Should You Leave the MLS off Your Resume?

by Sarah Roark Schott, Head Editor, INALJ Arizona

Should You Leave the MLS off Your Resume?

SarahRoarkSchottINALJI recently left my job in Arizona and moved to another state. The move is slightly temporary; I only plan on living here for a year unless my partner or I find amazing positions here. Unfortunately library or archive type jobs are difficult to find in my new state, so I have made the decision to apply for jobs that do not require an MLS or even a graduate degree. For the first couple of weeks I used a condensed and simplified version of my resume to apply for a wide variety of jobs, anything from Starbucks, to entry level part time public library jobs, to data entry. I have yet to hear back from any of the non-library employers, and that got me thinking, and then talking with a few friends who are in similar situations. Should we leave our degrees off the resume when we apply for entry level jobs, part time positions in libraries that do not require an MLS, or unrelated positions? Should we rely only on our past work and volunteer experience to catch an employer’s eye?

We have all been told not to lie on resumes or cover letters, but what about leaving the graduate degree off to appear a little less overqualified? A while ago I read an article on Vice about this very topic, and I’ve had conversations with friends and family members about it during the past couple of years. Leaving graduate degrees off resumes seems to work for some people. I think I am going to drop the MLS when I apply for non-library/archive positions for a week, and see what results I get. I’ll report back to you next month. INALJ is a great site to discuss this issue, I hope you will comment and help start an interesting and well balanced conversation.

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