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PCC Library Technology Certificate Programs

A Library Guide for prospective/current/alumni students in the Library Technology, Archives & Digital Collections, and Digitization Certifcate Programs at Pasadena City College

Tips from a Library Tech. Program Alumni

Tips and Tricks for Finding Library Jobs

First off let me say that this is an excellent time to start looking because there have never been more library jobs in recent history than right now unlike when I first started looking. There are so many library jobs right now; it’s just exploded, so it’s an exciting time to look.

Be You

  • The most important thing from the start is to be genuine; be yourself
  • Look for the job you want, not just what’s available
  • If you have something supporting you now hang into that until you find something that supports you both financially and your interests and skills
  • From applying to the application to the final interview be honest about who you are and what you want because they’re not just hiring someone with experience they’re hiring you, so make sure that the “you” they hire is the “you” that shows up on the first day

Job Websites to Use

  • about.com/careers is my bread and butter when looking for advice on everything related to job searching (applying, resumes, cover letters, references, salary schedules, interviews, etc…)
  • Keep in mind as you use this resource however that the articles are geared mostly towards jobs in sales and private companies so make sure you tailor the advice to the library field
  • indeed.com is an excellent free job searching website.  You can sign up for alerts based on job description key words and location. I’ve found every type of library job here except perhaps for school libraries
  • edjoin.com is the website to go to for school library job postings.You’ll be able to find all kinds of school job postings there
  • neogov.com is also a good source for school as well as any other library job that isn’t a private library
  • If community college work is your bag I recommend signing up for the California Community College Registry (cccregistry.org). Think of it as a job interest card for all California community colleges. Sign up and they’ll email you when an opening is available
  • Lastly, visit the websites of all your favorite libraries and look for postings
    • Public libraries will usually have openings on their city’s HR page
    • Private libraries will usually have their own HR page inside their website

General tips and tricks

COVER LETTERS:

  • When writing a cover letter always address it to the person on the job posting or the person or the head of the HR hiring department/hiring committee. If they don’t put a name (which is now more often the case) and it’s not clear whom will be, “hiring committee” works just fine

KNOW THE JOB YOU ARE APPLYING FOR: 

  • Remember to print out the application before you submit it so you know exactly what you said and can answer questions on it if asked in the interview

INTERVIEWS: 

  • Most library interviews now are panel interviews so go to about.com/careers to prepare for those
  • Always give a firm but gentle handshake to all your interviewers and ask their names if they don’t provide them
  • Write the names down so you can send them a thank you note later
  • Always arrive ready to go 15 minutes before your interview time
  • Always ask your questions about the job at the end of the interview (about.com/careers)

FOLLOW UP

  • After the interview make sure to send a thank you email to all your interviewers. This is a brief thank you to communicate you are interested in the position, pump up your qualifications one more time, and thank the interviewer for their time (2-3 paragraphs, 3 sentences each). Make sure they are personalized for each interviewer. Unless the turn-around time is 24 hours send a second snail mail thank you. This thank you should be more detailed, have a specific comment about what you liked about a particular interviewer’s answer to your question, and any information you forgot to mention in the interview. If there’s no time for a snail mail thank you, make your thank-you email the longer detailed one.

 

Good luck!

Joe Metzger. May 29th, 2015