On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
Published: September 14, 2019 by Havilah Steinman
It’s the beginning of the semester here at San José State University’s iSchool! Graduation may be right around the corner for some, while for others it may feel miles away. Either way, spending some time on our Career Development page is a must! At the end of last semester, Jill Klees, our Career Consultant, hosted a career workshop entitled Graduated? Now What? While you’re gearing up for your classes, spend some time perusing these tips from that workshop below. These workshops occur on the first Wednesday of every month during the semester, so be sure to mark your calendars for the next one!
First things first: to access the career development page, click on the main hamburger menu and click on the big blue text career development. Now that you’re here, Klees has a simple game plan for wrapping your head around job searching and landing that position.
Creating a Plan
- Develop a strategy.
- Know what you want.
- Know who you are.
- Get started!
According to Klees, most people starting a job search don’t have a plan. They have a general resume, and start applying for jobs online. They pick out a variety of positions, and perhaps change a couple things around their resume based on the requirements. This is the opposite of what we, as newly minted LIS professionals, need to do. Klees recommends the following:
- Plan A – ideal job
- Plan B – back-up plan
- Plan C – back-up to your back-up plan
Plan A is your dream or ideal job. Plan B is your back-up plan. What else can you imagine yourself doing? Plan C is the if all else fails scenario. This might seem scary, but placement agencies are a great way to go. There are even agencies specific to the LIS field. And, would you believe it, they are listed on our trusty career development page. To access these, select job search and agencies listed on the left-hand menu. Then, scroll down and click on placement agencies. From there, select agencies to consider. I’ve included some below:
Most of us, though, don’t want a plan C job. We want a plan A job. It’s awesome to know what you want! However, if you’re not totally sure, check out this helpful page on the iSchool website, life after the MLIS, which explores what alumni have done with their degrees. If reports are more your style then narratives, the MLIS Skills at Work: A Snapshot of Job Postings is also an excellent resource.
Questions to Consider
- Are you willing to relocate for a job?
- Are you willing to take a different job than you had imagined?
- Are you willing to alter your salary expectations?
Remember that relocating doesn’t necessarily mean forever. It could mean just a couple of years. Klees also recommends that we be realistic and open-minded, and have a plan ready to go. She doesn’t recommend altering your salary expectations right away, but perhaps further down the line in your job hunting. She reminds us that your first job after graduation will lead to other job opportunities. It’s not the end-all job, it’s a stepping stone and adds additional experience to your resume.
LinkedIn Pro Tips
- Professional photo
- Profile headline
- Summary statement filled with key words
- Populate “Skills and Expertise” section with keywords
- Connect to people and groups
- Examples of writing, design work, or other accomplishments by displaying URLs
Klees shared the fun fact that having a photo on your LinkedIn profile makes you 14 times more searchable then without. If the tips above piqued your interest, check out the recording of LinkedIn: What’s New and What’s Changed? Or, if blogs are more your style, the fantastic writer of our Career Blog, Greta Synder, recently posted: LinkedIn: These Tips Will Keep Your Profile Working for You 24/7!
Klees recommends to mine LinkedIn for descriptions of jobs you’re interested in to locate keywords to include in your profile. According to her, recruiters and human resources representatives think of your LinkedIn profile as an extension of your resume. If you’re struggling to construct a good profile, Professor Scott Brown has an excellent Linkedin profile to use as a model. He teaches multiple classes here at the iSchool, including Marketing Your Skills in a Networked World!
e-Portfolio vs. Career e-Portfolio
The e-Portfolio is a very dense, academic culmination of our experience in the program. According to Klees, it’s not necessary to link to it on LinkedIn or on your resume. What she does recommend is using pieces of it to create a career e-Portfolio. By tailoring to the jobs you are seeking, it allows hiring managers to see the value of your academic experience here at the iSchool. And, of course, the career e-Portfolio page is chock-full of fantastic information on how to create one!
Klees shared that 75 – 80 percent of people are hired into jobs through some sort of networking. Therefore, only 20 percent of available jobs are posted online. These statistics make networking an absolute must. She recommends making a list of people you’ve met through internships and volunteering, as well as professors you’ve personally connected with. These contacts don’t even need to be supervisors, they can also be your peers.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these pro tips from the one and only Jill Klees! If you’d like to learn more, check out the recording here. All of the workshops are recorded and shared to this webpage. However, attending in person is always an excellent opportunity to ask our career consultant questions live and in person!