What Do Employers Want? A Guide for Library Science Students

By Priscilla K. Shontz; Richard A. Murray | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Practical Experience

A job. I’ve never had a job. I don’t know the first thing about having a
job. All I’ve got on my resume is academic achievements, which will
mean doodly-squat when I’m in line with eleven thousand people vying
for an opening in the gardening department at Walmart.

Gilmore Girls, 2000

What could be more important than having that MLS in your hand? Well, while that degree is an essential requirement for most library jobs, it’s even more important for you to get practical, hands-on, relevant work experience. Gaining relevant work experience while you’re in school is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your chances of being hired as a new graduate. As Clint Chamberlain said,

To be honest, the lack of knowledge and experience that some
recently-minted MLS grads bring to the table is shocking. It seems as
though some students emerge from their graduate programs with little
idea of what day-to-day life in a library setting is like. Students who
have some kind of library work experience will rise to the top of the
resume heap when applying for jobs. The experience need not be full-
time; extensive volunteer work, part-time employment, internships,
and other kinds of experience in the workplace are invaluable in help-
ing job applicants set themselves apart.

-19-

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What Do Employers Want? A Guide for Library Science Students
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Chapter 1 - What Employers Want 1
  • Section 1 - The Student Experience 9
  • Chapter 2 - Your MLS Education 11
  • Chapter 3 - Practical Experience 19
  • Chapter 4 - Your Professional Identity 29
  • Chapter 5 - Additional Skills 37
  • Section 2 - The Job Search 45
  • Chapter 6 - How Employers Hire 47
  • Chapter 7 - Your Job Search 55
  • Chapter 8 - Resumes 61
  • Chapter 9 - Cover Letters 79
  • Chapter 10 - Interviews 87
  • Chapter 11 - Your New Job 105
  • Resources 111
  • Index 115
  • About the Authors 119
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