Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Resume Review & Planning for the Future – Ready to Upload

Whenever the end of the semester rolls around, I always start thinking about the future. I have a very day-to-day planning style throughout the semester. I plan my days out and try to focus in the moment so as not to overwhelm myself with how much I have going on. Luckily for me we have the Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA) on campus that sends out emails every week with all the events going on around campus! This is how I found out that Student Services was organizing resume reviews with Amy Ryan, a former president of the Boston Public Library and honorary advisor at SLIS.

I have to start off by saying I am a shy, sensitive soul (shocking for a library student, I know) and was genuinely terrified of having someone look over and critique my resume and cover letter. Especially someone as impressive as Amy! I was very worried about the regular things about one’s resume, is what I have enough or not enough? Should I put my education above my work experience? Is an object statement necessary? Is it eye catching enough? Does it really have to be all on one page or is that just a myth forced upon us during undergraduate?

The meetings with Amy were set up in half hour sessions and students from all stages in the MS program were encouraged to sign up and I am so grateful I did! Even though I am only in my first semester in the program, I wanted to get as much feedback, advice, and networking opportunities as I can! I was also very nervous about my lack of actual library experience. My background has always been in museums and development work. I had volunteered in an archive previously but I was not sure how much weight that would hold on my resume.

Amy was very helpful in reassuring me that my resume and cover letter were overall pretty good, but just needed some tweaks and embellishments on wordings. She also gave advice on what to stress to future employers as a student. I brought a printed copy of both my resume and cover letter which Amy was able to write notes and advice on. This was so incredibly helpful to refer back to afterwards. On top of asking all my burning resume formatting questions (Amy agrees that resumes CAN be more than one page), I was able to ask her how best to network in this field.

Networking has always been the scariest thing to me about being an adult job seeker and now that I am in a field I really love I am somehow more nervous! She recommended reaching out first to someone you are comfortable with, such as your local library that you frequent or your professor who shares an interest in the field. She talked about how it is important to think of networking like build any other relationship. You want to not only be their associate but on some base level, their friend. She also mentioned the importance of checking in with the contacts you are trying to build frequently. I was always too shy or nervous to start building these type of professional relationships but her advice on just simply asking for permission and how most library folk are excited to meet with current students really helped put my mind at ease. So much so in fact that over winter break, I will be helping out at the library and media center at my old high school! My aunt is the media specialist there so who better to help me start gaining experience and honing my networking skills then family! Plus best of all I’ll be back in sunny Florida working on my tan, getting some vitamin D, and most importantly not waiting for the bus in freezing New England temperatures!