 45
  • Recommended Reading  Resume Writing and Interviewing Techniques That Work by Robert R. Newlen. Neal-Schuman, 2006.  Jump Start Your Career in Library and Information Science by Priscilla K. Shontz.  A Day in the Life: Career Options in Library and Information Science by Priscilla K. Shontz.  The Librarian’s Career Guidebook by Priscilla K. Shontz.  LIScareer.com 46
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  • Interviewing 2009 Careers in Federal Libraries Robert R. Newlen July 10, 2009
  • Interviewing Goals  Provide you with the tools you need to feel confident about interviewing  Come away with one new tip that will set you apart from other candidates 50
  • Preparing for the Interview  Conducting target employer research  Anticipating questions and practicing responses  Completing an interview dress rehearsal 51
  • At the Interview: Delivering a Job- Winning Performance  Developing your personal interview style  Techniques for answering questions  What to do when you are stumped for an answer  Handling questions about salary  Concluding the interview 52
  • Special Types of Interviews  Informational  Screening  Telephone  One-on-one vs. group  Meal-time 53
  • Crash Course Interview Tips  When you don’t have much time to prepare for the interview 54
  • Conduct Research About the Potential Employer  Background information provided by the employer  Online and web search Google the names of your interviewers  Your personal network and library colleagues 55
  • Using Your Personal Research During the Interview  Demonstrate you have done your homework  For example, you might say “according to your annual report…” or “in reading about your library in Library Journal I learned that….” 56
  • Anticipate Interview Questions and Develop Answers  Write some questions and develop “bullet” responses  Behavioral questions: focuses on your personal behaviors and qualities  Situational questions: focuses on how you approach and solve problems  Practice your answers with a partner 57
  • Don’t Memorize Responses  Have a general sense of how you will respond  Use specific examples  Focus on results  Quantify where appropriate 58
  • Sample Questions  What do you like most/least about your present job?  Why are you interested in changing jobs now? 59
  • Sample Questions  Don’t you think you are overqualified? There are positions at a higher level that I could pursue, but I’m impressed with the opportunities created by this position. I feel I can make a significant contribution here. This is the type of library where I think I can learn and grow. 60
  • Personal Characteristics Questions  Can you tell me something about yourself?  How would describe your strengths and weaknesses? In the past, I tended to take on too many projects at work. In one instance, I came close to not meeting an important deadline. That experience taught me the importance of planning and allowing for the unexpected. 61
  • Personal Characteristics Questions  What is the best way to motivate you?  How do you stay current in your area of librarianship?  Are you active in any professional organizations? 62
  • Skill-related Questions Tell me about a time when you:  Worked effectively under pressure  Anticipated potential problems and developed preventative measures  Had to deal with an irate customer or patron  Had to adapt to a difficult situation  Made the wrong decision 63
  • Hypothetical Questions Test your problem-solving skills:  If a contractor was not completing work in a timely manner, how would you handle it?  How would you manage a situation where a patron was looking at inappropriate material on the Internet?  If you could select only ten reference sources in your area of expertise, what would they be? 64
  • Questions that Entry-level or New Librarians Might Encounter  Which courses in your graduate program relate directly to this position?  What would you do if you heard a colleague give out incorrect information or misstate library policy?  What do you think the (school, public, academic, etc.) library of the future will look like? 65
  • Managerial Questions  How do you motivate staff?  Have you ever fired an employee?  What is the largest budget you have managed? 66
  • Interview Dress Rehearsal The Interview Rehearsal Book: 7 Steps to Job- Winning Interviews Using Acting Skills You Never Knew You Had By Deb Gottesman and Buzz Mauro (New York: Berkley Books, 1999) 67
  • Plan Your Wardrobe  Wearing something new? Wear it ahead of time so you know how your clothing will “act” – no wardrobe malfunctions!  Err on the side of conservative 68
  • Questions to Ask the Interviewers  What are the major challenges facing the library?  What is the work culture like? Collegial? Collaborative?  What is the typical day like?  What is the most important thing you would like me to accomplish in the first six months on the job?  What are the next steps in the hiring process and what is your time frame?  What is your timetable for selection of this position? 69
  • At the Interview  Know the location in advance  Arrive 10 minutes early  Obtain the names and pronunciation of your interviewers in advance  Take water with you 70
  • First Impressions Count  Greet everyone enthusiastically  Shake hands firmly  If the interview starts with small talk, remember there is no such thing as small talk  Smile  Speak slowly and clearly 71
  • At the Interview  Don’t be afraid to pause  Ask the interviewer to repeat the question, if necessary  Engage all interviewers  Pay attention to interviewer body language 72
  • At the Interview  Know when to stop talking  Answer the question, then stop  Don’t drone on and on…. 73
  • Techniques for Answering Questions  Use specific examples  Quantify answers where appropriate  Always define your role  Never say anything critical or negative about yourself  Mention current trends in the field that may pertain to the target library 74
  • Questions About Salary  Wait, if possible, to discuss salary until the job is offered  Do your research ahead of time, just in case 75
  • Stumped for an Answer?  Pause  Stall Ask clarifying questions  Acknowledge you don’t know the answer Don’t make it up 76
  • Concluding the Interview  Return to an earlier question which you had difficulty answering  At the end of the interview, you will be asked if there is anything you want to add. Make a strong closing statement  Thank the employer for the interview 77
  • After the Interview  Thank you letters to each interviewer 78
  • Special Type of Interviews  Informational Great opportunity for students  Screening  Telephone  One-on-one vs. group  Meal-time 79
  • Interview Survival Skills  Bring copies of your current resume  Bring copies of writing samples  Dress conservatively  Smile, be enthusiastic, and display energy  Stop talking when you have answered the question  Vary the tone of your voice  Always think in terms of results – what did you produce? 80
  • Interview Survival Skills  Maintain good eye contact  At the end of the interview, ask questions about the position and the library  Thank the employer for the interview  If you want the job, say so 81