How to write an excellent librarian resume

Librarians serve many essential purposes within a library system, from providing outstanding guest services to organizing books and processing late fees. To win a job as a librarian, you need an excellently-written resume that highlights your work experience, educational credentials, and skills.

In this guide, we cover five key steps for writing a resume as a librarian. Keep reading to learn all about how to:

  • Properly format your resume as a librarian
  • Write a compelling resume summary as a librarian
  • Select the best librarian skills to include on your resume
  • Describe your work experience as a librarian effectively
  • List the correct information about your education as a librarian

1. Properly format your resume as a librarian

Formatting your resume properly is your first step when beginning the resume writing process.

When it comes to formatting your resume, that depends on the information you want to emphasize most. 

For instance, if you have several years of work experience as a librarian, you should use a reverse-chronological resume that places the primary focus on work history. On the other hand, if this is your first job as a librarian, you may want to use a functional resume that places emphasis on your education, skills, and unpaid experience.

If you are somewhere in the middle and require a resume that shares the focus more evenly between sections, you may want to opt for a hybrid resume that mixes the formats of the above two.

Regardless of which format you decide on, you should always start your resume with a good-looking header that includes your professional name and contact information.

Here is an example of a well-formated librarian resume header

Jane Smith, Professional Librarian
(123) 456-7890 | janesmith@email.com | linked.com/in/jane-smith

2. Write a compelling resume summary as a librarian

Once your header is in place, you can then write a resume summary.

Some people will write their summary first, while others will wait until they have filled in all the sections of their resume before writing the summary to get a better idea of what they should mention in said summary. Either way, a summary should go directly beneath a header, placed above the other sections.

In this summary, key details to jot down can include:

  • Your total years of experience
  • Specialized areas of expertise
  • Your goals as a job applicant

Here is an example of a well-written librarian resume summary

Dedicated librarian with more than 8 years of experience working in public and private high schools. More than 5 years of specialized experience developing 9-12 grade literary education programs. Seeking a position as a Head Librarian, with an emphasis on providing educational support to teachers.

Why is this Correct?

This summary covers just about everything an employer needs to know at first glance — how many years of experience the applicant has, the specialized expertise they possess, and what type of position and opportunities they are seeking.

3. Select the best librarian skills to include on your resume

When writing a librarian resume, it is wise to include both technical and interpersonal skills.

Your technical skills can often be included in a list format within a dedicated “Skills” section. Meanwhile, your interpersonal skills are generally more effective when used as descriptors within the “Work Experience” section of your resume.

Including both technical and interpersonal skills on your librarian resume shows an employer that you have a diversified skillset with many different strengths.

Here are 5 examples of technical skills for a librarian’s resume

  • Bookkeeping and record-keeping processes
  • Literary and literacy software
  • Integrated library systems (ILS)
  • Library mobile applications and e-book rentals
  • Maker space technologies (3D printing, graphic design software, etc.)

Here are 5 examples of interpersonal skills for a librarian’s resume

  • Customer service
  • Exemplary verbal communication
  • Compassion and passion
  • Educational leadership
  • Advocacy

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4. Describe your work experience as a librarian effectively

Next up, it’s time to start describing your past work experiences as a librarian.

To make a work experience entry as effective as possible, it needs to include specific and quantifiable details that show the employer you bring real value to the table as a job applicant.

Here is an example of an effective work experience entry from a librarian’s resume

Librarian | The Flowerville Library
Flower, West Virginia | March 2019 to September 2022

  • Provided guest services to more than 5,000 library visitors, checking out more than 15,000 books total per month.
  • Authored a grant proposal for a library expansion project that resulted in the library receiving a $25,000 renewal and remodeling grant.
  • Developed a new early readers program for children aged 5 to 10 that helped raised local literacy rates among elementary school students by 15%.

5. List the correct information about your education as a librarian

The last detail to ensure you have listed correctly on your librarian resume is your education.

Unless you are using a functional resume — which will include more information on your educational experiences, such as internships or assistantships — your education section will be one of the smallest you create.

The most important details to ensure you include are your highest level of education, where you completed your education, and when you graduated.

You may also list any special certifications you have in your education section, though you should only include those that are highly relevant to the position. 

Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on a librarian’s resume

Master of Science (M.S.)
University of Central Florida
Orlando, Florida

  • Major: Library Sciences
  • Graduated: May 2022

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
University of Central Florida
Orlando, Florida

  • Major: English
Published on Nov. 23, 2022

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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