You've Got Skills: Now Learn How to Market Them

Abstract image of woman thinking
Published: Friday, February 26, 2016 by Kate M. Spaulding

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're working and collaborating in an online environment, so you're tech-savvy, you're able to adapt to the changing technological landscape, you have a long list of programs and apps you're demonstrably familiar with, you can work independently, 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, you can talk to strangers, you can conduct interviews, 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, you can work as 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're persistent, you are results oriented, etc. 
  • you're curious, so you love to learn new things/you're a fast learner, 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 (it's more interesting than it sounds, I promise) 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. 

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