Monday 13 May 2013

CILIP Presentation by Julia Hordle of TFPL

Our AGM event saw Julia Hordle of TFPL give an interesting insight into recruitment in the information profession. Even those of us that have participated in the recruitment process recently, from one perspective or another, learnt a thing or two. It has been kindly reported for the blog by one of our committee members:

Julia began by introducing the audience to her own varied career and how varied roles can be in the information sector. Although there are few generic proscribed roles for a librarian, there are common skill sets, for example: Communication, methodology, organisational skills, an enquiring mind.

Librarians have hard skills (cataloguing, literature searching etc) and soft skills (which can make you more competitive in the job market (problem solving, preparation and approach to discussions and meetings, developing empathy (active listening, keeping in touch, showing interest, consistency), an analytical mind, ability to inform/influence stakeholders etc. To identify these Julia suggested reviewing your own value to your peers, taking lessons & feedback from appraisal, using your wider network (other non-library peers) and considering what recipients value in your work. Look at your competencies & examples, think about evidence of communication excellence.

We then moved onto CVs and reviewed the many roles a CV can have, from obtaining a job, identifying your skills gap, promoting your role to management, career mapping and many more (see list below). Find and harness your USP (unique selling proposition), use your CV for this, even if you have no immediate plans to leave your current role.

Purpose of a CV:

  • Obtain an interview
  • Gain promotion
  • Professional biography
  • Assessment tool (for HR & self)
  • Record of achievement
  • Measure of progression
  • Self analysis
  • Matching requirements
  • Compliance (company record)
  • To show desirable/essential requirements
  • Meets organisational requirements
  • Value matching
  • Where personal meets professional

Your CV has the value of being a reminder and a representation of you. It is a way to find opportunities both within and external to your organisation, a way to differentiate yourself from other candidates, showing where you bring value and acting as a showcase of your talent

CV Tips

  • Develop a CV profile
  • Use case study examples
  • Select referees that reflect/support your assertions about achievement
  • Try mind mapping to avoid over-simplification
  • AVOID function, dwell on your achievement
  • Include keywords for your CV that will ensure you are “found” for jobs you are targeting
  • Use a framework for self-assessment
  • Plan themes e.g. outputs, results, functional domain, contextual knowledge (industry or sector), methods & frameworks-research & analysis, IL retrieval analysis, technology, sources and tools, leadership, strategy. 
  • Advancement-personal development
  • Learning
  • Partnering arrangements and working
  • Find a balance between the personal and the professional
  • ALWAYS tailor your CV to the application.

It’s worth considering when you submit your CV for a new job whether  it is targeted to an automated recipient i.e. online form or to HR department for an initial shortlisting. You need to identify essential requirements and make sure you answer these.  The applicant needs to be self analytical, aware and purposeful.  Applicants should overcome self consciousness and tackle an application with direction, a sense of adventure and good planning (time, resources, focus).  Remember that covering letters are often stored separately and may not be viewed by the assessors. Prepare for & “harness” interviews, noting that interviews are often EVIDENCE based these days

Determining your market value

Finding the appropriate value of your role can be a challenge. Look for precedence in the information sector or business sector. Review how pertinent are your skills, performance & contextual knowledge to the role. Supply & demand will also have an impact, but remember it is the price of the role rather than the person
We finished with a look at the extensive range of job titles and roles that encompass jobs in the information sector – always something to remember when doing an online  job search. It was a thought provoking session and we would like to thank Julia sharing her expertise.