Library Job Searching in a Tough Economy

When I read recently that I had been one of 200 potential candidates for an academic library position I came to the sad realization that, yes, this economy was going to affect my job search tremendously.  As a recent graduate from Dominican University’s LIS program, I’ve been on the hunt for a few months and my techniques for searching have changed quite dramatically.  I used to sample a few sites a couple times a week and browse through the listings in ACRL publications, but recently I’ve refined my attack to be much more effective.  I’d like to share what I’ve learned.

You may ask, “why unveil your modus operandi to potential job-seeking competitors?”  Well, we’re all hurting when it comes to job searching.  My father was recently unemployed for nearly a year.  I watched him stress out over personal, financial, and professional concerns as he looked and looked for something new.  Luckily, he was hired by a non-profit company, and, I hope, has let some of those concerns wash away.  I hope that some of these techniques may help you avoid the stress that has affected my father and many like him and help you find that position you so dearly seek like I do.

Please add your techniques or sites in the comments.

Twitter

You may have dismissed Twitter as another social networking fad or annoyance or haven’t looked at Twitter as a job searching tool, but I ask you to reconsider.  There are a few solid Twitterers out there that list new library jobs as tweets:

Facebook

I’m not all that active on Facebook but I did notice that ALA’s JobList was active on this social networking site.  Please leave a comment if you know of any other library job sources on Facebook

Forums

Rachel Singer Gordon has brought us another wonderful library-related project with her LISjobs.com forum.  You can find postings, discussion, and even a good share of encouragement if needed.  Again, if you know of any other library-related job forums please share them in the comments.  And thanks again, Rachel, for your services.

RSS

Using Google Reader combined with an application called EventBox, I’ve been following RSS feeds quite closely.  Of all the “new” tools out there to help find new jobs, RSS is probably the most useful.  Major sites like Educause, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many others provide feeds for certain types of positions, categories, or even search phrases.  I’ve found that some human resources pages of organizations include RSS feeds, but not nearly enough as I’d like.

Tabbed Browsing and Favorites

When all the new tools of the web fail you, go ahead and rest on the tried and true techniques like adding sites as favorites.  For those sites that don’t offer RSS feeds or organizations that I want to make sure I know when jobs have opened up, I favorite their human resources page.  I then put all those favorites in a folder and a couple times a week open those favorites in tabs in Safari (or your browser of choice) and skim the postings.


TTW Contributor: Kyle Jones
http://thecorkboard.org
@thecorkboard

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13 thoughts on “Library Job Searching in a Tough Economy”

  1. I just went through 6 months of the job search before landing one, and during that time, I put together a HUGE list of resources on a delicious account. It’s certainly not complete, but with the help of a few eager people, I could make this larger and more inclusive. It reflects my interests, mostly, but will definitely be useful to many. I hope it helps!

    delicious.com/libraryjoblinks.

  2. Now that is an impressive list! Especially for Illinois and public library jobs. Did the list help you at all?

  3. Solid, good advice here. Finding work is a 40-hour a week job right now -and especially so when you’re not working.

    I’d add LinkedIn networking and good old fashioned physical, social networking.

    One quick note: do not blindly try to get linkedin to someone or send an impersonal, generic “I’d like to add you to my network”. In the linkedin circles this is not thought highly of for so many reasons.

    Every job, outside of the getting into the US Air Force, I found through a mentor or loose contact -kinda like a six degrees thing to me.

    My general advice in regards to every position you apply for: research the company. And if an organization you want to work for isn’t hiring, interview them. I’ve made some excellent contacts, who did not hire me, but instead passed my name along to someone who was hiring.

    Great post Kyle and that is one heck-of-a set of links Kelly: suuuuu-weeet tagging.

  4. Thanks for this Kyle. I try to keep up with all the online job search tools and these will certainly add to my coverage. Good luck with the job-hunting.

  5. Kyle, if your guess was I was going for a pl job in IL, then my list was pretty successful, eh?
    It was actually quite useful. I think a lot of jobs don’t end up in the bigger search engines, and even if a lot of the jobs aren’t of interest from many of the individual libraries, reading the job descriptions gave me a huge advantage in writing a resume, cover letter, and interviewing. I could talk easily about trends and so forth.

    Please use it! I’m going to beef it up now that I do have a job and don’t have to use stress as my motivation … now it’s about making sure other good people get a job, too! :)

  6. @Lee

    I’m on LinkedIn but haven’t really searched for a job there – I’ve only passively posted my information. I should give it the good ol’ college try and attempt to make some real connections on it.

    Good points on networking the traditional way. I definitely need to do more of this. I guess this is where professional conferences come into play and local consortium meetings.

    @Susan

    Best of luck to you too!

    @Kelly

    If you do some more work with this list be sure to report back and add to the comments or ask Michael to do a guest post.

    @Wendy

    Thanks for stopping by. Best of luck to you as well!

  7. In finding library jobs librarycrossing.com is a good source because it only shows you jobs from employer websites and every other job board out there. The jobs listed include library assistant jobs, public & school library jobs and services library jobs.This is a good way to track down jobs because these jobs are often not advertised. Know more by visiting http://www.librarycrossing.com

  8. I also make use of a couple of sites that collect opportunities by searching the web for you, including both job sites and employer sites. I’ve found indeed.com and simplyhired.com very useful in my job search — although I’m not a librarian, and your mileage may vary.

    Both Indeed and SimplyHired will return results in an RSS feed, or if you register, send you email alerts.

    I have a handful of sites that send me email alerts every day, so checking those emails is more or less the first thing I do in the morning.

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