As a librarian, you are a curator of written work and a guide to humanity’s knowledge. However, before you get to do what you know and love, you need to come up with a captivating librarian resume.
A good resume will help you demonstrate your skills and experience to recruiters and potential employers. This article will teach you how to present yourself in the best light, whether you're a new librarian looking for your first job or a seasoned pro looking for a new position.
You’ll also learn all the general tips and rules of resume writing and find a bunch of expert tips and submission-ready examples. Let’s get started!
A chronological resume format that highlights your latest professional and academic achievements is often the best choice for your librarian resume.
For optimal results, your resume should be one page long, with a clear layout and distinct sections.
The work experience section of your resume is often the most important one, so you should pay extra attention to getting it right.
For the best chances of success, write and submit a position-specific cover letter that matches your resume.
What is the Right Format to Use for a Librarian Resume?
Determining which librarian resume format you’re going to use should be the first step in the resume-building process. A format represents the order in which you convey information to recruiters, which makes it as important as the information itself.
The good thing is that you don’t have to come up with a format on your own since there are three commonly used ones that you can implement in your librarian resume.
Out of the three, a chronological resume format is used by the majority of candidates. It arranges your professional and academic achievements in reverse-chronological order, which makes it favored by recruiters and the ATS.
If you lack professional experience, you can take advantage of a functional resume format. It puts your skills into focus and conceals a lack of work history.
If you’re on the other end of the spectrum as someone with decades of professional history, you could try a combination resume format. It highlights your valuable skills while backing them up with relevant professional achievements.
It’s not uncommon for recruiters to only skim through resumes, spending as little as 6–7 seconds per document. That’s why you should make your resume visually engaging, too. For starters, you want to make an effort to fit all the information onto one page.
To achieve that, you should use bulleted lists instead of blocks of text. Furthermore, you can make different sections visually distinct with white space between them. In combination with 1-inch margins on all sides, this will make your resume look clean and professional.
Lastly, choose a resume-friendly font like Times New Roman or Arial; use a 10–12 pt font size for the body of text and a 14–16 pt font size for section headings.
What Sections Should a Librarian Resume Contain?
Let’s outline the contents of your resume, which consists of mandatory and optional sections.
Mandatory Resume Sections
Optional Resume Sections
Certifications and awards
Hobbies and interests
For the best chances with recruiters, you want to include all the mandatory details and then spice things up with highly valuable optional bits. You can do all of that on your own and write a librarian resume from scratch, or you can take advantage of our resume-building tool.
Our resume builder is an intuitive piece of software with a bunch of user-friendly features. Find a template that you like, fill in the blanks with your information, and customize everything with a click or two to have a professional resume done in minutes.
Librarian Resume Contact Information
Let’s kick things off with a simple introductory section. Put your contact details in your resume header by including the following:
Mandatory Contact Information
(Optional) LinkedIn profile
Here’s an example:
Contact Information Section Example
+ 936 854 8279
When writing this section, the most important thing is to make sure that it’s spotless and error-free. You don’t want to miss out on a potential interview invitation simply because you misspelled your email address.
You should also keep everything professional, which means no high school email addresses or funny job titles (you’re a “librarian,” not a “book wizard”). Lastly, while mentioning your physical location is an outdated practice nowadays, you should include your city and state if you’re applying for a position abroad.
Librarian Resume Objective or Summary
Think of your resume objective or summary as a synopsis of the document. Their goal is to hook the reader in 2–4 brief, information-packed sentences.
Which of these you will use depends on whether you have any professional experience.
If you’re an entry-level candidate, you likely don’t. In such cases, you should write a librarian resume objective and focus on highlighting your key skills and career goals instead of presenting the work history you don’t have.
However, if you’re a seasoned candidate, your work history is your biggest strength. Therefore, your resume summary should entice recruiters with some of your most prominent professional achievements.
Entry-Level Librarian Resume Objective
If you lack professional experience, a resume objective will help you emphasize your potential, as it allows you to mention your prominent abilities and talk about your career objective.
Here’s a good example:
Resume Objective Example
“Diligent school librarian with two years of volunteer and internship experience. Proficient in fostering a dynamic learning atmosphere. Experience in budget management and databasing. Seeking to leverage competence in contemporary technologies to promote reading and literature to modern audiences at [your library].”
What you don’t want to do is keep it vague and directionless, like in this example:
“Recent graduate looking to gain real-world experience by working in your library.”
Librarian Resume Summary
A solid librarian resume summary represents a rundown of your document and paints you as a strong candidate right off the bat. Show a couple of your strongest achievements, and recruiters will keep reading to find out more about you.
Let’s see that in an example:
Resume Summary Example
“Creative librarian with 11+ years of experience managing large-scale physical collections as well as digital databases. Streamlined the cataloging and circulation process in [previous workplace], increasing materials circulated by 25% in the first year. Looking to leverage deep knowledge of library operations to make a meaningful impact at [library name].”
However, if you don’t give recruiters any concrete data, you might end up with a trivial librarian resume summary, like the following one:
“Experienced librarian with a degree in comparative literature looking for a new job.”
Librarian Resume Work Experience
One of the best ways to show recruiters how you perform in the workplace is by describing past job experiences. That’s what the work experience section of your resume serves for.
For each previous job that you include in the work experience section of your librarian resume, you want to add the following details:
The company you worked for
Start and end dates of employment
List of responsibilities and achievements
To make your resume truly stand out, you want to focus on noticeable accomplishments instead of everyday tasks. You can demonstrate them by including 3–5 bullet points for each previous job. That way, you’ll include a lot of information while still being brief and concise.
You can further increase the impact that these bulleted lists will have on recruiters by utilizing strong action verbs and power words. Try using words like “acquisition” and “research” in combination with verbs such as “catalog,” “circulate,” and “process” to make your results and achievements truly pop.
Moreover, you should include exact numbers and percentages to quantify your accomplishments whenever possible. They work great at providing a ton of information and making your work more concrete.
As an entry-level candidate who lacks professional experience in the field, you can leverage other types of work, such as internships and volunteering, to enrich your resume.
Here’s a good example:
Entry-Level Librarian Work Experience Section Example
ABC University Library Houston, TX
June 2022–December 2022
Assisted senior librarians with cataloging and processing new library materials, including books, multimedia materials, and digital resources.
Researched state-of-the-art library technologies to make recommendations that improved user experience.
Collaborated with library staff to promote library services and resources through social media, increasing library usage among younger populations by 25%.
As an experienced librarian, you likely have many achievements that you’d like to showcase. The goal here is to only focus on the most impactful ones that truly highlight your seniority. Don’t go overboard listing every minor accomplishment from jobs you did more than a decade ago.
Let’s check out an example:
Experienced Librarian Work Experience Section Example
XYZ County Library New Orleans, LA
Oversaw the library’s collection development and acquisition process, increasing the number of materials available to patrons by 15% over the past three years.
Implemented a new library management system that streamlined cataloging and circulation processes, increasing efficiency by 27%.
Conducted regular staff training, resulting in a 25% increase in employee satisfaction and a 13% boost in employee retention.
Librarian Resume Education Section
Adding the education section to your resume is similar to listing your work experience but usually more straightforward. Simply list the following details:
Mandatory Education Information
The institution that issued it
Years of attendance
(Optional) Prominent achievements
Let’s see it in an example:
Education Section Example
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
If you don’t have a lot of work experience, you can make this section stand out by listing your academic achievements, such as your GPA (but only if it’s 3.5 or higher), extracurricular activities, relevant coursework, and similar. You could even list an unfinished degree by either putting “current” instead of a graduation date or adding “expected” next to it.
Librarian Resume Skills
Instead of simply adding every soft and hard skill you possess to your librarian resume, you want to be precise and specific. By researching the job ad, you’ll discover which skills recruiters are looking for. That will allow you to demonstrate relevant abilities while remaining brief and concise.
Once you have a list of desirable abilities, you should add the ones you possess to the skills section of your resume. Furthermore, you want to demonstrate some of your vital abilities throughout the document.
While mentioning your professional achievements in your resume summary, objective, or work experience section, work in some of your skills to make them more prominent and substantial.
Hard Librarian Skills
Here are some of the most sought-after hard skills librarians could include in their resumes:
Soft Librarian Skills
Add some of these soft skills to your resume to boost your chances with recruiters:
Attention to detail
Tools & Software
Being proficient in the following irreplaceable librarian tools and software can significantly increase your chances of landing a job in this field:
Adobe Creative Suite
Handy Library Manager
Lucidea Integrated Library Systems
Librarian Resume Optional Sections
Optional sections can help customize your resume and tailor it to the specific job that you’re going for.
Any relevant certifications obtained or awards earned will portray you as an accomplished individual. They show your dedication to the craft and paint you as someone who always strives to go the extra mile.
If the job ad asks for proficiency in certain languages, this section is pretty much a must-have. Even if it’s not required, knowledge of foreign languages is always a good skill to have, and you should try to include it in your resume as long as you have room left. The best way to go about it is to list languages in order of your skill level.
Hobbies & Interests
By listing some hobbies and interests on your resume, you can present yourself as an exciting and passionate individual. This part allows you to show who the person behind a resume really is.
The benefits of demonstrating volunteer work on your resume are multifaceted. On the one hand, they show that you’re a driven and passionate individual, all of which are qualities recruiters look for in candidates. On the other hand, volunteer work is another great way to offset any potential lack of professional experience.
Should You Submit a Cover Letter With Your Librarian Resume?
The mere act of submitting a cover letter with your resume already shows your hardworking side. Make sure to personally address the recruiter for maximum effect, and talk more about your skills and achievements that make you perfect for the job in 3–5 paragraphs.
Expert Tips for Creating a Librarian Resume
These final expert tips will help you get the most out of your librarian resume:
Librarian Resume Tips
You should submit a soft copy of your resume in PDF to preserve its layout unless a job ad asks for something specific.
It’s often better to write an objective or a summary last, after you’ve finished the rest of your resume.
You can use a cover letter to talk in greater detail about some of your skills and accomplishments that you didn’t get a chance to mention in your resume.
By keeping your resume clean, professional, and mistake-free, you create a pleasant experience for recruiters and portray yourself as a candidate with impeccable attention to detail.
Job-Winning Librarian Resume Example
Here's a job-winning librarian resume example that you can examine to put everything we’ve learned so far into practice:
In conclusion, writing a librarian resume requires careful consideration of the specific skills, experiences, and achievements that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
By following the guidelines outlined in this article and analyzing librarian resume samples, you’ll create an effective resume that best showcases your expertise and qualifications.
Remember to tailor your resume to the specific job description and to have a clear and concise layout. By putting all these tips into practice, you’ll increase your chances of landing your dream librarian job.