How to Write a Librarian Resume (With Template and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Librarians oversee the daily functions of a library and help connect people to the information they're looking for. Librarians work in many settings, including public libraries, schools, universities, museums, hospitals and courts. If you're considering a librarian position, learning how to write an effective librarian resume may increase the likelihood of getting an interview. In this article, we explore what a librarian is, explain how to write an excellent resume for a librarian position and provide a template and example to refer to.

How to write an effective librarian resume

An effective librarian resume highlights your skills, experience and career goals, and shows the hiring manager you're the best candidate for the position. Consider including the following elements to ensure your resume makes a good first impression:

1. Choose the best resume format

Choosing the right resume format can help highlight the strongest elements of your education and experience. The following formats are the three most common types to cho ose between:

  • Chronological resume: A chronological resume focuses on work experience. This is ideal for librarians with many years of experience working in a variety of library positions.

  • Functional resume: A functional resume focuses on skills and aptitude. It's suitable for entry-level librarians who are new to the field, may have recently graduated or are changing careers.

  • Combination resume: A combination resume includes both work experience and skills. It provides a quick timeline of employment, top skills and how candidates relate to the position.

Related: 8 Options for a Librarian Career Change (With Salaries)

2. Include your contact information

Include your contact information in the header, even if these details are also in a cover letter. This makes it easy for hiring managers to contact you regarding an interview. Include your full name, email address, telephone number, city and state.

3. Write a compelling professional summary

A professional summary is a hiring manager's introduction to you as a candidate. A resume summary is usually between two and four sentences and can include educational background, relevant skills and professional goals. To help make your professional summary reflect your suitability for a specific librarian position, include a career goal that aligns closely with the organisation's vision and objectives.

4. Note all relevant work experience

In this section, you can include any library-related work experience you may have, including professional jobs and volunteer work. For each position, include the name of the organisation and the dates of employment. Include a list of your responsibilities and achievements using approximately five bullet points for your current or most recent job and three for previous positions.

Begin each line with an action verb and include figures where possible, as this gives the hiring manager a tangible overview of your professional capacity and accomplishments. For example, include the average number of patrons that you served per month.

5. Consider your soft and hard skills

Hiring managers look for certain qualities as an indication of a candidate's abilities and suitability for the position. The following are some skills that librarians may require at various career stages:

Entry-level assistant librarians

These are recent graduates at the beginning of their careers and are working towards moving into more challenging positions. Their skills may include the following:

  • experience with cataloguing and classifying physical and digital library assets

  • excellent communication and active listening skills

  • problem-solving and analytical thinking abilities

  • good time management and prioritisation abilities

  • accurate typing and data-entry skills

Mid-career librarian skills

This group has a diverse experience of library functions and may want to use their skills in private or public institutions. They may have the following skills:

  • strong problem-solving skills and analytical thinking

  • thorough understanding of storage methods, shelving and cataloguing

  • experience with the storage, retrieval and accessing of digital information

  • excellent research and critical thinking abilities

  • exceptional oral and written communication skills

Senior librarian skills

These are mid-career or advanced librarians who are looking for positions that offer new challenges at private or public institutions. Their skills may include the following:

  • good ability to delegate tasks

  • experience in mentoring, coaching or directing junior employees

  • conflict resolution skills, including negotiation and diplomacy

  • excellent planning ability for daily operations and long-term strategy

  • advanced expertise in library science technology

  • thorough knowledge of cataloguing, circulation, acquisitions and copyright law

Library managers

Library managers have a comprehensive understanding of all functions that connect library patrons to the information they need, in addition to managing a team of librarians. Managers' skills include the following:

  • highly skilled in employee supervision and development

  • financial aptitude for budgeting and financial reporting

  • cultivated analytical thinking and decision-making skills

  • experience in public relations, marketing and promotions

  • up-to-date expertise in physical and digital information storage, retrieval methods and technology

6. Include education and other qualifications

In this section, you can list any librarian-related qualifications or certifications you have. Education that hiring managers may look for includes the following:

  • accredited bachelor's degree in librarian and information studies

  • graduate diploma in information and library studies

  • graduate diploma in record management and archives

  • master's degree in information management

  • postgraduate archives concepts and practice

  • management of information services degree

  • reference services degree

7. Proofread for grammar, spelling and other errors

An error-free resume that's easy to read reflects that you have good organisational skills and take care when performing duties. This perception may give you an advantage over other candidates. Consider asking a friend or family member to check your resume before submitting it, as others often pick up on spelling, punctuation or grammar issues. If you're submitting your resume in print form, use a neutral shade of white paper to keep a professional tone.

Related: How to Become an Archivist

What is a librarian?

A librarian is an information professional who may research, categorise and manage resources, information and collections in library settings. They use organisational skills and an exceptional knowledge of literature to make reading an accessible, enjoyable and educational pastime for all users. Depending on the size of the library, they may oversee a team of employees who perform daily tasks to facilitate an efficient service for library customers.

Resume template for a librarian position

You can refer to the following resume template when writing your own:

[First name] [surname], [degree or certification]

[Phone number] | [email address] | [city], [state]

Professional Summary

[Two to four sentences that detail experience, applicable skills, education, certifications and achievements in a similar role.]

Experience

[For the most recent or current role, list five experience components and for previous roles, list three]

[Job title] | [employment dates]

[Company name] | [city], [state]

  • [Action verb + what you did, reasoning, outcome or quantified results]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job title] | [employment dates]
[Company name] | [city], [state]

  • [Action verb + what you did, reasoning, outcome or quantified results]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

Skills

Option 1

[Skill] | [skill] | [skill] | [skill] | [skill]

Option 2

[Category]: [skill] | [skill] | [skill] | [skill] | [skill] | [skill]

[Category]: [skill] | [skill] | [skill] | [skill] | [skill] | [skill]

Education

Option 1

[Degree and major] | [name of school or university]

Option 2

[Degree and major] | [name of school or university]

[City], [state]

Optional

[Certification name], [Institution name] | [completion year, expected completion or expiration date]

Related: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Resume example for a librarian position

The following is an example of a completed resume to refer to:

Jenny Dobbs, Bachelor of Library and Information Studies
(014) 734 2291 | jdobbs@email.com | Brisbane, Queensland

Professional Summary

Recent Bachelor of Library and Information Studies graduate with three years of volunteering experience seeking a position as a librarian. Volunteering experience as both a children's and non-fiction reference librarian. Have created and presented various presentations on the importance of adult literacy. Career goal is to create a passion for reading in young people and rekindle the desire to read in adults.

Experience

Library volunteer | 2019–Current
The Grand Library | Brisbane, Queensland

  • assist approximately 10,000+ library users to locate and check out their books

  • introduced the concept of Friday Happy Reading Hour, incorporating an adult's book club meeting of approximately 18 parents while presenting story and craft time to their 30+ children

  • perform general duties including answering phones, photocopying and typing

  • process new materials including books, software and audio-visuals

  • promote library activities by mailing out promotional material

Senior school library monitor | 2016–2018
Reef High School | Brisbane, Queensland

  • voluntarily assisted the library teacher with book check outs during break times

  • helped keep the library tidy by returning books and dusting shelves

  • taught 120+ Reef Primary School students how to use the library system

Skills

Data entry | Time management | Classifying library assets | Communication

Education

Bachelor of Library and Information Studies | Useful University | 2021

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