If you're a librarian looking for your next job, you can dramatically improve your chances of winning an interview by investing in your covering letter. This brief guide will outline the errors you might be making and give you some general tips about writing a professional covering letter.
Write A Personalized Letter
With such a wide variety of librarian positions available such as law librarian, assistant librarian, research librarian, reference librarian, technical librarian, intranet librarian and training librarian, it's essential that you tailor your covering letter. Positions in boutique, mid-tier and top-tier law firms as well as government and in-house corporations all require different approaches in your covering letter. Recruiters are up against time constraints when reviewing applicants' covering letters; they have to scan for keywords so it's essential that you write a covering letter specifically addressed to each job.
Highlight Your Qualifications and Recent Experience
A common mistake that will get your covering letter binned is leaving out your recent legal experience and qualifications from the opening paragraph of your covering letter. Although it may be unfair, most recruiters will scan-read covering letters and assume that candidates who fail to mention their legal experience don't have it. This may or may not be true, but either way your letter won't be read much beyond the second paragraph if you omit this key information. It's also essential to highly your membership to the Australian Law Librarian's Association (ALLA) to position yourself as a credible candidate early on.
Getting Some Help
You'll find plenty of help available through ALLA including local networking events and a network of experienced professional law librarians. You'll easily be able to swap tips with other professionals about the types of covering letters that are winning other professionals interviews. Another approach is to use the services of a recruitment agency. They have recent experience of successfully placing other librarians into suitable positions so they often have useful advice about covering letter content, layout and form.
How Effective Is Your Writing?
Using a professional writer to write you a covering letter is a smart move. As long as the writer consults with you about your aims and ideal next position, the chances are that they'll be able to boost your chances of winning an interview. Writers can set the right tone in your letter for you by projecting a professional tone while letting inviting aspects of your experience and personality shine through. It's quite a skill to be able to write in a way that get's you contacted.
Find Someone To Work With You
Legal consultants can help provide you with further insight into the legal librarian industry. Quite often, finding a great consultant can help inform and guide your choice about your best move. However great your covering letter is, you may be applying to unsuitable jobs and failing to win interviews because you aren't a suitable candidate for these positions. A consultant will let you know whether you are on the right lines or whether you need to rethink the types of jobs you are applying for. Quite often consultants will have a level of experience and expertise where they can advise you successfully towards your ideal job.
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