Your Skills Will Save the Day

Career Blog

Published: March 21, 2017 by Kate M. Spaulding

What’s going to get you your next job? Skills! Consider how you can use your past experience to shape your future career.

A recent Community Profile about iSchool student Lara Croft mentions something that dovetails really nicely with what we’ve been talking about here forever and what Jesse Walker-Lanz talked about in his webcast last week. It talks about what’s going to get you your next job.

That magical insight? Skills. The Profile reports, “All her previous positions, from retail management to non-profit work, prepared her for the work she’s doing now in one way or another.” Past Experience = Skills (or s = pe² ?)

You may think you lack applicable LIS skills and are taking the initiative to develop some, or maybe you already have everything you need (if so, please contact me and tell me All The Answers). Either of those options means you know how important your skills are. Maybe you’ve already followed Jill’s advice and updated your resume. Awesome.

But if you don’t think skills matter? This post is for you.

The skills you list on your resume are what will get you an interview. In the interview, using your communication skills to discuss the skills you’ve gained in school or former roles, in conjunction with presenting yourself well and meshing with the interviewers, will get you the job.

Employers are looking for a candidate who

A. can do the job
B. OR is so obviously talented and trainable that it won’t be a hardship to teach them the job
C. AND seems like a good fit.

If it’s A, then demonstrable, concrete skills got you the position. If it’s B, then soft skills like adaptability or problem solving, related skills like project management or research, and traits like curiosity or intelligence won them over. C won’t get you the job all on its own (see: Boolean operators).

So take a look at your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and your website. Consider how you can use your past experience to shape the future you want. Talk yourself up and show off your skills with evidence like links to projects and recommendations. Market yourself with tailored resumes and top-notch interview answers. Your skills (and charming personality) will get you on the path to your new career.

Venn diagram image by user Verycurve under CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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