MLIS students, and librarians in general, are possessed of singular skills that are valuable in a variety of positions, but they’re not always sure what those positions might be.
While searching LinkedIn recently, I stumbled upon some really interesting Library and Information Science Professionals in job titles and with career paths that some might consider unusual or even out of reach. The thing about LinkedIn is that this is what it should be used for. LinkedIn is not just a place to put up a profile and wait to see what happens. It is an amazing job search/research tool that Library and Information Science professionals should be easily able to navigate and come up with very valuable information.
Mia Breitkopf’s post titled 61 Non-Librarian Jobs for LIS Grads presented a number of job openings back in December 2011 that showed the wide variety of positions available to someone with an MLIS degree. Here, I’m going to share with you a number of LinkedIn profiles of people who hold the MLIS degree and I found interesting either because of their current position or their career path. I found these profiles using the advanced search feature of LinkedIn.
Christine de Chaves. Director of Archival Education and Coordinator for Digital Projects at ArchDigitas. Also, owner of a Dunkin Donuts franchise and a real estate firm. Formerly Photograph Archivist at Harvard University.
Kerri Hicks. Manager of Web Communications at University of Rhode Island.
Michael Nanfito. Executive Director at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education.
As you can see, MLIS grads are working in all area of the economy, including as entrepreneurs. So what should or could you do with this list, or with anyone’s profile you find on LinkedIn? Here are some tips:
Career Path. The career path of an individual can provide you with a variety of information, including the names of companies that hire information professionals, industries to investigate, and job titles to search.
Skills & Expertise. A good place to find the skills and expertise words that you may want to be endorsed for on your own profile. Also, you may identify skills and expertise that you are lacking and may want to pursue.
Education. Prior to or beyond the MLIS, what education do these people have? Look for similar backgrounds to yours in order to get the best idea of whether you would qualify for similar positions.
Groups. Where are they networking and engaging in discussions on LinkedIn? Groups are a great way to expand your network and to keep up with the latest in industries and topics of interest.
Following. Check out the Influencers, News and Companies they’re following. Another good resource for news and information of interest.
People Also Viewed. Check out this section to find other profiles that may be similar or have connections to the profile you’re currently viewing.
Prior to sending a random invitation to connect, reach out and engage with people who are doing something you find of interest and ask them a question. After doing the research above, you should be able to ask at least one specific question. Let the person know what you found interesting on their profile; make it about them and they’re more likely to respond. If you get a response, then send an invitation to connect.
Update your own profile with some of the sections that you see on other’s profiles. Make sure your profile is 100% complete. This will help with search and also make you more appealing to visitors to your profile.
Remember that 93% of recruiters are looking at your LinkedIn profile at some point of the recruiting/hiring process. I know from my work with students and from visiting a variety of startups in New York City recently, that EVERYONE who is doing hiring is looking at LinkedIn. This is your chance to shine beyond your resume, and may actually be the first place that a potential employer finds you when searching for potential candidates. And with the amazing amount of information available on this vast network of professionals, MLIS grads should have great fun searching for hidden gems.
How have you used LinkedIn while searching for a job with an MLIS degree? Share with us in the comments.