Huge range! Information exists everywhere, needs to be managed, organised, found for people and disseminated everywhere – so information jobs exist everywhere.Hard copy collections still exist – and will probably continue to do so for un-digitised, rare material, or for long-term preservation of key records / archives (since digital continuity is a problem still to be solved!).All jobs will involve use of technology however – even in ‘traditional libraries’ – where electronic cataloguing will be joined by online and social media promotion and dissemination. Impossible to list all the many and varied job titles that exist today where you can use your professional information skills.Blurring of boundaries between ‘librarianship’ and ‘information management’, between ‘archivist’ and ‘records manager’ and between IM, RM and KM – largely driven by technologyBetter to think in terms of a bundle of skills and think about which ones you enjoy / would like to practice and which ones aren’t your forte or you’d rather keep to a minimum, then consider all and any jobs to see how much of your chosen skill set they would utilise. Ignore job titles – look at job content, goals and skills needed instead.
Here are a range of online and offline resourcesMake sure you spread your net as wide as possibleEven the big generalist job boards are worth checking (reed.co.uk, totaljobs, monster) – set up RSS feeds and alerts to collate all potentially relevant results in one place so you don’t have to go to a dozen separate sites every day / weekMake allowance for the (significant) amount of time it takes to make a good applicationFewer, better, applications are more likely to get results than dozens and dozens of scattergun ‘I’ll take any job I don’t care’ applications – it shows and employers can tell!
Before you start – analyse your skillsGood idea to prepare a skills matrix: what the skill is vs how you demonstrated it (ie, an example)Eg; communication – with a teamEg; influencing – got manager to agree to xEg; organising – a collection of grey literatureThink about which of the skills you have are particularly relevant to the job you are applying for – these should stand out loud and clear from your CVOnce your CV’s written, give it to a friend and ask them to pick out your key skills from it. Compare these to the list you made of the skills needed for the job – do they match? If not, your CV needs some more work!!
Old adage – Fail to prepare = prepare to fail!! Very true – take time to do thorough preparation.Preparation doesn’t mean a quick read of their job description and checking out their websitePreparation means reviewing the JD and person spec in detail – working out what the key goals are of the post, the main responsibilities, the skills they are expecting someone to have to be able to do the job, and mapping these to your experiences and your skills, and coming up with good examples of where you can demonstrate you’ve used those skills or achieved those (or similar) outcomes – how did you do it? Use the STAR principle in preparing examples:SituationTaskActionResultMake sure you prepare a load of questions to ask – if you’re interested in the job and want to imagine yourself actually doing it, lots of questions will spring to mind (as there’s no way to fully depict the job, culture, organisation etc in a 1-2 page job description…). Having questions shows you are enthusiastice much much better than saying ‘yes I want the job’Research the company or organisation – What do they do? Why? Who else does similar things (competitors)? What does their culture seem to be? Why would you want to work there? Use various sources, not just the firm’s own website – look for news stories about them, blogs that mention them, customer review sites, etc.Make sure you have intelligent questions to ask about them – eg “I noticed xxx on your website, can you tell me more about how you do that?”Practice your answers – out loud; actually speaking answers is surprisingly different to ‘thinking them through’ in your head.Rope in a friend, give them a list of probable/possible questions you might be asked, and do a mock interview with them. Get them to do whatever makes you really nervous at interviews (glaring, sitting in silence letting you ramble on, etc)!Image is important – the way you look and dress and your body language and tone of voice do all make an impression on the people you meet.Always dress up for an interview, even if the daily dress where you’re going is jeans and tee-shirt!Always be well groomed – wash and style hair, clean and tidy nails, polish shoes, understated tie/jewelry, subtle scent.Use body language to show you are engaged, enthusiastic and full of energy – sit upright or lean slightly forward, smile (SMILE!), be animated (use your hands to gesture if that’s natural to you).Remember, there’s no point saying “I’m really outgoing / confident / good communicator / concise / etc” – if you are busy disproving yourself by your manner in the interview!
UCl Library & Information Students Career Day 2011 v0.1
Next Steps in Job Hunting<br />UCL MA LIS Career Day<br />Nicola Franklin<br />Fabric Recruitment<br />@NicolaFranklin<br />