by Amanda Luke

I really enjoyed the workshop with SCALA. The panel discussion was the most valuable part of the day. Having the opportunity to talk with career librarians about their experiences both as hiring managers and as individuals who have gone through the hiring process was very helpful. These are some of the tips and tricks they suggested that stuck with me.

Cover Letter

  • Edit, Edit, Edit! Grammar and punctuation are important
  • Take cues from the position description
  • Do NOT hand write an application that is online
  • If it is an out-of-state job make it clear you are willing to move
  • Talk about how your skills will enhance the job or institution

Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume

  • CV’s can be longer than resumes
  • They should both be well organized
  • Don’t have to be in chronological order
  • Customize for the job


  • Do your research!
  • Know about the institution
  • Wear school colors in your interview outfit
  • It’s always better to be over dressed
  • Hide any tattoos
  • No weak handshakes
  • Open, friendly body language
    • Lean forward
    • Eye contact
    • Smile
  • Make a connection with everyone
  • Own the room
  • It’s your interview (you were chosen to be there! Don’t forget that)
  • Let them know you want to be there!
  • Don’t go on and on when answering questions
  • Anticipate answers (practice)
  • Have water
  • Don’t fidget
  • Don’t ask obvious questions
  • Don’t zone out
  • Know current trends in the field
  • Know the institution
  • Think of it as a conversation rather than an interrogation
  • Know your weakness. Over stating a strength is a good technique
  • Any job is library experience
  • Tell a story, illustrate things with an example
  • Know why you want to work at THAT job, not just in a library, and DO NOT say it is because you like to read
  • Be ready to answer “what are you reading?”
  • Look up possible questions
  • Know what your research interests are
  • There is usually very little salary wiggle room, don’t bring it up at the interview that will come later
  • Send thank you emails/notes (reiterate qualifications, ask questions)

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