Learn to Market Your Skills
As a student at the iSchool, you are honing a lot of marketable skills. Think about what you’ve been doing in your classes, then think about what skills those activities involve.
Although it may not seem obvious at first glance, your MLIS degree gives you lots of options in terms of a career. Believe it or not, the skills you learn in our programs actually make you highly qualified for lots of different jobs. Think about what you’ve been doing in school for a second, and then think about what skills those activities involve (or, better yet, write them down!):
- You are working and collaborating in an online environment, so you are tech-savvy. You are able to adapt to the changing technological landscape, and you have a long list of programs and apps you’re demonstrably familiar with. You can work independently, and you can work well with others (collaboration/teamwork), etc.
- You communicate with all kinds of people in all kinds of ways, so you have excellent written and verbal communication skills (including a scholarly writing ability). You have examples of presentations, you have worked with diverse populations, and you can talk to strangers. You can conduct interviews, and you have produced online tutorials/videos/infographics/blog posts, etc.
- You manage deadlines and projects, so you have project management experience. Perhaps you have event management experience (did you run a Zoom presentation/meeting/class?). You have attention to detail, you can manage your time, and you can work well within a team, etc.
- You find pertinent information in all sorts of places, so you have research skills and searching skills. You are a problem solver, you are adaptable, you are patient, you are persistent, and you are results oriented.
- You are curious, so you love to learn new things. You are a fast learner, and you like to meet new people/network, etc.
That list? That’s just a springboard, and it doesn’t even include things you’ve learned In Real Life (how to get red wine out of the carpet, AKA problem solving) or on the job (customer service or management).
A Librarian by Any Other Name writes about this listing process and how her “librarian” skills have grown in her various non-traditional LIS jobs. She’s got quite an impressive list – maybe you have some overlap?
The oh-so-useful INALJ (I Need a Library Job) also has some good ideas about transferrable skills and other ways to beef up your resume, like joining professional organizations and taking business classes.
Have you found interesting ways to market your LIS skills? Add them in the comments section below.