The pains and joys of looking for a library job after graduation

People always tell me “Good Luck” searching for jobs after graduation. They think my degree will be worthless, and it will be difficult to find a job in 2012. Libraries are like any other profession: they have had hard times during the recession. It is challenging to find jobs-that’s the reality. But I’m not that worried. I feel most people can find a job in their field if they research and understand the ins and outs of job searches. Most jobs will not be handed to us on a silver platter. We need to work hard, and do our homework so we can start paying back those student loans!

  1. Resumes/cover letters-Each resume and cover letter will be different for each job. They have to be flawless and have a great, organized format. I am always updating my resume with each new project or experience I complete. I bring it to professionals who critique it and provide helpful feedback.
  2. Use of social media/Internet-I am in the process of creating an online portfolio, with a blog, list of courses, resume and projects I have done in the past year. I’m updating my LinkedIn, and trying to be more active on Twitter and Facebook.
  3. Gain new skills-Through my projects and jobs, I have learned how to create LibGuides, learning how to enhance social networks at a library, build content on SU’s Blackboard system and know how to conduct effective searches for patrons.
  4. Narrow your interests-I love all aspects of librarianship, but gaining skills and learning about academic libraries, social media and instructional design could aid me in the long-run if I have specific specialties.
  5. Network-Through my family, friends and jobs on campus, I’m learning to network and maintain relationships with librarians and professionals in the area.
  6. Read, read, read-Read books about trends in the field, read links to articles from Twitter or blogs. Look at ALA’s webpage. Becoming aware of trends and concerns with the profession can only help in the future.
  7. Be willing to relocate-Syracuse may not have numerous library jobs for graduates. I consider Syracuse to be a “library” city because the program is at Syracuse University. I could be competing with fellow peers or professional with an MLS. I understand I might have to look for jobs outside the city, and my comfort zone.
  8. Research the position-If I’m lucky to get an interview, it’s vital to understand the position and organization. If I show I’m confident and share knowledge about the job, I hope potential employers will see my dedication and enthusiasm.

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