On the Prowl

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Welcome back to the hunt. Before delving into some sage networking advice from ALA, I just want to share what a dear friend and librarian of mine said to me recently about temp agencies: they’re like being friends with benefits, only you’re not really friends and there are no benefits. I’ve worked a number of temp jobs over the years, and interviewed at even more, and I full heartedly agree. Temp agencies can be useful and they can be positive career moves, but the bottom line is that you are their product and it’s a buyer’s market.

So my initial idea for this column came to me during an ALA Webinar. I recently attended on job search skills. Here’s what the moderators, Tiffany Mair and Andromeda Yelton, discussed:

- go to happy hour early and close down the bars (at conferences and professional development events)
- don’t be an asshole—talk to people and be nice!
- know thyself (nobody wants someone who doesn’t know who they are)
- have a pick up line (or, the equivalent of an elevator speech)
- dress well! (werq it. Look sickening!)
- be open to adjusting your standards (be your own wingman!)

And perhaps the most important single piece of advice from this webinar: don’t go negative. Nobody likes a Debbie downer. Stay upbeat! Don’t broadcast your desperation.

The advice that Mair and Yelton dispense to help us early career librarians find jobs is the same kind of advice that can get you a date, get you some digits, or make a new friend.

Here is a sort of online job hunt library guide, a list of things I’ve found and liked:
Re.Vu – easily create an online resume and cool infographics
Glassdoor –mine facebook for networking possibilities
Resunate –find the ‘must-have’ jargon from a job description onto your cover letter
Huntsy –job tracking application that sends you reminders to follow up
Rezscore–grades your resume and identifies your worth to employers

And one last piece of job hunt inspiration: this is my new personal mantra.

On the Prowl

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I recently relocated to Burlington, Vermont, from Brooklyn, New York. The decision to move was a difficult one, but after weighing the positives for my wife’s (have I mentioned yet that I got married in September?! <3!) new job and the opportunities for her career against our ever-increasing rent and quality of life, we came to the conclusion that we could have more space and cleaner air (my allergies are nonexistent in Vermont) while she gets to work her dream job. I miss my Desk Set friends, but for me, having just finishing library school, I felt that as an early career librarian, my job search was fairly flexible and ripe for relocation. And hey, I’m always open to working outside of libraries!

On The Prowl is a column about my job search. This job search is unlike any other I’ve ever embarked on before—for one, I’ve finally got the degree for the job that I want. And as I ready myself for the job search journey, I’m doing the usual things like revamping my resume, updating my online presence on things like LinkedIn, making peace with my online presence on things like Twitter, accepting the fact that yes, you do in fact have to write original cover letters for every job you apply to, and also I’ve been reaching out to my network of librarians and colleagues for inspiration and support.

Along the way, I’ve noticed a definite meme: everyone wants to dispense sage advice. But you already know this; you’ve heard it all before. And more than that, the “job search advice” I’ve been noticing is strikingly similar to other types of advice for situations that have to do with routine rejection and irrational optimism. Yes, I’m talking about dating advice. Before getting married, I’m not going to lie; I have dated people. I may have even dated you. But as a married person, I can reflect back on what worked and what was a waste of time.

Each month in On the Prowl, I’ll be translating the job search advice from one source to dating advice that I can actually use in my job search. The major takeaway from most job search advice is: “dress nice, be on time, don’t lie, and don’t be creepy.” I cannot emphasize that last point enough. Don’t be creepy, people! This means making and sustaining eye contact! This means having a confident handshake! This means not making people feel uncomfortable with irrelevant stories or inappropriate remarks!

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