Carrie McKnight Wants to Help You Succeed – SJSU

Published: February 4, 2021 by Gillian Collins

We were disturbed. 2020 was a sharp turnaround from what we could expect, not just as students, but as individuals. The first part of my interview with Carrie McKnight, SJSU’s Career Counselor for Graduate Students, focused on the fantastic tools available to you through the SJSU Career Center.

The big questions

Carrie and I talked about two aspects of the disorder we all experience:

  1. How to address the lack of job history during the possible months and years of unemployment due to lack of employee recruitment;
  2. How to develop the flexibility and adaptability that is so critical to our changing circumstances.

Unsurprisingly, Curry had good advice on both issues, and how you should be prepared to address any gaps in your work history as a result. And when you change gears so fast in your personal life, your professional goals or the desired path may do the same. These two things go hand in hand, but in a way that gives more hope than despair.

How to bridge the corona gap

My first question to Carrie was how to explain the employment gaps in your resume and cover letter when the COVID epidemic “ended”. She had two clever tactics here, and also identified ways perhaps to make this downtime positive. Carrie’s recommendations:

  • Address this in your cover letter. Carrie advised that you could briefly address any gaps during an epidemic that affected your ability to work, but stay focused on what you are Made Develop all professional skills during your downtime. By “describing your experience,” as Carrie put it, your cover letter should “focus on your accomplishments and your core competencies and your core competencies.” In addition, Carrie stressed that addressing the gap in COVID has an opportunity to show your strengths. Mentioning “your accomplishments, or important points from your experiences” – for example, how you evaluated your career preferences or exploring a variety of job titles that you can apply to your MLIS experience – shows all A potential employer in your determination not to let time slip away. Every achievement that has taken place during a global epidemic is something to be proud of.
  • Be proud of yourself. The plague was an unexpected event that none of us could plan or control, but you managed to keep up with your work pace in the course while juggling work upheavals, personal disruptions and chaos all around. It’s a great achievement, And one that talks about your resilience, perseverance, self-management and maturity. Life has been an ongoing test in the past year, and you have passed excellently (okay, straight A!). You need to be the owner of this achievement, know that it is who you are, and be proud of yourself.

Unfortunately, Carrie maintains a positive outlook in this area. A global epidemic that has shaken everything and affected everyone in different ways is “just a reference to so many people in the same situation … I do not think it’s going to be really unusual for employers or human resources people to see this happen during implementation.”

Focus on resilience and adaptability

The second issue Carrie addressed was how to be prepared for the unpredictability of the current and expected labor market. Her advice:

  • Be flexible. This was the most pragmatic and personal advice Carrie gave: “Be prepared in many different ways.” In every job you encounter the unexpected, and according to Curry, the more open you are to responding positively to the unexpected, the more flexible, flexible and capable you become. During a job interview, you can talk about how you dealt with the unexpected (because basically right now we all live in the unexpected), you become your own best testimony to that critical workforce, adaptability.
  • Drawer planning and career planning go hand in hand. As Carrie put it, asking yourself questions to open yourself up to other possibilities allows for more room for opportunity. She encourages students to be open to Programs B and C. “So if we take these programs into account, what were your initial career goals? Why did you go into graduate school? What did you originally want to do, but also remember the B or C program?”

“You may need to get other opportunities or explore other opportunities or other jobs for a period of time. But just make sure that other opportunities or other jobs allow you to build skills, especially related or transferable skills, that may still help you in your journey.” Carrie McNight

  • Stay in the course, in your work in the course. No one will deter you from your MLIS goals. Keep yourself on track, but be prepared to roll with the waves. “[It’s] Like sticking to a program, “Carrie said,” but be open to other opportunities or other things that might come up along the way … We advise students to cultivate that kind of open-mindedness. ”
  • Be authentic with your personal brand. The importance of a personal brand should not be underestimated, in Carrie’s opinion. The basis for understanding the impression you make on other people should be introspection and self-reflection. “What’s special about you? What’s interesting about your story, what’s your background?” All of these are important considerations and will help you figure out what traits you want to be known for. In this process, use these creative tools to increase your professional visibility.

All the flexibility, tenacity and the way you use it, this is where you shine. Wherever you go from there, this is what Carrie would ask you: “How do you get this message across [from your personal
brand] Out into the world, [and] To the job market? ”

Achievements on display!

As Carrie noted, she is eager to help you move forward, but it’s all up to you. Use the tools and opportunities now. Take responsibility and be open to new opportunities. You are the future of libraries. Evaluate your strengths and adopt what you can do now to adapt to the future.

A quick jot from Gillian

The strongest I ever felt was when I started dealing with an opponent in my career. Early on I had to choose whether to stay in one area, or grow in another direction. I decided to grow up, not stay. It was a decision that I am Did, but there was not much in line in terms of the next step. Eventually I entered various workplaces, where I gained work experience, and built emotional resilience. If a temporary show ended before I thought it would happen, it hurt me to leave suddenly, but eventually I saw how I could get back up and move on. Keep it up, but keep up the important experiences. In the best times and the worst times, I am able to endure. Now, we have a global epidemic, which is, of course, the ultimate test of both personal recognition of accomplishments and awareness that reality must be treated as an innovative opportunity.

This is how I responded to Carrie’s advice on these difficult issues. Usually, the focus on career achievement stays on what you have access to (e.g., handshake, LinkedIn, etc.) and who can help you online. But taking on personal obstacles is what I wanted to address. Carrie made it clear that even an epidemic should not stop you. As strange as it sounds, you can see a clear picture in the chaos. Hard to focus, so follow a re-frame. I know we all have different circumstances, many of which are exacerbated by the plague and other uncontrollable events. What you do control is where you go from here.

Turn to Curry. Use the SJSU Career Center. Strategy to be your best defense attorney; Open yourself to what may not be waiting for you because you may love it.

Selected career opportunities

  • Assistant Metadata Services Manager. New York Public Library, Metadata Services Unit. (Long Island City, New York). Full-time, may require travel to Long Island City, New York. Apply through
    Career of NYPL
  • Specializes in academic editing. Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc. (New York, New York). Part-time paid job, temporarily remote. Apply through Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.


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