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Authors seeking your input for a book they’re writing…

Authors are seeking input for “Dear Library School Student …” book.  Please respond by June 24 if possible…

We’re writing a book (for Libraries Unlimited) of career advice aimed primarily at library school students.  We hope that the book may help students better prepare while they’re in school so that they can improve their chances of finding a job after graduation.  We’d appreciate your insights so that we can provide students a broader picture of what the working world is really like, and what employers look for when evaluating a pile of resumes.  If you have time to answer one or more of the following questions, we’d really appreciate it!   We would like to quote various information professionals in the book, so we may include your comments or contact you to follow up on your answers.  Thank you so much for your input!

— Priscilla Shontz & Rich Murray

1.      Hiring Process:  We would like to learn more about the hiring processes in various types of work environments.  Students ask us regularly about this.  Would you share briefly what the job search process is like at your organization?  (We would especially like to hear about environments other than academic libraries.)  For example, is hiring done by a manager, an HR professional, or other?  Are applications received in paper or online format?  Do you typically interview applicants on the phone before interviewing in person?  How long does a typical interview last?  How long does the entire job search process typically last (that is, how long would a candidate typically wait to hear about his application)?  What advice might you give someone writing a resume for your type of work environment?  Are cover letters and references given much weight?  Are online portfolios, video resumes, etc. helpful?  How much weight is given to the school the candidate attended, or the degrees he holds?

2.      Sample Resume/Cover Letter:  Would you be willing to share a sample resume or cover letter (changing names/specific info) for an entry-level job in your type of organization?

3.      Resume, Cover Letter, Interview Mistakes: Can you give us an illustration of a mistake that someone made in a resume, cover letter, interview or job search situation – obviously not including any specifics?  Or tell us about a potential job search pitfall that a typical job searcher might not think about?

4.      Interview:  What are some common interview questions in your workplace?  What might be some tricky interview questions?  What advice might you give someone interviewing for an entry-level position at your workplace?

5.      Added value:  What makes a candidate – particularly a recent grad who may be competing with experienced professionals — stand out?

6.      General advice:  If a MLS student asked you “what’s the most important thing I can do while I’m in school to prepare for my first job search,” what would you tell him or her?

Priscilla K. Shontz
Editor, LIScareer
Library Career Consultant


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