Cover letter resources

A recent post on Attempting Elegance, “the torment of terrible cover letters,” brought to mind a topic that came up in a discussion a while ago. There is a lot of excellent advice out there (including the post mentioned above), but where can students and new librarians go to have their cover letters reviewed?

While advice on what to do and what not to do is really helpful, the experience that helped me the most was having my cover letter reviewed by an experienced librarian. I took advantage of the “Resume Network” at my library school program, the University of Missouri, and it made a HUGE difference in the quality of my cover letters. While I was trying to follow the advice I had read, I was mentally discounting some of my experiences. For example, as a former anthropology grad student, experience teaching university courses doesn’t seem worth mentioning — most of my friends had done it too — but my reviewer saw that as something that help me would stand out. So I highly recommend having your cover letter reviewed by someone who knows the job market!

However, I’ve come across posts from other job-seekers who are wondering where they can turn to get their cover letters reviewed. Some seem to have found an abundance of resume/CV review options but none for cover letters. One post even referred to the ALA New Members Round Table Resume Review Service as a place to go for resume help, but didn’t realize they do cover letters as well!

So, below is a list of places to turn for reviews that I have found so far. You do generally have to be a member of the organization offering the service to be able to use it.

If you know of more places to have your cover letters reviewed, please add to the list, either in the comments or by emailing me!

3 thoughts on “Cover letter resources

  1. While at, you can search for a mentor that will help you find library employment. I eMail cover letters to my mentor and she suggests corrections.

  2. Don’t forget your local *public* library. A few libraries – Cuyahoga County Public Library comes most prominently to mind – have full-scale career centers with trained career counselors on staff who would be exceptionally qualified to review your CVs & cover letters/statements of qualifications. My own library doesn’t have this kind of center, but I have some training & 20 years of experience reviewing cover letters & resumes. Your school’s alumni network may also be another place to turn, along with the career center at your undergraduate or graduate college/university. In my county, the local community college has career counseling services available to everyone in the county.

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