Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tips for Librarians Doing a Long-Distance Job Search

As I near the end of library school, I'm thinking about packing up everything that I own and moving to a different part of the country (or even the world) for a library job and for a change of scenery. So what should I, and others who are considering relocation, know when doing a long-distance job search?
Travelin' down the road for something new.
Image from

Amelia Zavala Vander Heide has tips to offer on this very subject. In an article for titled "Job Hunting 300 Miles Away," Vander Heide shares her own experience of being newly graduated from library school and planning a cross-country move with her husband, who was applying to colleges in California. "It was hard graduating and sitting on my degree for a few months while my husband and I waited for decision letters from colleges throughout California," she said. "When I knew we were for sure moving to the Bay Area and moving at the beginning of August, I finally knew I could start sending out applications." So Vander Heide's first tip is "Timing, timing, timing." But "how soon is too soon" to apply for a position that's in another part of the country?, she asked. Many would say the sooner you apply, the better.

In addition, Vander Heide advises that you "Know the area" where you're planning to move. I have to admit that I wasn't familiar with my current city when I first moved here, and everything worked out quite well. Still, "understanding the geography helped me narrow my job hunt. I was moving to an area of great opportunity, but did I really want to commute more than an hour each way? Knowing and really understanding the population and the economy has helped me immensely in public librarianship, even though I do not live in the city where I work," said Vander Heide. I suppose it would be ideal if you have family members or friends who already live in the area where you would like to move to. That way, you could visit and while there take a look around to get a sense of things. If your family or friends are especially generous, maybe they'll offer you a couch to crash on or a spare room to live in while you get your bearings - and start your job - in your new city or town.

Amelia Zavala Vander Heide has other helpful advice for doing a long-distance job search, including how to explain a relocation to prospective employers and what to do if you're contacted for an interview for a job that is hundreds of miles away. Read what she has to say at THIS LINK. And good luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment