I attended the SLA-LIS Career Fair on January 12, 2009. Some of it was helpful but most of it reiterated what I already knew from prior workshops, especially the section on writing an impressive resume. The biggest problem was the poor technology interface as Ellen described in her post. Even though I was disappointed by some of the programs, it was a good networking opportunity.
The section on life after librarianship by Barbara McFadden Allen was the most helpful to me. Her advice on career transition and taking responsibility for your own career path was excellent. Employers are looking for certain attributes and skills : flexibility, intelligence, analytical thinking, resourcefulness, problem solving, leadership, teamwork, project management and clear communication. I found her advice better for updating my resume than information imparted in the resume writing workshop. She also spoke about career options. You can pursue "librarianish careers" with vendors or professional associations. There is also consulting. You can also expand on the portions of your position that interest you the most, e.g. IT, nonprofit management, teaching and communications. If you are expanding on your previous positions, you have to build a new network by going to meetings and trade shows about your new interest. Volunteer in an organization that pursues your chosen career path. Contribute articles to publications outside the library community. Self-assessment is vital. Ms. Allen recommended a website: www.grad.illinois.edu/careerservices/exploration. Remember, if you are starting a new path, you will be a beginner. Transition is difficult, so look for a mentor.
Elisa Topper listed the most important mistakes by jobseekers. Much of her advice can be found in other sources but it was useful to see the information as a list. If you are interested, I can send you the detailed list. Just email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.