Making social media work for you

You’re probably heard the advice to promote yourself on social media. That sounds an awful lot like work!

But what if I told you that getting ahead in your career could be a delightful side effect of having fun on social media?

I’ve had incredible conversations with people I’ve never met IRL. When you share your passions online, you’ll find a whole community of like-minded individuals – and one of them might just help you get ahead!

Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, says that Twitter is your friend, and shares a story of someone that landed a job through Tweets.

She suggests live tweeting events – which is FUN! – and also gives you visibility in connection with the event you’re Tweeting at. Be sure to use hashtags!

She also recommends not being shy – Twitter is wide open and you can talk to anyone!

US News has a piece on using social media to improve your career. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account – you should definitely create one. LinkedIn has some interesting special interest discussion forums and you can apply for jobs directly through the site. You can also research the next step for your career by looking at how others have progressed.

Their top advice is to be yourself – and to participate in discussions! It’s fun to debate issues with other people online.

This page has a lot of great resources for more in-depth information on how to use individual social media services to improve your online presence.

My advice? Get out there, conquer the learning curve of a new social media site, and remember to have FUN! Great things will follow.

The Impact of Academic Libraries, 2012

The National Center for Education Statistics just released a new report: Academic Libraries: 2012, First Look.

Academic library patrons
Academic library patrons


  • Academic libraries loaned some 10.5 million documents to other libraries in fiscal year 2012 (table 1). Academic libraries also borrowed approximately 9.8 million documents from other libraries and commercial services.
  • The majority of academic libraries, 2,417, were open between 60-99 hours during a typical week in the fall of 2012 (derived from table 2). Another 595 academic libraries were open 100 or more hours per typical week and only 67 were open less than 40 hours per typical week.
  • In fiscal year 2012, academic libraries conducted approximately 28.9 million information services to individuals (table 3).


  • At the end of fiscal year 2012; there were 847 academic libraries that held less than 10,000 books, serial backfiles, and other paper materials including government documents and 223 academic libraries that held 1 million or more (derived from table 4).
  • In fiscal year 2012, academic libraries added 52.7 million e-books, resulting in total e-books holdings of 252.6 million units (table 5).


  • Academic libraries reported 85,752 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff working in academic libraries during the fall of 2012 (table 6).
  • Academic libraries reported 30,819 other paid staff working during the fall of 2012 who accounted for about 36 percent of the total number paid staff in academic libraries (table 6).


  • Just over half of academic libraries, 2,023, had total expenditures of less than $500,000 in fiscal year 2012, while 1,104 academic libraries had total expenditures of $1,000,000 or higher (derived from table 7).
  • During fiscal year 2012, academic libraries spent about $3.4 billion on salaries and wages, representing 49 percent of total library expenditures (table 8).
  • Academic libraries spent a total of approximately $2.8 billion on information resources (table 9).
  • Of that, expenditures for electronic current serial subscriptions totaled about $1.4 billion.
  • During fiscal year 2012, academic libraries spent approximately $123.6 million for bibliographic utilities, networks, and consortia (table 10).

Electronic Services

  • In fiscal year 2012, approximately 77 percent of academic libraries reported providing library reference service by e-mail or the Web (table 11).
  • Less than half (43 percent) of academic libraries reported library staff digitizing documents in the fiscal year 2012 (table 11).

Information Literacy

  • Nearly three-quarters of academic libraries (71 percent) reported their institution has articulated student learning or student success outcomes in fiscal year 2012 (table 12).
  • During fiscal year 2012, about 55 percent of academic libraries reported that they incorporated information literacy into student learning or student success outcomes (table 12).

Virtual Reference

  • During fiscal year 2012, about three-quarters (75 percent) of academic libraries reported that they supported virtual reference services (table 13).
  • Almost one quarter (24 percent) of academic libraries reported that they utilized short message service or text messaging in fiscal year (table 13).

See the rest of the full report, including tables, here.

Mastering the Curriculum Vitae

How well-written is your Curriculum Vitae? Does it make prospective employers swoon? Or cringe?

Don’t be the guy in this stock image. You can do this!

There are two parts to any professional job application: the cover letter and the resume/curriculum vitae (CV). In academic library-land, the CV is the preferred format (and can be a LOT lengthier than a resume). If you’re looking for an academic job in this market, you’ve got to be sure that your CV reflects your true awesomeness!

If you’re starting from scratch, organize your employment history as well as educational, committee, and volunteer history as well as other personal information before you begin. You’ll save yourself a headache later!

The CV is different from a resume – the Purdue OWL explains the basics.

Here’s a list from Dartmouth Graduate Studies on what to include:

  • Applicant Information (Name and contact info)
  • Education
  • Awards/Honors
  • Grants/Fellowships
  • Research Experience
  • Teaching Experience
  • Publications and Presentations
  • Related Professional Experience
  • Languages
  • Other — Memberships, Associations, Conferences
  • References

Standard resume advice is not to exceed two pages, but it’s very common for CVs to be three or more pages depending on experience.

If you have an existing resume/CV, here’s 6 Small Changes you should make (from AskAManager). Objectives are outdated and a NO-NO. Also, don’t just list your duties from each position you’ve held. Stand out from the crowd by listing what you accomplished at each position.

If you’re stuck, look at other job seekers’ CVs. One of my favorite things to do is Google the CVs of librarians with the sort of job that I want. For instance, I’d love to be an instructional librarian, and I can see what experience real-life instructional librarians have and how they structure their CVs.

Remember that for each application you need to craft a custom cover letter that, along with your CV, addresses each point in the job posting and how your experience meets it. Search committees will be scoring your application based on the job posting. Make their job easy! Here’s a fun post from The Chronicle on What Search Committees Wish You Knew.

Cover letters are a post for another day. Is there advice you would give to someone crafting/perfecting their CV?