Here’s another question from the reader who asked when candidates shouldn’t apply, if current employment status matters and how the initial selection of candidate works. This week I asked people who hire librarians:
What is something that an applicant stated in a cover letter that prompted you to give him/her an interview?
A needed language. Experience with a needed genre. Experience with a needed classification or subject heading scheme, e.g., NLMC/MeSH.- J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging
I always introduce an element of play into the job ad itself. If an applicant responds playfully back in the cover letter, they move immediately up in the winnowing process. Of course, the playfulness still needs to be backed up with a resume that shows skills that match our job but it is a powerful hint that they can navigate the job we are offering in the way we are offering it!- Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Coordinator, La Crosse (WI) Public Library
The one thing that always perks my interest in a cover letter is if I can tell someone has done their homework. They refer to something specific to our library region, be it something related to the geographic challenges, the make up of our system, something they read on our website or read about us elsewhere. This tends to show a genuine interest by the applicant to learn more about what our organization is about. If their qualifications are at all related to what we are looking for, someone who grabbed my interest like that usually gets invited to an interview.- Petra Mauerhoff, CEO, Shortgrass Library System
Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight. If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.
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EDITED 1/17/2013 7:31 AM to add in answer by Petra Mauerhoff