Saturday, August 20, 2011

Another Job Search Seminar

So last time I wrote about my successful interview and landing a two-month temporary job. That continues to go well from my perspective - and hopefully the bosses are happy too! As I expected I'm learning a lot about the new subject areas!

This past Tuesday I attended the 2011 Federal Librarians Networking Symposium, sponsored by FLICC/FEDLINK. I had registered a month or so back so I was looking forward to it. I wasn't disappointed!

I arrived a bit early and ran into a librarian I knew from a previous job. She is still working but looking. As the day went on I ended up talking to her and got to know her better than I did during the time I worked with her. (We worked at the same agency but in different libraries.) We are the same age and are both big I Love Lucy fans. At the end of the day we both took in the current special exhibit at LC for the 60th Anniversary of I Love Lucy.

But back to the topic at hand - the Symposium. FLICC Executive Director Blane Dessy was at the welcoming table making sure everyone was greeted. After following the maze to the meeting room we were again greeted and given all of our instructions for evacuations and shelter-in-place. Ah, life in Washington...

First up and the moderator for the day was Carol Ramkey, Director of the Library of the Marine Corps. She gave a reassuring talk on the federal application process and how to best work with the system. The take aways:

  • Read the vacancy announcement thoroughly!
  • Read it again.
  • Have a master resume that includes ALL your work and then customize the resume for each job you apply for.
  • Use phrases from the vacancy announcement in your resume.
  • No more written KSAs on the first go-around, but you may have to write them up and be sure to respond to the KSAs in your job history!

These were all things that I had heard before but today they struck me and I am re-commited to doing just that. In fact, when I got home later I saw a new posting on I printed off the announcement and read it and highlighted the important parts. Next I printed my resume and looked at it with a refreshed mindset and edited! We'll see how that exercise pays off and I get an interview!

There was a speaker who had been a medical librarian and was recruited to work for a vendor and has really enjoyed that. It works for some people - I'm not sure it does for me.

By far, the most interesting speaker to me was Edna Reid, PhD. Dr. Reid is an Intelligence Analyst for the FBI. She recently posted an blog article about this on the DC/SLA Blog - A Diverse Universe: Exploring the World of Intelligence Analysts.

Dr. Reid talked about how to translate our library research skills and apply for the growing number of positions for Intelligence Analysts.

  • Interview people with questions.
  • Search open-source databases like Lexis/Nexis, Factiva, ProQuest, etc.
  • Review and evaluate search results.
  • Analyze trends, look for the missing pieces and synthesize.
  • Perform immediate analysis (quick answers)
  • Apply meta-tagging data
  • Prepare written communications and oral briefings

We are librarians -- we do this kind of stuff all the time!

Brad Rogers of LAC-Group talked about the amount of contract work for library staff in the DC area and around the world. LAC recently opened an office in London! (Disclaimer: I am currently working as a contractor for LAC-Group.)

Next up was Mary Collins who talked about her experience of being open to non-traditional opportunities. You can never guess how one thing will lead to another!

Caralyn Champa talked about her experience with the Army Knowledge Leaders (AKL) Program. It is a pretty intensive program and requires a lot of flexibility - but sounds pretty exciting.

Following the Q&A session we made our way to the Mumford Room at the Library of Congress to visit the Exhibitors. There were reps from various contracting companies as well as a few agencies. Some with vacancies, some with none. I talked with a really nice library from D-TIC and I was reminded of the many great resources that are available from them for free!

I met the librarian from the National Arboretum Library - they don't have any paid positions but they are in real need for some volunteer catalogers for a retrospective conversion project! I will post more about that later!

There was at least one agency there who didn't seem to understand why they were there. The two reps were busy talking to each other and ready to hand me a flyer and continue their conversation. I engaged them and in the process learned about a librarian job that is coming open. Not sure if it will be a contract position or a federal position. But it is a job that is near me and I have been interested in working there for some time. Now I just have to keep my eyes peeled for the announcement!

The symposium was really good. This was the third year for it. I understand it was started by Roberta Shaffer when she was Exec. Director of FLICC. She has moved on to be the Law Librarian of Congress. I am happy that Blane is continuing this program. There was a good turn out and I recommend it - so look for it next year in August!

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