If you Google “find your passion” you will get 39,000,000 hits. Go to the self-help section of any bookstore and you will see 50 or more volumes on finding your passion, following your passion, and living your passion. Every other Twitter bio or LinkedIn bio has a reference to “passionate about.” Passion, as they say, is the new black. So, I was hardly surprised when a young friend came to me for career advice, and started the conversation by saying, “My job stinks, I’m bored to tears. I just can’t figure out what my passion is.” She spoke as if somewhere, out there, is a single career-related purpose that, if she could but find it, would lead to eternal fulfillment. This was her fifth “it stinks” job in three years, and it was clear she had fallen for the passion myth.
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A career as a librarian has long been popular because of the job security and solid pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for librarians today is $60,820. But the top 10%, most of whom have master’s degrees in library science (or MLS), earn as much as $80,000.
How much you will eventually earn with your MLS depends a great deal on the type of library in which you are working. With a master’s degree, you should have the qualifications to handle many top jobs as a librarian.
In 2011, it was found that around 40% of librarians in the United States work in either elementary or secondary schools. Those librarians earned approximately $59,000 per year. Also, note that librarians who work at universities tend to earn a higher salary—around $65,000 per year. If you are fortunate enough to get a librarian job with the federal government, you can earn $80,000 per year.
Some of the highest-paying careers and titles in the field of librarianship include the following:
What kind of librarian makes the most money?
The highest-paid librarian usually has one of these four job titles: federal government librarian, university librarian, special librarian, and curator.
What is the best degree for a librarian?
If you want to become a librarian, a master's degree in library science is preferred, and often required, for most librarian positions, according to the American Library Association.
What should you major in before library science?
According to Indeed, the best undergraduate degrees to receive before earning your master's degree in library science are:
- Library science
- Information science
1. Federal Government Librarian
Every government agency has its very own library, such as the Air Force Materiel Command, Library Of Congress, Health & Human Services, Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Archives. Most of the higher-paying federal librarian positions require an MLS to be considered. It is possible with enough experience and education to be paid more than $70,000 per year. These jobs are highly competitive, so the better your education and work-related experience—including volunteer library work—the better.
2. University Librarian
Librarians who specialize in universities and colleges will usually be better paid than those who work in primary or secondary schools, with a median salary of around $62,000 per year. Colleges usually have endowments and have larger budgets than many school systems. Remember that these jobs are competitive, and many universities will expect you to have your MLS, and possibly another master’s degree or even Ph.D. in a related field.
3. Special Librarian
Many medical schools, hospitals, corporations, and other entities have special libraries that need to be effectively sorted and managed. The median salary in the field is about $56,000 per year. Your chances of landing this type of librarian position increase if you have a strong academic background in the particular type of library you want to manage. If you are trying to obtain a librarian position in a legal library, it is very helpful to have legal experience and possibly an advanced degree in political science or public policy. If you are looking for a job in a medical library, a degree in the life sciences is beneficial.
A curator is responsible for important collections of artwork or historic artifacts. Most of these professionals work at zoos, museums, aquariums, botanical gardens, and historical sites. The median pay is approximately $49,000 per year, and most conservators need to have a master’s degree.
Keep in mind some other important details if you are looking for a good salary as a librarian:
- Location, location, location - You should try to work in a part of the country with higher salaries and, as much as possible, a reasonable cost of living. Also, some parts of the country have colleges and school systems with more funds available than others.
- Private vs. public - People who work at private universities are going to earn more than those who work at public ones.
- Volunteer experience - Many of the best-paid librarians had a great deal of internship, work, and volunteer experience in libraries as they were earning their MLS.
Never underestimate how competitive the librarian job market is. Often, just an MLS is not enough to assure you will get the job. Get as much practical work experience in libraries as you can, to ensure your best chances for a choice librarian job.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
Every resume should be accompanied by the five parts of a cover letter. In this article, I am going to demonstrate the mechanics of a well written cover letter. I hope this provides some knowledge about the parts of a cover letter, and enables you to generate interest from a hiring manager.
How do you structure a cover letter?
A great cover letter has five parts: the salutation, the opening, the hook, the paragraph of knowledge, and the close.
1. The Salutation (The Hello)
Get a name, any name. By hook or by crook try to get a name. Sometimes you can't - then try To whom it may concern or Dear hiring manager. Dear Hiring Manager:
2. The Opening (The Grab)
Your opening paragraph is your introduction and presents the reader with some immediate and focused information regarding the position you are pursuing and a few core competencies that demonstrate your strength: Having contributed as an operations and general business leader, I am writing to express my interest in [Name of Position] with [Name of Company]. You will see on the enclosed resume I turned around an under-performing business, substantially improved productivity and employee morale, and possess critical and creative thinking skills that will facilitate my swift contribution to your sustained growth.
3. The Second Paragraph (The Hook)
This paragraph should define some examples of the work performed and results achieved. This paragraph should be connected to your resume. This does not mean you should copy verbatim what is in the resume. Rather, cover some key competencies that you feel define your success. In the event you are highlighting some information not contained in the resume (if you are switching careers, or have a unique value proposition), this is the perfect place to cover that information. Use bullets to define key areas of achievement and highlight what you bring: My professional experiences include my recent position with XYZ Corporation as Operations Manager, and previous positions with ABC Corporation, and DEF Corporation. In all of my roles I guided the professional development of staff and gained consensus for the adoption of new ideas due to my demonstrated ability to clearly present value added recommendations. The following is a brief sample of the expertise I offer:
- Conceptualized and implemented an innovative business strategy whereby inventory was maintained at vendor locations, resulting in the effective use of a JIT system and annual savings of $250,000 for XYZ Corporation.
- Established internal operating procedures that reduced employee downtime by 15%. In addition to conducting cross-training initiatives, I fostered an environment predicated on accountability for results, which improved the team's commitment to the attainment of short- and long-term goals.
- Conducted industry and competitive analysis while at ABC Corporation, which enabled senior leadership to analyze potential acquisition opportunities. After contributing to the due diligence process, three targets were pursued, and resulted in one successful deal. From working with attorneys, investment bankers, and CPA's, to serving as a key liaison to senior leadership, my recommendations were successfully implemented.
4. The Third Paragraph (Paragraph Of Knowledge)
Here demonstrate something you know about the company that prompted you to write. This shows the reader that you did some preliminary homework and understand the company's drivers and goals: After researching 123 Company, I understand your immediate goal is to improve business performance and establish key benchmarks within [Name of Industry]. Your recent acquisition of [Company Name], puts you in a position to gain market share and establish a unique brand presence with potential and existing customers. Given my professional achievements, I am in a position to help you quickly achieve your goals.
5. The Fourth Paragraph (The Close)
In the closing paragraph quickly summarize what you offer and close by either suggesting a meeting or indicating that you will call in a certain number of days. If you choose the latter approach, make sure you follow-up within the time frame you reference. I bring a tool kit comprised of leadership, strategic planning, and analytical skills; and I would be pleased to review my credentials with you to personally explore how I can contribute as a member of your senior leadership team. Please feel free to contact me at the number above to arrange a time to speak. Sincerely, Full Name Enclosure: Resume That's it! The above template provides what I believe to be the most important parts to any cover letter.
What should not be included in a cover letter?
Your cover letter should not include:
- A boring opening line
- Long paragraphs
- A recap of your resume
- Irrelevant information
- A boring closing statement