There are jobs for English/CW majors at campus career fairs. It helps to know what you’re looking for, though.
ONE option (there are others — we’ll get to those in future posts) that English/CW majors should know about: management development programs. Sometimes called “leadership development” or “rotational programs,” these opportunities involve a one- to two-year commitment to a mid-size to large company. During that time, the new employee rotates through several different departments, learning how different parts of the company operate, trying out different skill sets, and and getting the big picture that will eventually help him or her flourish in a particular role. Here’s a post about one English alumna who is in the midst of such a program at Cintas.
If all goes well, at the end of the program, the employee is hired into a permanent managerial role in whichever part of the company is the best fit.
English and creative writing majors figuring out a career path often start with what they don’t want. “I don’t want to teach” is the first filter, often followed by “I don’t want a desk job.” Sometimes it’s more specifically, “I don’t want a corporate job.”
There are jobs that don’t involve desks, but they can encompass everything from freelance copywriting (and putting your laptop on whatever surface you choose) to being a transportation manager for Union Pacific (yes, the train company; yes, they employ English majors.)
There are jobs that don’t involve being employed by a corporation, but they can involve everything from being a case manager for an addiction treatment center to creating branding for a political campaign to running an afterschool program. Continue reading
If you haven’t yet written a resume, it’s time. You may not have needed a resume up to now, but having one ready makes it easy to apply for opportunities that arise.
A resume should be provisional, not set in stone. A good resume is always being revised to reflect both new things you do and the needs of the different employers that you send it to.
There is no one right way to write a resume. Different employers and industries have different expectations, and a well-chosen format can highlight your strengths. You can find many online templates to guide you.
This template is used by many programs here at the University of Illinois. Many employers who recruit on campus are familiar with this format, and it will help you get started.
We asked graduating senior Zoe Pawelczak (BA, English ’18) to share her advice about job-hunting as an English major. Here’s what she had to say.
Finding jobs can seem overwhelming, and it often times seems even more difficult as an English or creative writing major. After all, unlike engineering, advertising, etc. there is no career simply entitled English. As a senior graduating with a degree in creative writing and a minor in English, it was certainly easy to feel lost in the sea of engineers on this campus. But, once I started applying for jobs and interviewing I realized there is a market for the skills that we have gained through our majors. Continue reading