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Book Review: Newlen, Robert R. (1998). Writing Resumes That Work: A How-To-Do-It Manual For Librarians. Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.; ISBN: 1555702635
By Amanda Hirst
October 26, 2002

Finding myself nearing the end of a job, and a graduation date looming in the not so distant future, I thought it was time to dust off 'ye olde resume'. Not being gifted in the resume and cover letter arts, I first sought assistance on the web. A Google search on 'librarian resume' yielded mixed results, but what I did find over and over again was a reference for Writing Resumes That Work: A How-To-Do-It Manual For Librarians, by Robert Newlen. Even better was that both KCLS and SPL had copies of the book, which I managed to get my hands on in a matter of days. This book is part of a series called "How-to-do-it-manuals for libraries". They are an impressive array of manuals that cover everything from "Creating a virtual library" to "Founding and funding a family literacy program," all written for the librarian.

After getting over my initial thrill of having a book on resume writing, cover letters, and interviewing for librarians, I decided to peruse it's contents to see if it could live up to my expectations. Upon reading the first few chapters, I thought this is pretty much like any old 'Knock their socks off' resume book for any up-and-coming Enron Executive, i.e. all style little substance. There were worksheets, advice for writing a career objective, lots and lots of action verbs to choose from, blah, blah, blah. But then it was as though the storm clouds parted, the sea became calm after reading only nine short words: "Chapter 8: Library School Student (Recent Graduate) - Sample Resumes". Jackpot! Not only that, but the book covers all aspects of librarianship: academic, public and special libraries. So is it worth checking out? Absolutely! It's full of excellent advice - and you never know, by completing the worksheets and adding the right action verbs to your resume you just might end up 'knocking the socks off' a potential employer!

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