Eight Ways to Stand Out as an LIS Job Candidate

Career Blog

Published: July 27, 2018 by Evelyn Hudson

In the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever to stand out (in a positive way) as a job candidate. There are lots of other people applying for the same jobs as you, so catching an employer’s eye is essential. Here are eight ways to stand out and make an employer give you a second look.

  1. Update your Handshake profile. Handshake is chock-full of employers looking for recent grads. Make sure your profile is current, filled out completely and professional. This makes it easier for employers to find and contact you.
  2. Use Twitter professionally. Use Twitter to network and grow your professional contacts. Demonstrate your knowledge of the field by retweeting useful articles and sharing your own content. This way, if an employer Googles you, this account, which shows your professional identity, will pop up.
  3. Create your own website. Building a professional website is a great way to demonstrate your tech skills and show employers your full body of work. Items that don’t fit on LinkedIn or Twitter can go on your website. Give a potential employer a full picture of your professional history before you walk into the interview and you’ll already be way ahead in the game!
  4. Attend a conference. Conferences are a great way to network and learn about what’s new in the field. This is a great topic of conversation with a potential employer during an interview—it shows you are truly passionate about the field—or a great topic for a blog post on your website.
  5. Write a knockout cover letter. A cover letter is often an employer’s first impression of you, so make sure you leave a good one! You should write a new cover letter for every job you apply to and customize it to show how you demonstrate the skills desired in the job posting.
  6. Complete an internship. If possible, do an internship during your time in school. This is an excellent way to get experience in the field and guarantee a good professional reference. Remember, if the internship you want doesn’t exist, you can always create your dream internship.
  7. Volunteer. Volunteering is also an excellent way to gain field experience or just show your employer how you give back to the community, without the rigor of a traditional internship. Even if you volunteer outside of the LIS field, volunteering is still great on a resume.
  8. Conduct informational interviews. Informational interviews are a great way to hear first-hand about a job. Mentioning this experience in your interview or cover letter will show the employer you are serious about the job and know what it will take to succeed.

How do you stand out to a potential employer? Share your tips in the comments!

New LIS Jobs in Handshake

Head of Reference and Public Services     Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Librarian I - Twentynine Palms     County of San Bernardino

Don’t forget to explore job openings outside of the public and/or academic libraries in Handshake. Consider searching on topics such as taxonomy, research, data management, digital asset management, and similar terms that may reflect your particular LIS skills or area of emphasis.