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
The career fair season will be getting underway just a few weeks after you get back to campus. Here’s the lineup for Spring 2017:
- Business Career Fair – Spring 2017
- Wednesday, February 1, 2017
- 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
- Thursday, February 2, 2017
- 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
- Arts & Culture Career Fair in Chicago
- Friday, February 3, 2017
- 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
- Start-Up Career Fair
- Thursday, Feb 9, 2017
- 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
- Educators Job Fair – Spring 2017
- Monday, March 6, 2017
- 9:30 am – 12:30
- Spring 2017 Illini Career and Internship Fair
- Wednesday, April 5, 2017
- 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Here are some things to to do NOW to get ready.
- 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:
- 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.
- Need more talking points? Try this, this, this, or this.
- Learn more. Take some time to browse this very blog for additional information on jobs that English majors do (including human resources, advancement and development, communication, business consulting, science journalism, running small businesses, legal writing, project management, book publishing, video editing, science editing, project operations, librarianship, B2B publishing).
- 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.
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:
- Understand the publishing process and recognize that there are a lot of different points of entry.
- 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.
- The path to a stable full-time job in the business can be long and winding. It is, said Durante, “very apprenticelike.”
- 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.
- Follow publishing houses that interest you on Twitter.
- 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: