To help me keep track of messy notes and my reflections on each industry event and workshop I attend, I have decided to write them into a blog. This week on Tuesday I went to ALIA’s Newgrad seminar on Resume and Key Selection Criteria (KSC).

On the night there was one point that really spoke to me, think of job applications as assignments. To me, this meant you should plan a job application, then write a first draft, a final draft, proof read it and have somebody else read it. This may seem like a lot of effort, but that is what employers want to see, somebody who has truly made an effort to convince them that they deserve the job being offered. No more churning out job applications just for the numbers people, you need to think about those bad boys!

We had the pleasure of listening to three lovely ladies, who shared their observations and experience in hiring librarians.

All three mentioned basic things like grammar, spell check and having a positive engaged tone in your application. A spelling error can spell the difference between seeing the inside of the bin or the ‘yes’ pile. Janet also mentioned the cover letter has to be formatted as a formal letter.

As for industry specific tips I picked on the night, well there was quite a few of them so I may just use dots points for the rest:

  • A skills based resume was preferred over a chronological resume.
  • Order your referees — make number one the person you think will give you the best reference in relation to the job you are applying for.
  • Use the SAR technique to address the KSC — Situation, Action/Activity, Result.
  • Libraries like to see you have an online presence so consider adding into you resume a link to your blog, linkedIn, twitter or instagram.
  • Start writing up a project book which includes all project, work and volunteer experience you have which you could use in your resume to market yourself.
  • Place all KSC headings within your document and your answers underneath. This way you make sure you answer every single one. If you have clearly answered each KSC libraries are obliged to give you an interview, so don’t cheat yourself on this very important point!
  • Carefully read the role of the position and the duty statement as they can give you extra clues to what is expected.
  • Libraries are starting to look for people who already have a specialist skill they can bring to the job with them — graphic design, history, management. So don’t hide any previous careers it could work in your favour!

Next couple of events I plan to attend are the ALIA Newgrads interview seminar and the ALIA National Conference. Stay tuned for my reflections on those!