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What Was I Thinking?? How to Protect Your Online Professional Brand

Everybody has lapses in judgment now and then – usually in the company of friends, loud music, and a multitude of alcoholic beverages.  But not until the advent of social media sites did those momentary lapses in judgment have the possibility of wreaking long-lasting damage on your job prospects and career. So now’s the time to make sure you’re avoiding any of these career-busting social media “bad ideas”:

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Asking to Connect on LinkedIn? Don’t Default to the Defaults

Two of the most powerful strategies for building your professional presence on LinkedIn are linking to others on the site and having people recommend your work and/or your skills. But how you reach out to people for linking and recommendation requests can either help you establish a great professional relationship with them or give the impression of carelessness and laziness.

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Building Your Network on LinkedIn? How to Ask for Links and Recommendations

At a recent workshop given by Scott Brown and me for the UCLA LIS students, one of the topics of highest interest was how to use LinkedIn, and for good reason: two of the most powerful strategies for building your professional presence on LinkedIn are linking to others on the site and having people recommend your work and/or your skills. But how you reach out to people for linking and recommendation requests can either help you establish a great professional relationship with them or give the impression of carelessness and laziness.

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Build Your Professional Equity

This has been a great year for conversations about “equity” – political equity, financial equity (or not), social equity.

From a conceptual standpoint, equity refers to how much investment you’ve built for a given asset, which might be your political reputation and influence, the value of your home relative to your mortgage, or the amount of standing and influence you have in your community of choice.

From a career standpoint, professional equity is a combination of the job skills, expertise, and experience you’ve accumulated, the relationships you’ve developed, and the reputation you’ve built so far in your career.

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Defending the MLIS: Top Ten Reasons That Getting an MLIS is a Really Smart Move

Recently I’ve been part of a discussion taking part in the classroom, on the LIS Career Options LinkedIn group, and among LIS friends and colleagues about how to respond to people who bash others’ decisions to pursue an MLIS. Some of the variations:

• You need a master’s degree to work in a library?
• You’ll never get a job (or one that pays anything)
• It’s stupid to go to graduate school at your age
• What on earth are you going to do with that?
• Are there even go to be libraries anymore?
• Why would you need a degree in that, everything’s on the Internet!

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Choosing MLIS Programs For the Career Strengths They Deliver

Prospective students tend to evaluate MLIS programs based on brand or price or location. Another way to evaluate potential programs, however, is within the framework of how well they’ll do at helping you create job prospects. In that case, you may want to explore the programs from a slightly different angle, considering the following program characteristics:

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Pump Up Your Portfolio While You’re in Grad School

Part of what you’re doing in grad school is positioning yourself for a versatile LIS career – and hopefully a great job – once you graduate. Having a solid portfolio or “evidence of accomplishments” you can point to, either via your resume or an online e-portfolio, will greatly increase your odds of landing a job quickly. Well, okay, more quickly….

The question is – between classes, internships, possible family commitments, and other obligations, who’s got the time?!

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Job-Hunting: Guerrilla Tactics for Landing that Job

Online applications not working for you? LIS job postings not delivering results? To paraphrase Prussian military strategist Carl von Clausewitz, these days job-hunting is the continuation of war by other means.

In that case, it may be time to bring out the big guns, as in Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap into the Hidden Job Market Using Social Media and 999 Other Tactics Today (Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry, Wiley, 2011).

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Announcing the Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference, November 2-3, 2011

Looking for a great way to connect with information professionals around the world? (Well, besides being a member of this group!) You’ll have an amazing opportunity to do just that this November by participating in the first library-focused worldwide virtual conference, to be held online, in multiple time zones over the course of two days.

Hosted by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University, the conference will be free for all attendees. Conference co-chairs Steve Hargadon and Dr. Sandy Hirsch, SLIS Director, are encouraging the broadest possible range of ideas and geographic representation in the call for proposals, currently open.

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Corporate Librarianship: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Over the years, I’ve read pretty much everything I could get my hands on written by Dr. James Matarazzo about corporate libraries . Dean Emeritus and Professor of Library and Information Science at Simmons, Dr. Matarazzo has long been considered the expert on the organization, management, and valuation of corporate libraries, as well as on the future of corporate librarianship.

Which is why I was so jazzed to be able to attend the “Corporate Library in Turbulent Times” presentation given by Toby Pearlstein (formerly with Bain & Co.) and Jim Matarazzo at the 2011 SLA conference. Based on a series of articles in Searcher magazine the two have written (see below), the presentation focused on how information professionals in corporate libraries can proactively identify warning signs that their library – or their jobs – are in jeopardy, and then take steps to act from a position of strength.

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