Getting That Children's Library Job - Being Your Own Fabulous You!

There has been a surprising and pleasing rash of job openings for children's librarians in our state over the past year.  Boomers retiring or heading to greener pastures; children's librarians stepping up into directorships and overall shuffling happening.  A number of young librarian colleagues I know have been honing their resumes and interviewing and are on the hunt (or just finished with it).  Eva at Eva's Book Addiction;  the New York Public Library; Meredith Farkas over at Information Wants to Be Free all have posted some sound tips for job seekers over the past few weeks.  Please take them all to heart.

I don't have alot to add other than to know yourself; know your work and think about how to convey the essence of your skills.  The interview goes deeper than your resume and cover letter.  Be ready to say just what skills you bring to the tech table (web 2.0 savviness; RSS feeds ease; favorite blogs/listservs that enhance your skills; blog; etc); the program table (early literacy work thru storytimes, outreach and projects; partnerships you've forged and innovative events you have invented; etc); the leadership table (projects you have spearheaded; groups you have chaired or organized; staffers/volunteers you have managed-officially or unofficially); the vision table (what are the five most important pieces that make a great children's services department; how do you approach change; how do you effect change; etc) and the strength table (what are those more elusive qualities that make you the right candidate: great listening skills; consensus building; morale booster; nurturer; etc).

Be sure you know about your potential employer - it's easy to track down online board minutes; community characteristics; budgets; staffing.  At the interview, find out what their goals and challenges are.  Remember, you are interviewing as well as being interviewed.  Is this really the right job for you?  I used to joke at my former job when the director would say "I hired you!'; I would invariably reply: "And I chose you!" It shook him up, but it's true.  Most important, if you know yourself and feel confident in the match to the job, you will feel much stronger and calmer in the interview process. Now, all you good children's librarian candidates, go out and shine!

Image: 'Resumes from Scratch'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/7759477@N05/4502690115

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