Tips to Prepare for the SLIS Career Fair

April 13, 2016

Em Claire Knowles

Assistant Dean Knowles and Student Sarah Towne on the Library and Information Science Career and Networking Fair

InfoLink recently spoke with Em Claire Knowles, Assistant Dean of Student and Alumni Affairs, and Sarah Towne, LIS Career Fair Student Coordinator, to discuss the upcoming Career Fair. This year, additional career preparation sessions have been offered to SLIS students in advance of the fair.

“The career preparation sessions began in response to student needs,” Em Claire says. “We had faculty members offering cover letter and resume advice to students during Spring Break, and we wanted to capitalize on that. We joined forces with SLIS West, the Career Education Center (CEC), and we got Amy Ryan on board.” SLIS Liaison Librarian Linda Schuller has offered sessions in cover letter and resume review. CEC Assistant Director Clare Feiner has offered resume and cover letter review at “drop-in” sessions, and sessions on Preparing to Network at a Career Fair. Advisor-in-residence Amy Ryan meets with students in one-on-one sessions which, Sarah reports, are always fully booked. The career planning events have been a huge success.

Sarah, a second semester LIS student, says her role as a student has helped her think critically of what would best address student’s needs. “I think to myself: ‘How would I prepare for a career fair? What are the gaps in my understanding?’ I ask my peers about their career planning, what fears and concerns they have. From this I’ve been able to figure out what type of sessions we should offer.”

Em Claire encourages all students to attend the career fair, even if they are not currently searching for professional employment. “The benefit of a career fair is that you can learn about jobs and internships outside of your concentration—you may be surprised to find interest in something you hadn’t considered before. Networking is also an important part of the job searching, be it for internships, pre-professional, or professional employment.”

Sarah's Tips

1. KEEP AN OPEN MIND

Sarah encourages students to consider new options, beyond their current course of study. “Just think: What else is there beyond what I think I want to do? Keep an open mind and you’ll be exposed to new opportunities. Attending student group events (SLA, Spectra) is another great way to be exposed to new possibilities.” In fact, it was at an SLA event that Sarah met Em Claire, and that meeting led to her current position.

2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK

“Take five minutes to review the list of exhibitors, to get a sense of the employers who will be present." 

3. USE OUR RESOURCES

Email your resume to Clare Feiner for review. A second set of (experienced) eyes can make all the difference!

4. BE PREPARED

Wear business casual clothes and bring your business cards and a few print copies of your resume.

“This year’s career fair is in the evening, which we hope will allow more students and alums to attend.” Em Claire says. “We hope to see a lot of people there this year.”