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Problems with “Don’t apply if you’re not qualified”

Thanks to everyone for their advice on my previous post on job search advice!  Several folks had issues with my statement: “Don’t apply for a job you’re not qualified for”, and looking back I can see why, with such a broad-sweeping statement.  Many librarians are quick to discount themselves from jobs because of a lack of experience, but as Peter, Karen and others pointed out, you might be surprised (both pleasantly and unpleasantly) with the results of a job interview, so go ahead and apply.

Another problem that I thought of for the “Don’t apply for a job you’re not qualified for” is career/area changes.  Although I’m trained as a Reference librarian, I’m too fascinated with all areas of librarianship to do just one thing for my whole life.  I anticipate that eventually I’ll move away from Reference and try my hand at something else- -but to do that I’ll need to apply for a job I’m not “qualified” for, having no real experience in those areas.  However, I’ll also try to gain as much education (and experience if possible) before I apply to further strengthen my application.  Anyone want to take on a reference librarian for an extra, online internship?!?

Alas, I will stick with my original point in one respect:  I will probably not apply for a job as a library director, head of automated services, university president or astronaut without a little more experience.  Especially that astronaut job, tempting as it is.

Thanks for the great conversation, everyone- -keep it going!

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