1. Our department’s “Director of Internships” does a lot of other things, too: putting students in touch with helpful alumni, reviewing resumes, suggesting possible career paths, helping students articulate their skills.
2. There are jobs for people with English and Creative Writing skills, and Kirstin Wilcox can help point you towards them.
3. It will make your parents happy.
4. It’s really not as painful or awkward as you think it’s going to be.
5. It’s easier than locating a job cannon and more likely to succeed.
In addition to the suggestions below, “like” the English Advising Facebook page and connect on Twitter so that you can stay abreast of relevant speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities. Also, read your email! The English Advising office sends out frequent updates about jobs and job-hunting events.
Also: if you have questions about ANY of this, email email@example.com to ask. Chances are, if you’re wondering, other people are, too–and you might inspire a helpful follow-up blog post.
Forget everything anyone has ever said to you about the unemployability of English majors. It’s just wrong. The world is full of problems that can only be solved with Continue reading →
Figure out which fairs you will attend and why. There are lots of reasons, beyond getting a summer internship or post graduation job: to learn more about jobs and employers that might interest you, to practice your interviewing/networking skills, to get to know employers that you’d like to work with after you graduate.
Start researching (where possible) the employers that you would like to talk to. I-Link is already listing the employers who will be attending the Business Career Fair.
Fill any gaps in your wardrobe. Contrary to what you may have heard, suits are NOT a requirement. A suit may help you make a good impression at the Business Career Fair, but it will just show you to be out of place at the Arts and Culture Fair or the Startup Fair. Some good business casual pieces (slacks, skirts, collared shirts, professional-looking tops, jacket, dress shoes) will help you look professionally appropriate in a range of contexts.
Update your resume (or create one if you haven’t yet).
Think about how you will introduce yourself to potential employers. You don’t need to memorize an elevator pitch, but you should be prepared to start a conversation in which you can point out your relevant skills and experience.
The holidays? They can be stressful, particularly when they give your family members opportunities to quiz you about your plans after graduation. This year, your career plans (or lack thereof) may be a welcome distraction from politics, so all the more reason to brace yourself for those conversations.
Be prepared. These conversations often stem from loving concern. Look for ways to reassure the people who care about you that you’re on your way to a stable, self-supporting adult life. Some things that will demonstrate that you are headed towards a career path:
get to know I-Link and start checking it regularly to learn more about the kinds of jobs you’d like to apply for. (Pro-tip: use the “Advanced Search” window in “I-Link Jobs,” but refrain from typing into the search bar; instead use the “Industry” and “Position type” pull-down menus to focus your search.)
Save this link to your phone. The odds may or may not be ever in your favor, but the data certainly is, so you can be ready when a relative trots out some canard about English majors being unemployable.
Seriously, it’s a tough labor market, but you are no less employable than anyone else. Keep this table from the Illini Success survey handy, in case you have a relative telling you to switch your major.
Stay true to yourself. Spend time with a book you want to read but don’t HAVE to read to remind yourself why you got into this major in the first place. Write a poem. Watch a movie with some intellectual heft to it. Make a trip to the nearest independent or used bookstore.