Where Do English/CW Majors Find Jobs?

job-search-276893_1920Here are links to some of the specialized job boards where English and Creative Writing majors can find openings particularly well suited to their skills. There’s not an industry in the world that doesn’t need people who can communicate effectively and solve problems with words, so English and CW majors are NOT limited to this list of resources, but these are good starting places for a targeted job search.

  • The I-Link widget over there on the right-hand side of this site’s home page: a continuously updated list of recent additions to I-Link of interest to English department majors.
  • I-Link itself: this University of Illinois resource connects students and recent alumni to employers who are looking to hire Illini.  The interface can be frustrating, but the “Advanced Search” option will help you zero in on the openings of interest to you.)
  • Chicago Artists Resource (shows job openings at arts and cultural organizations in the Chicago area)
  • Idealist.org (specializes in openings at nonprofit organizations of all kinds)
  • USAjobs.gov (database of all federal government jobs, including internships in DC, at national parks, in the Smithsonian museum system, etc.)
  • Bookjobs.com (particularly helpful for internships in publishing)
  • The National Association of Independent Schools posts openings in private schools.
  • Higheredjobs.com/admin offers openings (many of them entry-level) in higher education administration.
  • Tech customer support is a well-paid growth industry in which English/CW majors can thrive.

Big all-purpose sites:

How to Get a Job in Publishing

Last week Dawn Durante and James Engelhardt, acquisitions editors at the University of Illinois Press, came to the Department of English to offer their advice and experience on working in the publishing industry.

Some specific suggestions they had:

  1. Understand the publishing process and recognize that there are a lot of different points of entry.life-cycle-of-a-book
  2. Recognize that the publishing industry has many different dimensions: not just the well-known large trade publishers in New York, but also regional presses, university presses, specialty publishers.
  3. The path to a stable full-time job in the business can be long and winding. It is, said Durante, “very apprenticelike.”
  4. Look for ways to get relevant experience working: internships, volunteer work, paid employment. Note that experience doesn’t have to be directly in the publishing industry to be relevant.
  5. Follow publishing houses that interest you on Twitter.
  6. Get familiar with the range of publishers out there and the wide variety of jobs in the industry by keeping up with relevant professional and trade websites:

Making the Most of the Alumni Connection on LinkedIn

Sometimes, the Department of English Alumni Mentoring Network is not enough. Say you’re interested in a specific industry that isn’t represented there, or you’d like insider information on a particular company or you’re looking to relocate and want to start building a network in your new city. Here’s a useful article on how LinkedIn can help you connect with play-stone-1237497_1920Illinois English alumni beyond our mentoring network.

Not sure how to write to a stranger who just happened to graduate from the same program as you? Consult our guide on how to write a “cold email.

Psssst! Save the Date: LAS in CU 10/19


The first ever LAS (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) Internship Fair will take place on Wed., Oct. 19, in the Illini Union, from noon to 4pm. Meet a wide range of local and campus employers with internship opportunities for Department of English (and other) majors.


Not sure how a career fair works? Confused about how to communicate with employers and come across as an appealling candidate?  Consider enrolling in ENGL 199 – MMM: Career and Internship Fair Prep

  • ONLINE Aug. 22 – Oct.14 (first eight weeks)
  • One Credit
  • Who should take it: Students at ANY stage of their studies who want to explore career possibilities and connect to potential employers by attending career fairs. This course is specifically designed to prep you for the LAS Internship Fair, which will take place Oct. 19, the week after the course has ended, but the skills you learn will be applicable to any career or internship fair, including the Illini Career and Internship Fair, the Business Career Fair, or the Arts and Culture Career Fair. You will learn to tailor your resume, research career fair opportunities, construct an effective elevator pitch, network, and use the career fair to advance your own goals.
  • How to register: use CRN 65563