Q&A: Finding a library-specific career coach or resume writer

Career advice | Job searching | Resume coach | Librarians

by Ellen Mehling | Library Career People July 18, 2017

Posted by Ellen Mehling

Q: I am wondering if there are library specific career coaches/resume writers out there. I have been receiving conflicting information when I have my resume reviewed, and the comments I am getting are more appropriate for business and sales, which are very different worlds than the library one. I want to show myself at my best, but I’m confused as to how to best do that, when it seems that some people look at what you have achieved, and being at my current job as a temporary employee for more than a year, but not getting more responsibility because I’m not even a part-time employee.

EM: (Full disclosure: I have been a career/resume advisor and instructor for librarians/info pros and library school students for over ten years.)

Yes, there are library-specific advisors who can give you feedback on your resume and make recommendations regarding your career development. As you noted, advice that is geared towards other fields may not be ideal for an information professional.

You can start with local, regional or even national professional organizations that have mentorship programs or offer resume-reviewing or other job-search assistance services. Such services may come with membership or there may be an additional fee for, for example, a resume or cover letter review, or a one-on-one advising session. Sometimes resume-review services are offered at conferences.

You can also ask trusted librarians in your network if there is anyone they’d recommend. As with any kind of advising or any paid service, you’ll want to get some info about the person providing the service, either from their website or LinkedIn page or via direct communication, to be sure this is the right one for you:

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How To List Online Courses On Your Resume The Right Way (Because Yes, There Is A Wrong Way)

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So you’ve been taking some online courses. You’ve learned a ton, and you’ve even been using your new skills at work or to develop a side project.

But now you’re contemplating a career move and wondering how (and even whether) to include your continuing education on your resume. You’re right to approach this task thoughtfully. Online courses are still relatively new, recruiters can be skeptical and in certain cases, listing your online education can actually make your resume worse.

I spoke to several recruiters and hiring managers to gather insight on what they think when they see online courses listed on candidates’ resumes. So, whether you aced your marketing MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), killed it in coding bootcamp, or taught yourself graphic design, here are some of their tips on how to tell that story in your application:

1. Put Them In Their Proper Place

Across the board, the hiring managers and recruiters I spoke with agreed that MOOCs and other online courses can help make the case that you can do the job. However, they also think these classes shouldn’t be the star of the show. As Anne Lewis, the Director of Sales and Recruitment for Betts Recruiting, a firm specializing in recruitment for technology companies, told me, “In general, MOOCs can help to make candidate profiles stronger, especially junior candidates who don’t have as much experience.” Read more…