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Rejoining the profession

Rejoining the profession

Maybe you’ve taken a career break and you’re now faced with the hurdle of getting back on the career ladder. Or maybe you’ve been working outside the information profession for a few years and have decided it’s time to come back. Either way it can be tricky to break back in once you’ve been out of the sector for a while.

Skills based CVs

The first thing you’ll need to do is write yourself a skills based CV. this is a CV that groups your experience according to the skills you’ve developed rather than a chronological list of the jobs you’ve had. The advantage is that it brings your skills and experience to the forefront and enables employers to focus on those, rather than on job titles or a long gap in your work history.

You can find more advice on writing a skills based CV here:

Writing your CV

If you’re a bit out of practice at this sort of thing and need a hand in grouping your skills and experience in a way that’s relevant to the profession, take a look at our Professional Knowledge and Skills Base and see where your skills fit in.


If you’ve completed a level of Professional Registration with CILIP in the past and are making a return to the sector, we’d recommend revalidating your Certification, Chartership or Fellowship. Revalidating your Professional Registration after a break shows that you are in touch with the sector and committed to continuing your career as an information professional.


Professional Registration

Finding a new job

Finding the role that’s right for you is rarely easy, particularly if you’ve been out of the sector for a while and are unsure where to start. Our guide will take you through everything you need to find your next job, whether it be finding advertised roles, working with recruitment consultants, polishing your CV and cover letter or honing your interview technique.

Finding a job

Using a recruitment agency

If you need an extra hand in getting your CV up to scratch, or want to chat to someone knowledgeable about how roles and expectations in the sector have changed, you’ll want to consider using a recruitment agency to help you get back into the sector.

Specialist recruitment agencies for the information profession include CB Resourcing, Sue Hill Recruitment, TFPL and Glenn Recruitment. They’ll all be able to help you polish your CV and give advice about the current state of the job market.

What do Recrutiment agencies want?

Using a recruitment agency

The library and information sector has seen considerable change over the last 20 years creating a whole host of new roles and responsibilities. By having a better understanding of what roles are available, you’ll be better placed to find work that suits your skill set and personality.

Careers resources for CILIP members

In addition to the advice available here, CILIP members have access to a range of careers resources on our eLearning Hub.

The Library Returners blog also contains a wealth of information and advice for anyone looking to return to a career in libraries after a break of any kind.

I've said before that one of the joys of working in this profession is that we are an honourable profession with honourable people with a very strong values base.

Sue Lacey Bryant Topol Review Programme Manager at Health Education England; Senior Advisor, Knowledge for Healthcare, HEE, CILIP Conference 2018

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