by Nicole Usiondek, Head Editor, INALJ Michigan
To Brand or not to Brand?
Members of the librarian field are very familiar with the importance of having an online presence. During my library school orientation, and each and every class thereafter, the faculty stressed the importance of having an online presence and even the concept of personal branding. I half-heartedly started a blog and joined twitter, but with school and work I did not really get into the swing of things.
After graduation I spent months looking for a full time librarian role. I volunteered as much as I could and tried to say positive. At the end of 2012, I took an honest look at myself and realized that I wasn’t really committing myself to creating an online presence or a personal brand. I sat down and thought long and hard about the skills I can bring to the table and about my personality traits that aren’t obvious in a resume. At that moment I made the commitment to myself to spend 2013 driving my career.
I became the head editor of the Michigan INALJ page and began to network with the online librarian community. I restarted my blog and twitter account and I began to look at each cover letter and resume as a chance to grow as a professional. I am an annoyingly happy, positive person and I decided to let that shine through in my interactions with my colleagues.
Within a few months I had landed a full time librarian position. It still is a surprise to me that after two years of job hunting, once I made the commitment to myself I was able to find a position within a matter of months. I was told that it was my online presence that asked them to interview me and my positive outlook (and experience) that prompted them to offer the role to me.
My advice to anyone in a rut is to take an honest look at what you want and what you are doing to get there. Then really make your mark on the community; even the smallest of marks makes an impression to someone.