Job search, information literacy, and the need for an information science perspective

A colleague sent me this article, which is a summary of research findings suggesting that less than half of young people in Scotland are successful at finding a job online. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those from disadvantaged backgrounds have fared the worst, and are less likely to have asked a professional for assistance.

For those of us with a background in library and information science, this will not come as a surprise. The issue here, it seems, is that being able to operate ICTs does not necessarily equate to being information literate:

Information literacy: “Knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner” (CILIP, 2016).

My own research findings, at this preliminary stage, also point in the same direction. That is to say, insofar as using social media to find job search information is concerned, people aged 16-24 are not necessarily confident in their abilities to do so.

This is why I would argue that more job search research needs to be conducted from an information science perspective – perhaps now more than ever. As stated by Wanberg (2012, p.3), “job search has become so pervasive and frequent that it is now considered to be an integral part of work”.

People have almost innumerable information sources from which they can access job search information (not only job adverts, but CV help, interview advice, company profiles etc.). This information can be critical to their career development, and the choices they make – now, and in future job searches. As such, understanding job search information behaviours should be a priority.

 

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