Last night the Victorian grad group hosted their annual Resume and Key Selection Criteria discussion in Melbourne. Janet from Monash Public Libraries, Katie from the New Grads/NMIT, and Helen from NMIT gave valuable insight, tips, and experiences from both sides of the recruitment process.
We hope you got some great ideas, motivation, and most importantly, you feel a little less overwhelmed by the job hunting process in the library world.
If you couldn’t make it, have no fear! We have included some key points and a couple of links that can help you find information to keep going on your library journey.
The main points from last night’s discussion were:
- You MUST follow the instructions of submission: read the position description, submit the right amount of documents, and have them in the right format.
- You should ring the organisation beforehand to get more information, talk about the role, and find out who the cover letter should be addressed to. Call the contact on the job advertisement, and be nice to whoever answers the phone: they will remember you!
- Your Key Selection Criteria MUST respond with the correct answers. Don’t miss any out, don’t lump any together, and don’t ramble. The easiest way to make sure you’ve got everything in there is to drop them into a blank document and use their bullet points as your headings.
- Your resume doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be easy to read. If you have gaps from when you’ve been doing things that aren’t library or career related, that’s okay: select the most relevant information, tasks, and skills, and be positive about them.
- If you have any extra skills such as writing a blog, working as a volunteer (even working in schools as a parent volunteer), or other achievements that can be transferred to libraries, include them in your answers and resume.
- Your cover letter should be succinct, specific to the position/organisation you are applying for, and no more than one page. Read the submission instructions to check if it is a single document, or needs to incorporate the KSC.
- Do your research: find out what information is available. What is the identity of the library? (look at their website); What is the demographic of the area you are applying to? What are the trends in information services?
- Be organised: don’t leave it to the last minute. Make time to plan everything; be methodical, and prepare your documents from scratch.
- CHECK YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR! Don’t spell the organisation’s name incorrectly! Make sure it is addressed to the correct person/place. Re-read everything.
- DON’T PANIC. Get some feedback so you can get better, every time you apply.
Some links to further information:
- The ALIA Newgrads wiki with career resources. Navigate your way through using the menon the right hand side
- The ALIA Communications page, with the latest media releases and news in LIS
- The ALIA elists page, where you can subscribe to the newgrads and students email notifications from ALIA, as well as specific lists for state, technicians etc
And for a bit of copy editing inspiration, we recommend Weird Al
Thanks to everyone who attended, and our three speakers for being involved! We will be following up with an Interview Skills workshop in September; keep an eye out for information through twitter, facebook and the elists! Don’t be shy, and feel please feel free to come along to all our future events and social nights.
Cheers, and good luck!
Susie, Anna, Emily, and Katie
Victorian New Graduates Team