Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Roundtable Topic: What Has the Job-Seeking Process Been like for You?

Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Roundtable Topic: What Has the Job-Seeking Process Been like for You?

Article excerpt

Welcome to our fourth Roundtable, where we ask practitioners to write in with their responses to a new question each issue. This time we asked for your tips, tricks, commiserations, and stories on the job hunt-whether you're in it now, just completed a search, or are looking back to years past. Enjoy!

Kailey Brisbin

Metadata Librarian, University of Guelph

Job seeking and CV tweaking

I started applying for jobs during my last semester of library school. Every day I checked the online job boards for new postings. Over the course of three months, I had applied to 10 jobs.

I started my job seeking process with so much confidence. Unfortunately, my confidence did not last long. Three months had passed and I had not heard back from even one of the places I had applied to. I overheard classmates talking about getting interviews and thought, "What am I doing wrong? Why isn't that person me?" I felt stuck at this stage and thought I would never land an interview.

Feeling pretty discouraged by this point, I was ecstatic when I got a call to go for an interview. The position was an eight-month contract at an academic library. I was happy and relieved to know that I did something right in my application. Even if I did not get the job, I considered getting an interview, as well as gaining interview experience, a major accomplishment in my job seeking process.

After completing my first interview, I was offered the position. I felt extremely grateful and excited to be able to gain some work experience in an academic library. However, because of the contract length, I continued my job search, applying to three jobs over a two-month period. As at the beginning of my job seeking process, I did not hear back from any of these, with the exception of one rejection email.

While I was certain that I could succeed once at the interview stage, I was clearly struggling to land those interviews. I connected with mentors and colleagues who had experience on search committees and had been successful in their own job seeking process. They gave me excellent advice and tips, encouraged me to apply to postings, and offered to read over my applications. With their guidance and suggestions, I improved my cover letter and CV and used it to apply to another job. I was invited to interview for it and then was offered the position!

Natalie Colaiacovo

Reference & Digital Resources Librarian, Professional Library, Toronto District School Board

You've Been Gilmored

When I was applying for jobs a few years ago, I ended up watching a lot of Gilmore Girls. Lorelai and Rory, the fast talking women at the heart of the show who consume junk food and pop culture with equal abandon, were perfect companions during late night interview prep sessions. The supportive mother-daughter duo were also the best people to wallow and eat ice cream with after finding out I didn't get the latest job I applied for.

Aside from being the ultimate TV comfort food, Gilmore Girls taught me some important lessons about the job hunt. Rather than being models of good sense and judgement, however, Lorelai and Rory taught me what not to do-specifically when faced with rejection. The Gilmore girls and their friends are used to getting what they want, and when things occasionally don't go their way, they act inappropriately: they steal yachts, drop out of school, and make embarrassing revelations on national television. Ultimately, the Gilmore girls are unprepared for rejection.

While I've never gone so far as to steal a yacht, I was also unprepared for the rejection I would encounter on the job hunt. I had thought applying for jobs would be a linear process. I would find a job posting, craft a cover letter, prepare for the interview, and then go in there and deliver. If I worked hard enough, the job would be mine. Sometimes, along the way, I would think about how awesome it would be to get the job I applied for-what my office might look like, the great colleagues I'd meet. …

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