For Public Review: Melissa Rennells

Welcome to crowd-sourced resume review for LIS job hunters!

Please help the job hunter below by using the comment button to offer constructive criticism on her resume. Some guidelines for constructive feedback are here, and the ALA NMRT has brief tips for reviewing resumes here.

This 3 page resume was submitted by a job hunter who says,

 I’ve been using the attached resume to apply for mostly public library positions with some academic librarian positions thrown into the mix but not many. Most of the positions are entry level but every once in a while I get a bit whimsical and send one in for a higher-up position. 

Mrennellspg1 Mrennellspg2 Mrennellspg3

To submit your resume or CV For Public Review,

  • send it as a Word document, PDF, PNG or JPEG to hiringlibrariansresumereviewATgmail.
  • It will be posted as-is, so please remove any information that you are not comfortable having publically available (I suggest removing your address and phone number at a minimum).
  • Please include a short statement identifying if it’s a resume or CV and
  • describing the types of positions you’re using it for (ie institution type, position level, general focus).
  • Finally, you will also need to confirm that you agree to comment on at least five other posted resumes.


Filed under For Public Review, Resume Review

3 responses to “For Public Review: Melissa Rennells

  1. librarianlaura

    Hi Melissa, I like your formatting, everything looks clean and readable. One thing I might consider is splitting your experience into library experience and other experience. This would put all of your library experience in the top half of the resume which is prime real estate. Also, I tend to leave out references unless specifically asked, but there are differing opinions on that.


  2. Johnnie R. Blunt

    Hi Melissa,

    If I were a library hiring manager or committee, I would be distracted by the administrative assistant and office clerk entries because they seem unrelated to the library world. As librarianlaura suggested, you may want to use that section to focus on your library experience and briefly mention all other experience in another section.

    You also may want to simplify details about your education. Your degree, the institution that conferred the degree, and the date it was conferred seem sufficient. You may want to mention a GPA, especially if it is high. Otherwise, listing all those classes may mean little to nothing to someone reviewing your resume. You may want to delete mention of your high school diploma; your high school education may seem irrelevant at this point.

    One final thing: make your library experience meaningful to potential employers. You want employers to notice your accomplishments and go “wow, we need someone like that in our library”. Entries like “Perform Readers’ Advisory” may mean little to nothing to hiring managers. You need to give them enough details to imagine exactly what you do and how your rendering of that service helps your library and its patrons.

    Best of luck!


  3. lindsay

    I second the suggestion about splitting your work experience into “relevant” and “other”; I did that when I first changed careers and personally had a far better response from prospective employers once I did. If nothing else it will ensure that your librarian jobs will appear first regardless of the chronology. It will also allow you to pare down the job descriptions in the “other” section to just the most relevant items. I also would recommend listing just the courses that are most applicable to the specific position you’re applying for (call it “relevant coursework” or something similar) rather than everything you’ve taken in library school. As Johnnie suggested, including your high school diploma is probably not necessary; if you’re pursuing a graduate degree it’s pretty much assumed that you graduated high school.


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