Finding Alternative LIS Jobs

Finding alternative LIS job openings is similar to the process for finding what job specialists often call invisible jobs or jobs within the “hidden job market,” but with its own special twist.

Invisible jobs are those openings that never get posted publicly, so job seekers are unaware of their existence. In this case, the primary way to get a foothold in the hidden job market is to learn of job openings through your professional network. (As always, the larger your network, the greater your job opportunities.)

However, with alternative LIS jobs, the “special twist” is that very rarely do the jobs that might be perfect for you carry the terms library or librarian. So how do you find them? Similar to researching how to translate your LIS skills, your goal is to identify what titles potential employers use for the work you’d like to do.

To begin, create a core group of terms that describe your target jobs – for example, cataloging, information organization, taxonomy, information architecture, metadata – and the generic terms that often accompany information-type jobs, such as:

  • Analyst
  • Architect
  • Associate
  • Coordinator
  • Designer
  • Developer
  • Director
  • Librarian (probably not, but doesn’t hurt to give it a try!)
  • Manager
  • Officer
  • Researcher
  • Specialist
  • Supervisor

Then, go through the same process you’d go through for translating your skills, but this time with a focus on what terms and/or titles seem to produce the greatest number of relevant job openings. These are also the search terms that will most likely produce the best results for you in the future.

Don’t forget, however, that no matter what jobs are called, the most effective way to land one is through your network of personal and professional connections. Do you know someone at the target company? Or does someone you know perhaps know someone at the target company? (Showing these types of connections is one of the things LinkedIn does best. Making these connections is one of the reasons professional association memberships can be so valuable.)