Job Search Strategies | Placements & Salaries 2019

LJ's 2019 Placements & Salaries survey considered how and when LIS students and grads conducted their job searches, and learned that 44 percent are hired before they finish their degrees. Job seekers are leveraging not only traditional outlets, such as listservs and employment sites, but social media and networking opportunities, too.

LJ's 2019 Placements & Salaries survey considered how and when LIS students and grads conducted their job searches, and learned that 44 percent are hired before they finish their degrees. Job seekers are leveraging not only traditional outlets, such as listservs and employment sites, but social media and networking opportunities, too.

 

SEARCH STRATEGIES

Respondents who conducted job searches were asked about their approach. Most initiated their search four to six months before graduation (30 percent); 24 percent started between one to three months before completing their programs, yielding an average lead time of 5.1 months. Some early birds started a year or more before graduation (13 percent), but the majority (71 percent) started during the year before graduation. Only 16 percent started after finishing their degrees. Among job-seeking graduates, 44 percent were hired before they graduated. For those whose searches extended past graduation, it took an average of 4.6 months to land a job. About a third of job seekers hunted for six months or more. These results are similar to 2017.

Graduates listed a wide range of helpful resources. Some used employment sites Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Handshake. As always, the ALA online job list was a favorite, but 2018 graduates also mentioned other associations such as the American Association of Law Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, Library Information Technology Association, Society of American Archivists, and state library associations. Others credited government job websites, university job sites and listservs, and HigherEdJobs.com. Job search resources specific to the field include INALJ, LibJobs, Libtechjobs, LibGig, and ArchivesGig. Graduates also networked with colleagues and librarians.

LIS schools employ various tools and strategies to help graduates move into professional life. Listservs are used by 85 percent of LIS schools to inform graduates (and students) about jobs; 51 percent of schools use social media. Student groups or activities come in at 49 percent and posting paper announcements in common areas is still surprisingly prevalent at 36 percent. Only 31 percent of schools have a formal placement service or center. The 2018 results follow the same pattern as 2017, but levels were lower.

The class of 2018 offered this advice: gather multiple opinions about your application materials; develop your presentation skills; be willing to relocate and consider opportunities overseas; demonstrate your people/social skills in interviews; practice mock interviews; remember that you are interviewing the employer, too; and start reading job postings when you start your program.

For the class of 2019 and beyond, the employment outlook for future librarians is on the rise. For survey methods, visit Survey Methods | Placements & Salaries 2019.

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