[Note: Revised and updated on June 1, 2011. Originally published on February 1, 2002 - with intermediate revision and update published on August 11, 2010.]
In the past several years, instability in the economy has made the job search even more challenging. Intrepid job hunters must engage in a multi-pronged attack and constantly educate themselves on new tools and resources that can improve their candidacy in an increasingly competitive arena.
The advent of the Internet created a new way for people to search for that "perfect" job. Electronic media has streamlined the connection between candidates and possible positions within a company, business or educational facility. Websites containing employment classifieds are much simpler to search than their print companions. Webmasters have designed ways for prospective employees to sign-up on job-finding websites and create personal alerts concerning their job needs. In many cases, the job hunter can post a resume online, which can be utilized by prospective headhunters and company human resources personnel.
Many of these job boards add value to their websites with information including relocation surveys, job search tips, moving companies, salary comparisons, city data, Fortune 500 information, real estate companies, and assessment resources. Most of these job boards have simple search engines and online help documents.
There are a few things for job hunters to consider when using these job boards. Watch for out-of-date listings, inquiries unacknowledged by potential employers, positions filled already at the company, and postings without date of listing or expiration date.
Two of the top popular job boards on the web are Indeed.com and Libgig.com. Both offer thousands of job opportunities but use simple search engines. Wise job hunters don't limit themselves to just these two. There are many other useful resources, many of which you may not have thought of. Below are a collection of tips and resources that will help you jumpstart your search.
Tips, Advice & Resources
- Not to overstate the obvious, but meeting people, making connections and networking within the profession are the surest routes to building a successful long term career. The information profession is a "small world" and very often the hiring manager for your "dream job" may be an old friend or colleague of the person you are serving on a committee with. Utilizing the power of electronic media is good but getting out from behind your computer and interacting is even better!
- Pay it forward. If, during your own search you run across a gem that doesn't fit you but is of interest to a job hunting colleague, share it. If someone asks you for a recommendation, advice or a contact, give it. Karma cannot be underestimated in a successful job search.
- Do not rely on just one website for your job search.
- Knowledge jobs are disguised in different industries using different identifiers so be creative. Make a list of job titles and identifiers and keep it handy for searching. Take a look at job descriptions, see what skills are being requested and translate your resume to "speak" the language of the job.
- Apply for jobs you might not think you are qualified for. If employers like your skills, they will adapt.
- In your specialized field, review jobs posted on those websites. If there is an annual conference in your field, take a look at the exhibitor list and search those companies for possible job openings.
With over a million postings, job seeker can post a resume and also create a job portal under the button "My Monster." This portal can help a person activate a resume to show potential employers, track online job applications, and create job search alerts. Monster.com was launched in January 1999.
Hotjobs has been compared to Monster.com, and recently, Monster.com purchased Hotjobs. The sites are identical in nature in both searching and posting information.
This is a great website for searching for positions. If a company has placed a job ad in a print newspaper owned by Gannett, the ad is automatically added to this website. Ads also come from national employers through USA Today, and from CareerBuilder (see next entry). Search by topic, state, or city. The database is updated daily. In my opinion, this has something more to offer than Monster.com or Hotjobs.com. I would recommend this website as one of your Top 5 job hunting resources.
Careerbuilder & HeadHunter.net
A job seeker can now find twice as many postings including international listings using both services. CareerBuilder has a Personal Search Agent (PSA) that searches for new postings that is initiated by an e-mail message. NOTE: for librarians there is a separate category for Library Science. This is different than Monster.com or Hotjobs.com where library postings are listed under Education. CareerBuilder and Headhunter.net have postings from a variety of resources, including ads published in print newspapers. At CareerBuilder, a job seeker can also search by salary requirements. The format of these websites is much easier on the eye of the searcher.
This Wall Street Journal website lists ads from the newspaper for executives, managers and professionals. Compared to other job boards, they have a small database of listings.
Look for a variety of jobs listed in USA job banks, online classifieds, and career specific sites. All ads are listed for 60 days. Jobs are cross posted to Jobster.com, Indeed.com, vast.com, etc. RSS Feeds available per state.
Almost 500,000 job opportunities to search via category, location or by keyword. Librarian is not listed in the categories, so I used it as a keyword search. Powered by Monster.com.
The advanced search uses a tool called Smart Match. Smart Match uses terms similar to your keywords to find additional jobs in your area. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, the company Career Ventures, LLC does business as CareerSite.com.
This website is set up by the Korn/Ferry International recruiting firm for executives and management positions. Seekers have to register to look at potential postings.
Need a glimpse into the culture of your future employer? Glassdoor has it. In addition to a job search site, Glassdoor provides reviews and salary information on companies which is mined from anonymous postings by actual employees. You can also check out the salary and bonus structure at a variety of companies.
One of the very best sites for a federated search for all jobs and highly recommended by the authors. Narrow down search by discipline and geographical area.
Nonprofit Jobs Around the World is a large directory of positions in the nonprofit and community organizations available in 153 countries. Powered by Idealist.org, there are also volunteer opportunity postings and internship information. It is organized by country, state and organization. Idealist is the most comprehensive directory of nonprofit and volunteering resources on the Web, including private and public organizations.
Searching for Library or Information Professional Positions
There are some follies of searching for librarian jobs on the classified websites such as Hotjobs.com, Monster.com or 411Jobs. When searching for a librarian's position on these websites, use the keyword "librarian" or information professional, which will also find the keyword "library". Hits will bring up positions in the Library and/or Information Technology (IT) or computer postings. Library jobs can also be found in the "Education, Training & Library" category. The following websites are considered the top sites to use when looking for a librarian job. Besides associations' websites, state libraries' websites also provide postings for similar positions.
American Association of Law Libraries' Career Center
This is a list of open positions in the law library field. No search engine is available, but the descriptions are in-depth. This list is updated on a regular basis. RSS feeds available. To look for additional jobs, look at the chapters' websites. There are usually job postings listed on each website.
American Library Association JobList
The list is a directory of job openings after the publication of the last issue of American Libraries. Advanced search engine available. Postings are listed by the most recent date. RSS feeds available. Employer profiles are available for each organization, company, library, etc.
Association of Legal Administrators
Job seekers may view the current openings or search by job category. Besides legal administrator positions, there are classifieds for librarians, marketing directors, IT personnel, paralegals and other related professionals. Advertisements run for 6 weeks.
Special Libraries Association Career Center
New jobs are posted frequently on this site. Search the classifieds or view all available jobs. For members of SLA, one can also apply for a job or post a resume at this site. The system can also notify the member when a job becomes available that fits the user's criteria via RSS feeds. SLA also provides information to other placement and executive search firms. To look for additional jobs, look at the chapters' websites. There are usually job postings listed on each website.
Social Networking Tools
Social networking has exploded and more and more job seekers, hiring managers and recruiters are finding perfect matches by utilizing them. If you are not yet fluent, take some time to get acquainted as this knowledge may make all the difference in your search.
LinkedIn is considered the best social networking site for job hunters and it is ideally tailored to business interaction. In many industries it is considered almost unprofessional not to have a profile on LinkedIn. There are many strategies to building a profile to attract the eye of a recruiter or employer but, to begin, will you need the basics:
Create a Profile. Create a detailed profile on LinkedIn, including employment (current and past), education, industry, and web sites.
Consider a Photo. Add a headshot to your LinkedIn profile – makes you more approachable.
Keywords and Skills. Include all your resume keywords and skills in your profile, so your profile will be found. This is a critical step. If you are uncertain what keywords and skills are best, do some keyword searching and take a look at your competition. Create list of those words and adapt your profile and resume so that your information will be found in the search results.
Build Your Network. Connect with other members and build your network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have. Don't go crazy here. Connect only to people you know and trust or have a business relationship with and would feel comfortable attesting to their skills.
Get Recommendations. Recommendations from people you have worked with carry a lot of weight.
Search Jobs. Use the job search section to find job listings.
Join Groups. Groups are an excellent way to keep on top of new developments in an industry or discipline. You will also find connections to "thought leaders" who can teach you much about the profession.
Schools of thought on the efficacy and usefulness of Facebook for job searching vary wildly but there can be no doubt that recruiters and hiring managers are making extensive use of it to discover candidates. Facebook is also extremely useful to employers in identifying and excluding indiscreet/inappropriate candidates. What employers discover depends entirely on you. Many career counselors strongly advise that you remove yourself entirely from Facebook for the duration of your job search.
Others are strong advocates of the potential of Facebook's networking power. If you are a Facebook believer, here are three simple steps for a safer Facebook job search:
Design a Job Search Friendly Facebook Profile
Strategically organize the content to showcase you as a professional. Include your resume or networking profile in the "notes" and "information" sections. There are separate tabs for Slideshare and YouTube to showcase your professional presentations. You can connect Twitter to your status updates and refer to your expertise in your tweets. If you write a professionally related blog, you can share your posts with your Facebook friends via an RSS feed.
Define "Friend" and Triple Check Your Privacy Settings
When you Facebook "Friend" another person, their access to your content increases dramatically, so, if your site is now limited to "Friends and Family" and you are thinking about adding business contacts to it, carefully think through the content and edit accordingly. Get to know the Facebook "Lists" functionality which will allow you to categorize your "Friends" into categories. You can then choose to update only Friends OR only Business Contacts when you post. Triple check your privacy settings if you have friends or family who tend to post less than professional content. No one needs to see those crazy Cancun photos.
Choose Target Companies/Organizations and Become a "Fan"
Facebook Fan pages can be a goldmine of information about organizations and companies you want to work for. As a job seeker you should think of them as a guide that can lead you to employment information. To find them, use the Facebook search function, narrow the results to "pages" and identify the ones for your targets. If the page is rich with information and fits your search criteria, become a Facebook Fan.
Other Library or Information Professional Organizations, Directories, and HeadHunters
American Society for Information Science & Technology
Search and view the latest information and technology jobs!
Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
This association was established in 1996 to provide job hunters with an easy-to-use resource for finding positions in ARL libraries. Current job announcements submitted by academic and research libraries.
C. Berger Group
This group provides job postings for information professionals and record management positions, including temporary positions.
This site touts itself, "The career hub for tech". If technology is heavy in your particular skill set this may be a place to find a non-traditional use of your education and skills. Search by job skill, company, title, and location.
Career Center for Legal Professionals. One can seek positions by subject (including Librarian), location, and keywords.
InfoCurrent: CoreStaff Services
Good information about open positions for librarian and records management positions. They are now venturing into non-traditional placement of information professionals in a variety of industries.
Library & Information Technology Association
A division of ALA that lists current postings for librarians focusing on information technology in libraries.
Headhunters for the information industry. Began in 1986 as Library Associates Companies. Good position listings.
Library Job Postings on the Internet
Website created by Sarah L. Johnson. List all positions by state. Great pathfinder!
An online resource for librarians to find current postings. The site is maintained by information professional Rachel Singer Gordon.
The latest job postings, comings and goings of the library and information community including new publications, products and services, events, and conferences. Job alerts and RSS feeds available.
Mountain Plains Library Association (AZ, CO, KS MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, SD, UT)
Pacific Northwest Library Association (AK, ID, MT, OR, and WA, as well as AB and BC in Canada)
Southeastern Library Association (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA and WV)
State Libraries and Other Library Associations with Employment Web Pages
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
DC Library Association
Florida Library Association
Georgia Public Library Service
Hawaii Library Association
Idaho Library Association
Illinois Library Association
Indiana State Library
State Library of Iowa
Kansas Library Association
Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
State Library of Louisiana
Maine State Library
Maryland Library Association
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
Massachusetts Library Association
Library of Michigan
Michigan Library Association
Minnesota Library Association
Mississippi Library Commission
Missouri Library Association
Missouri State Library
Montana State Library
Nebraska Library Commission
Nevada Library Association
New Hampshire State Library
New Jersey Library Association
New York State Library
New York Library Association
State Library of North Carolina
North Dakota State Library
Ohio Library Council
State Library of Ohio
Oklahoma Department of Libraries
Library Programs: Office of Library & Information Services
South Carolina Library Jobs
South Carolina State Library
South Dakota Library Association
Tennessee Library Association
Texas Library Association
Texas State Library & Archives Commission
Utah Library Association
Vermont Department of Libraries: Vermont Automated Libraries System
The Library of Virginia
Virginia Library Association
Washington State Library
West Virginia Library Commission
Wisconsin Library Association
Wyoming State Library
Wyoming Library Association