Graduating in May? How to Find a Job by Then.

choose-the-right-direction-1536336_1920In 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 kwilcox@illinois.edu to ask. Chances are, if you’re wondering, other people are, too–and you might inspire a helpful follow-up blog post.

Early January:

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

2017 Winter/Spring Career Fairs

The fall and winter breaks are a good time to start thinking about the winter and spring career fairs.

  • Start getting your resume ready. Yes, you will need one–come talk to Kirstin Wilcox, kwilcox@illinois.edu, if you’d like help.
  • Learn more about how to find success at a career fair by reading our English//CW Majors’ Guide to Career Fairs.
  • Sign up for ENGL 199-MMM: Career and Internship Fair Preparation (online, first eight weeks of spring semester).

Here’s the Winter/Spring Lineup

Business Career Fair, Feb. 1 and 2, 2pm to 6pm at the ARC. It’s not just for College of Business students! At the fall fair, nearly a third of the employers were recruiting majors from the LAS. It’s huge, so that means a lot of employers. The key to success is using I-Link to identify the recruiters that interest you. Go on I-Link and click “Events” in the lefthand tab. It will be in “Career Fairs.” Click on the number of employers to bring up a search screen. Use the pull-down menu under “Advanced Search” to isolate the employers seeking “all majors.” A few that caught my eye were Cambridge Publishing, Huron Consulting, Signature Consulting, Teach for America, and Wells Fargo.  They provide links to give you information about the positions they’re specifically recruiting for at the career fair, as well as other openings in the company. Note that the fair runs for two days and companies only attend for one of those, so make note of when the companies you want to talk to will be there.

Illini Career and Internship Fair, Apr. 5, noon to 4pm at the ARC. This career fair .has a number of employers coming who are specifically interested in liberal arts majors with strong communications skills. You can find information about the employers who are coming on I-Link (find “Career Fairs” under “Events” in the left-hand tab). You should review all the entries and click through to find out specifically the positions they seek to fill, but some companies of particular interest to English and Creative Writing majors are Cintas, City Year, Epic, Hartford, Jellyvision, Mindshare, and the Peace Corps.

At both fairs, the kinds of positions that English and CW majors should look out for:

  • Education. Nonprofit organizations like City Year, Teach for America, the Peace Corps, College Possible, and various school districts often come and are looking to fulfill a variety of roles–not just teaching, but also program administration and support.
  • Recruiting. These jobs involve helping companies seek out, interview, and hire talented workers–it’s a great first step to a career in HR. Requires excellent people skills and sometimes requires a lot of travel.
  • Management training programs (sometimes called rotational programs or leadership programs). These positions are often 1- to 2-year gigs that involve getting experience in all parts of a company’s operations, prior to getting placed in a permanent position. It’s a good opportunity for people who have a lot of skills and potential–including leadership experience–but aren’t really sure what they want to do with it.
  • Marketing and communications These positions vary widely, so it’s good to read job description carefully! Some positions are market research positions (which require fairly intensive technical/quantitative skills for data analysis) but some are not. Event planning, PR, content development and strategy, are all jobs that can come under this heading.
  • Claims analyst, client management, customer support.  Many industries, from insurance companies to software developers, need good communicators who can be the face of the company, the first point of contact when clients draw on their services or customers need help. These jobs take many different forms and involve a wide range of skills, but they generally require people who are comfortable with ambiguity and can negotiate conflicts.
  • Sales. Every business needs more customers. Even if a career in sales isn’t your dream, these positions are often a point of entry into a business or an industry that interests you.

Stay tuned for news of two additional specialized career fairs of interest to English and CW majors: The Arts and Culture Career Fair in Chicago and the Educators Career Fair.