In September I wrote a post about 13 Resources & Tips for Library Job Seekers which was very popular with iLibrarian readers, so as a follow-up I thought I’d post some more tips and strategies that I’ve found helpful in the past. If you’re looking to land a library job in today’s competitive market, here are some recommendations to get you started:
Manage Your Online Reputation
Potential employers will be searching online to see what information is available about you. What kind of posts, comments, images, etc. will they find? You’ll want to do some exploratory vanity searching to see what’s out there, and if necessary do some damage control in the form of requesting that mis-information or just plain unflattering information be removed from others’ sites and profiles. Start with doing a search for yourself on these sites:
Create a Web Site
Whether or not you’re tech savvy, you need to have an online website or landing page which lets potential employers know a little more about you. This page can be as simple as a one page site which links to all of your social media profiles, or can be a fully developed online portfolio. For tips on how to get started, check out my post on 5 Ways to Set Up A Free Personal Landing Page in 5 Minutes.
Clean Up Your Online Profiles
When you’re looking for a new job, you want to be sure that you put your best face forward, and that includes cleaning up your profiles on all of your social networking sites including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. For suggestions on how to do this effectively you may want to check out my post on 17 Tips to Improve Your Online Presence. One of the necessary ingredients on all of your social networking profiles is your bio statement (or most likely paragraph) describing who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and where you’re looking to go. This bio statement is what will most likely serve as the basis for your elevator pitch when you are doing face-to-face networking. For tips on this, take a look at, A Librarian’s Guide to the Elevator Pitch.
Join the Conversation
Make yourself more visible by joining in on library conversations on Q&A websites such as Quora or LinkedIn’s Groups and Answers sections. You may also want to join relevant library listservs and offer your opinions and feedback. In addition, library jobs are often posted to listservs first. If you want some tips to quickly get going with Quora you can check out A Quick Guide to Getting Started with Quora. Additionally, you may want to consider starting a blog or really diving into the conversation on Twitter.
Make yourself more marketable by garnering some publishing credits. There are many library publications out there seeking well-written articles on everything from gaming in libraries to information literacy program strategies. Look for Calls for Papers on listservs and postings on this site: A Library Writer’s Blog. LIScareer and WebJunction are great places to pitch article ideas, and you may also want to try these individual publications:
- Library Journal
- School Library Journal
- Computers in Libraries
- Choice Journal
- Library Technology Reports
- Journals for LIS Research – Thousands of links to LIS journals, all of which need talented writers!
Give a Talk
One way to keep adding to your resume and making yourself more attractive to potential employers is to give a talk, workshop, or class. Find out about local library consortia that might be seeking instructors or volunteers to run a special interest group meeting, etc. Also check A Library Writer’s Blog for calls for participation for library conferences and events. You could also volunteer to give a Webinar on a topic that you’re knowledgeable about.
Network, Network, Network
The more people you meet and network with online the better your odds are of finding a new job. Having people keep their eyes and ears open for you and pass you along job announcements is going to be the fastest and easiest way to acquire your new position. Explore local networking opportunities through Meetup.com, and find out about nearby library events that you can attend and possibly meet potential employers. You will also want to expand your circles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+.