Internet Librarian 2011 Notes

Can you hear the sea lions?

Monterey, CA

I did not blog this past week about work because I took off on Sunday for Internet Librarian 2011 in Monterey, CA. Wifi connection was spotty at best with my main online access being to Twitter via my phone. So, please forgive the posting of my notes post-conference. For the most part, I believe my notes are pretty self-explanatory, so please check them and then ask me any follow-up questions that you may have.

The non-note takeaways for me: Continue reading →

How I Job Search

An interview I did for a LIS management class at UNCG. I’m pretty driven to find a job before/soon after graduation after being unable to find work when I graduated college in 2008.

1) How many applications have you sent out and what was your general strategy?

I have sent out 36 applications since October. All of them were submitted online with one requiring that I physically mail in an unofficial copy of my transcript. I have had 5 “hits” so far and have received 12 rejections or the position was eliminated letters.

My general strategy:

  • I first went to the Career Center to get help fixing up my first cover letter and CV. I then realized they weren’t of much help since they were used to working with more general job applications.
  • I used this Excel form from here so I could track of my job applications.
  • Set up a Job Search folder on your computer. Create a folder for every job you apply for and save a copy of the cover letter, CV/resume, references, etc. other material you submit for each one in its own folder.
  • Have a master sample cover letter and CV which you can open and then resave in the folder of the job you’re applying to. This will help ease some of the stress of writing 50 cover letters.
  • I looked for jobs on a variety of online resources. If you want my list, let me know!
  • When I find a job ad that I want to apply to, I copy and paste the URL and the text of the job ad into a section in OneNote.
  • I then look at the due date. I then schedule a day for me to apply to the job in Google Calendar using the Task function. I call the task “Apply to this” (or “APPLY!” for very important jobs) and then include the job title, location, and URL in the comments section of the task.
  • As a member of ALA, I joined the New Member Round Table and sent a sample cover letter and CV off to be reviewed. I got a response about 4 weeks later.
  • I also created a list of references (with their permission!) which has the same header as my CV which you’ll see below.
  • I can now apply to a job in about an hour.

2) Could you post a couple of cover letters and resumes that worked for you leading to interview?
These cover letters and CVs may not be for the same job, but each of these have been successful.

  • Cover Letter 01 (pdf)
  • Cover Letter 02 (pdf)
  • CV/Resume 01 (pdf)
  • CV/Resume 02 (pdf)
  • References (same header as the CV/Resume)

3) What are some tips you have for the entire process including the interview and post interview thank you’s….

We’ll break this into sections…

Cover Letter

  • DO some research and find a name to address the cover letter to.
  • State the position title, the employer’s workplace, and where you found out about the job in the first paragraph.
  • Try to be a little creative with the body of your cover letter. As in, if they say “expert at such and such”, use their language “such and such” but say something more like, “I used such and such skills when I re-engineered the space shuttle to the moon…”
  • Try to stick to a page, but if you absolutely CAN’T, that can be okay every now and then when they want very specific examples for every single requirement.

CV/Resume

  • Congratulations! You’re in the big leagues now and can have a resume/cv that is longer than a page long. I’ve been told no longer than 3 pages for new grads.
  • If you can, use numbers/stats to back up how awesome you are. For example, “Increased production by 500%” or “Managed 22 employee”
  • Try to use action verbs when describing your achievements. Here’s a list of some verbs that you can use.
  • Have your last name, page number, and phone number in the top right of your header.

Phone Interview

You’ll probably receive an email to schedule the time from their HR/secretary. Be EXTREMELY courteous to this person.

  • Print out the job ad, your CV, and cover letter that you sent in.
  • Look at their website and do some research on each of the people you’ll be speaking to on the phone. Write down their title, their degrees, any major accomplishments that they have done. These are conversations pieces you can refer to during the phone and in-person interviews if needed. It is VERY IMPRESSIVE to have done your background reading on them.
  • Write down your answers to: 1) Why this job? and 2) Your responses to each of the required and preferred qualities listed in the job ad.
  • Write down a list of questions to ask them about the job, location, etc. that you couldn’t gleam off their website. Next are some sample questions that I’ve asked. You’re usually allowed to ask 3 questions when they’re done grilling you:
    • What goals will I be expected to meet in the first year in this position?
    • Tell me about the people that I will be working with/supervising.
    • (If tenture-track)What support will I have in reaching tenure-related goals? or How will I be supported professionally?
  • Sound excited!
  • Thank them for calling.
  • IMMEDIATELY write thank you emails to each of the people that were on the phone with you. If you don’t have time for that, send it to the head of the search committee and ask them to express your gratitude to the rest of the committee.

In-person Interview

  • You’re in the top 3-4 candidates! Be confident that you have the skills they need. At this point, it’s seeing if you are a good fit for their culture.
  • They’ll probably pay your way, hotel, and food. Lucky!
  • Dress in a business suit/skirt, comfortable shoes, and check the weather of the location you’re traveling to.
  • If flying, take one personal item (purse, briefcase) and one carry-on. Make sure your personal item is big enough to hold any papers they give you during the interview.
  • Be gracious, kind, and polite to everyone you meet. Wear a smile as often as possible.
  • If you’re going for an academic interview, you’ll be there for probably TWELEVE HOURS. Usually people are sympathetic and will lay off on you towards the end. Remember, they’re getting tired too.
  • If academic, you’ll have to give a presentation. It sucks, but you can do it. Usually you are given the topic and it will be expected to be done in PowerPoint. Bring it on a USB stick. Then bring a back-up one.
  • Make sure you take notes throughout the day and have questions to ask them. Grill them. You’re interviewing them as well.
  • Ask specifically about people’s management style, what the town is like, the cost of living, what to do for fun, if its likely your partner will find work…

Post Interview

  • Send a thank you email to the head of the committee. You should probably send one to the dean as well (if you’re looking at an academic library).
  • If you can, send a thank you email to each individual of the search committee.

Cloud Computing and the Library School

I got an A on this paper.

The paper begins with my first exposure to the term “cloud computing” and how an undergrad teacher ridiculed me that it would ever be “a thing.” I then discuss some articles about how cloud computing can be used in a library. Finally, I wrap up about my proposal to have our own cloud server in my library school department.

Open Source Software with Jason Puckett

Have I mentioned my love for Georgia’s Wednesday Webinars Series? They’re always helpful and the librarians are very personable with great ideas! Today was about Open Source Software (watch me try to resist plugging the webinar and my notes to my classmates). I knew about most of the Open Source Software that was discussed but was glad to have a chance to hear other peoples’ thoughts on Drupal.

Do you know of other webinar series that I should be watching out for?

iDEALS 2010 Poster Presentation

I presented my poster at iDEALS (Information, Diversity, Engagement, Access and Leadership Summit) today. The creation of the poster was very troublesome and fraught with misadventures. However, it ended well as I won one of five prizes for my Screencasting Tools to Teach Distance Education and Promoting Your Lessons via Social Media best practice poster. The poster can be seen here and the resources with all the links can be found here.

I was on the planning committee (for the website and offered insight on student response to iDEALS) and got a nifty line on my badge stating my participation. Later on, I was surprised to receive a lovely beaded bracelet/ring thing as a thank you gift for my contribution! That’s a funny story starting about 49 minutes into this video of the presentation. I was watching the final portion in the lobby so I could tweet and work on editing iDEALS photos. When I heard my name via the livestream, I ran into the auditorium carrying my netbook. You can hear the audience’s reaction in the clip!

Also, I’d like to thank Jessica Laney for creating my business cards (I printed 100 of them in color for $10! on campus) and Nancy Poole and Thomas Kozak for their suggestions for my poster!

More screencasting links:

Photo by Thomas Kozak