Published: August 20, 2021 by Gillian Collins
When you are a student, it is natural to focus your efforts on your courses, your average, and how much Very organized Types, your e-Portfolio items. But since the goal of getting a master’s degree is to get a job that can help launch a career you love, now is also a great time to pay attention to an equally important asset: your professional appearance.
What is professional visibility?
Professional visibility helps to open up opportunities for you to make an active contribution to the field, ones that will have a positive effect on others. Also known as who knows what about you and how many people know it (i.e., your professional reputation or brand).
Raising your visibility as a pro does not happen overnight. Rather, it is the result of consistent practice and contribution to the profession. Yes, even as a student!
What to do You’re Want To be known?
Everyone has a different perspective on what they most like to be known for professionally, but one of the most appreciated contributions you can make is to just get excited. Share what – and Why – A certain area of information excites you (including librarianship). When you get excited about something, it feels like nothing can stop you, and that optimism and passion become part of what you are known for. Think about why you are attracted to any area of the library and information science field, approach and ask why you are specifically attracted.
During your career the specific interests of your information will likely grow as circumstances change and new opportunities / technologies emerge, but if passionate curiosity and openness to new ideas are part of what people associate with you, you have already established the foundation for a strong and visible professional reputation.
how could are you Be more visible?
- Perform actions that others will notice. What attracts your attention gets the attention of others. In our digital life, even as students you can build an audience with tools like a blog or an Instagram presence, or by participating in conversations in a relevant LinkedIn group. (Do not hesitate to let everyone know that you are a student – most LIS professionals are very supportive of MLIS students.) Join, and participate in unions, or informal groups that share the same interests.
- Seek cooperation. If you can fit it into your schedule, contact practitioners or faculty members who have announced an interesting internship, assistance, or project idea that interests you. Look for collaborative opportunities. Working alone shows only one side of you; Collaborating with colleagues shows those colleagues – and others in your field – not just what are you Bring to the LIS table, but also how you support others to do so.
- Focus on active participation. Take the opportunity to share your passion with others. Be known for this passion. What if you contact the author of a newsletter article that caught your eye? How about submitting an article you wrote for publication? What about presenting at a conference? Look for ways to communicate with the community. Your “student’s point of view” is valuable. If you become a contributor to something, it demonstrates a willingness to share and learn.
Explore and share
Information, oddly enough, is everywhere. And it also happens to be the kind of thing that attracts information professionals … like us! As you increase your LIS knowledge base in your areas of interest during your graduate school, think about how you can turn your findings into useful information for others. Share your insights, whether writing a professional advertising submission, or starting a conversation with your skills to demonstrate trends you see. Share tips, suggest improvements and use your excellent communication skills!
Your goal: to inform the LIS world that even as an undergraduate student, you are already at a professional level when it comes to engaging, contributing and pursuing your passions in LIS. The more “visible” you can be with this message, the better.
A quick jot from Gillian
Building your professional presence is not an overnight thing. Thinking about it this way will create the mentality of ‘one more thing I need to do …’. But you can be visible and not understand it. I felt like one opportunity came straight. But it turns out it came from a previous interaction that had a serious impact.
As Scott Brown told me in our interview, we all cultivate our curiosity, building this interest constantly, especially as students. Transfer that mentality to what you want to do in the post-school world. It should not feel like a chore that you have to complete now
You rejected. When you actively and regularly advertise your ideas, opinions, questions and interactions out there, you can not help but experience growth in your professional visibility. You affect the community as much as the community affects you.
Director, Library Research Services. RAND Corporation. Full time. Santa Monica CA; Other Places. Apply through
RAND Corporation Employment Opportunities
- archivist. United States Department of the Interior, National Parks Service. Full time. Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida. Submit on USA Jobs
Mark your diary!
ALA Virtual Volunteer Fair hosted by the American Library Association
- date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021
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- date: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
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