Yes, English/CW Majors Can Find Jobs or Internships at Career Fairs

Career Fair season is upon us.early-job-fair

If you’ve been anywhere near the English department, you’ve seen signs for the Arts and Culture Career Fair in Chicago on Feb. 5, but that is by no means the only one!

* more information available on I-Link

How do you find “more information…on I-Link”?  Log onto I-Link and then click on the blue “Events” tab at the top of the page.  Click “Career Fairs” on the pull-down menu, then click on the particular fair that interests you.  You’ll find information on who is coming and what kinds of positions they are seeking to fill.  Use this information!  Advance preparation is the difference between a good career fair experience and a bad one.

There are LOTS of ways to start getting ready for a career fair, particularly the Business Career Fair, which is coming up quickly.

English, Creative Writing, and ToE majors should plan to attend How to Sell Your English/CW Degree at a Career Fair on Wed., Jan. 27, 5 – 6pm in EB 104.  Learn how to find a job or internship at the Business Career Fair (Feb. 3 and 4) and the Arts and Culture Career Fair (Feb. 5) at this event. Hear from students who’ve been there and get advice on what to wear, what to bring, how to prepare, how to “pitch,” and how to hold your own as an English or CW major at these events.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is also holding two sessions (same content, different times), “How to Sell Your LAS Degree at the Business Career Fair and Engineering Career Fair”: Tues., Jan. 26, 12:30-1:30 p.m., 1002 Lincoln Hall
or  Mon., Feb. 1, 4-5 p.m., 1002 Lincoln Hall.

Can’t attend any of these sessions?  Read up on what to expect!  We have advice on attending the Business Career Fair and advice on what to expect at the Arts and Culture Career Fair.

Don’t have an interview suit?   Doesn’t mean you can’t go (and in fact, if you have your sights on the Arts and Culture Career Fair, you’re probably better off without a suit).  The Career Closet at The Career Center offers gently used clothes for students; it’s open Thurs., Jan. 28, noon – 3pm and Fri., Jan. 29, noon – 2pm, The Career Center’s Interview Suite, 616 E Green St, Champaign, Room 213. (Enter the Kaplan door by McDonald’s.)

If you’d like to review your resume, practice your pitch, discuss the pros and cons of attending, or practice parsing job descriptions, make an appointment with Kirstin Wilcox by emailing


I-Link for English Department Majors

I-Link logoDepartmentOfEnglish_graphic_vertical (2)


What is I-Link?

I-Link is the University of Illinois’s campus-wide recruiting platform, where tens of thousands of jobs and internships are posted annually.  Students and recent alumni can search for employment and internship opportunities; sign-up for interviews and job shadowing programs; research the employers coming to career fairs; and view a full calendar of career programs and events.

I-Link is available at or through the Campus Career Center (  It will ask you for some basic information about yourself the first time you use it; after that you’ll be able to log in with your NetID.

How do I find jobs for English and Creative Writing majors on I-Link?

The opening screen of I-Link presents a bewildering array of options, but for  job and internship openings, click “Jobs” in the middle of the blue bar at the top and then select the first menu option, “I-Link Jobs.”  From there,

  • Click “Advanced Search” towards the upper right of the screen.
  • Use the “Position Type” menu to limit your search to “Internship/Coop (degree in progress)” if you’re looking for internship opportunities or “Full Time Entry Level” if you’re looking for post-graduation positions.
  • Ignore the “Job Function” menu (it’s used by employers seeking engineering students, but doesn’t work well with other kinds of job searches.)
  • Type a keyword into the search bar—but NOT your major. For example, “editing,” “writing,” “communications,” “social media” and then click the “Search” box.
  • Alternatively, select a category in the “Industry” menu; for example, “Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation,” “Communications Services/Media,” “Education & Educational Services,” “Marketing & Advertising Services,” “Museums, Historical Sites, Libraries, Etc.,” “ Non-Profit/Philanthropy,” “Print & Publishing,” and “Social & Human Services,”   and then click the “Search box”  Don’t consider yourself limited to those categories, however!  See what’s available in any field that interests you.
  • If you don’t know what a particular job title means, scroll down to the list of “qualifications” and see if you have them.
  • Don’t worry if “English” or “Creative Writing” isn’t listed as a preferred major. If you have a significant number of the other qualifications, you can consider your major a “related field.”

Do I need to upload a resume?

No. Some campus programs and some jobs require you to have a resume uploaded to I-Link but most do not.  Only upload a resume when you know what you need it for—your resume should be tailored to the specific opportunity.  When you DO need to have a resume on file, go to the “Home” screen and click “Upload your resume now” under your name on the left-hand side of the screen.


Starting Your Search for Spring or Summer Internships

findinternshipsIt’s not too early to start thinking about spring or summer internships.

Spring semester internships are starting to get advertised on the Internships page of this website.

For summer internships, your search should begin with I-Link, the U of I’s own job search database.  If you haven’t used I-Link before, you’ll need to provide some basic information the first time you log in, but after that your NetID and password will take you straight to it, and the “Jobs” tab will take you to “I-Link Jobs.”

Some hints for searching effectively:

  1. Use the “Advanced Search” button, but DO NOT type anything into the search bar.
  2. Though it’s the most prominent, ignore the “Job Function” menu.
  3. Use the “Position Type” menu to limit your search to “Internship/Co-op (degree in progress).”
  4. Use the “Industry” menu to search within fields that interest you.
  5. Don’t rule out an interesting-sounding opportunity until you’ve looked specifically at the qualifications the employer is seeking.  You may be more qualified than you think, particularly if you keep in mind that English is frequently an “other related major.”

Once you’re logged into I-Link you’ll be able to see the positions curated by LAS for its majors.

An additional source for finding internships specifically with not-for-profit organizations is

Is there a particular company or organization you dream of working with?  Check their website–they may offer internships.


If You’re Not on I-Link, You Should Be!

I-Link, not to be confused with LinkedIn, is the University of Illinois’s job database, managed by our own Career Center.  You should know about it because many opportunities for U. of I students (like these upcoming on-campus interviews with the PR firm MARC USA) are ONLY posted there.  If you’re not logged into I-Link when you click on a link to it, you will not be able to see it.

You can log onto I-Link with your NetID and password.  The first time you log on, you will have some questions to answer, but once you’ve answered them, you won’t have to again.  You have the option of uploading a resume and more detailed information, but it’s probably a good idea to hold off on doing that until you know you’re applying for a job that will require it.

Once on I-Link you can find lots of things, but you have to know how to look. Scrolling through the list of jobs is NOT the way to do it!  Using the “Advanced Search” bar to locate entry-level jobs or internships in particular fields that interest you is much more effective. I-Link is vital when you prepare for a career fair on campus:  you can get detailed information about who will be there and what kinds of positions they are seeking to fill so that you can tailor your resume and elevator pitch accordingly.

Not sure what to do with I-Link? The Career Center offers “I-Link Drop-In Hours” where you can learn more about how to use it effectively