English Major Musings is an evergreen Paperback Paris column curated by Contributing Writer Alicia LeBoeuf.
Every college student should know what their resources are and how to utilize them. When I first came into college, I only had a vague notion of what my career-related “resources” were and I did not know much on how to effectively utilize those informative and helpful tools that are out there for young professionals nowadays.
I am no expert, but this post will focus on the most beneficial resources I have gathered over the last 3+ years of my college career and how I use them to my advantage. As an English major writing to fellow English majors, I want to highlight resources I feel would be especially useful to liberal arts students.
First, I would highly suggest looking to your college campus for resources. Consider reaching out to a professor in the English department to help you on your professional trajectory — from what career field to head into, graduate school, which classes are best for your goals (literary, creative, or otherwise) — you should definitely set up an appointment with them and benefit from their advice. This will also help you establish a connection with a faculty member, which might help make you aware of other opportunities. I have made appointments with professors before and always have walked out feeling so much better in regards to my future in both college and “out in the real world.” At the end of this last school year, I walked out of an appointment with a professor with two internships… those of which I would never have gotten without the professor’s help. I can definitely guarantee that discussing your options with a professor will be worth your time.
Another resource on-campus is your college’s career services. This might be called something slightly different depending on what school you attend, but career-planning and preparation is most likely a resource at your school just waiting for you to notice it. I made a career appointment during my freshman year when I was a stressed out human biology major, and it helped me come to a huge realization: human biology was not the right path for me. While this might seem a bit unconventional, that appointment was one of the first steps in guiding me towards English, which most definitely is the right path for me. Career services can help you with anything from searching for a job to how to craft a resume. If you have no idea where to start, give them a try.
There are also a limitless amount of college and career resources online. One of the most popular employment tools out there right now is LinkedIn. While professional networking and job application typically come to mind in regards to this website (which is definitely is a good place for), I personally like how creating a profile on LinkedIn really forces you to access your work history and skills. Other big job search engines out there include Indeed, CareerBuilder, and many more.
Just this year I have started using the website Canva to create my resumes and cover letters and wow – it’s a gamechanger. Not only does it made your resume and cover stand out by having an aesthetically-pleasing design, but it helps guide those who may not be sure about what all to include on their resume in the first place. And for us English majors, the website Dear English Major is an incredible resource. From interviews with successful, employed English majors and information on tons of common fields English majors go into, this site will provide you with both help and hope.
Now, there are many more resources out there that aren’t mentioned in this post. These are just the ones that I personally have found to be the most beneficial when it comes to choosing my major, obtaining internships, and finding and applying for jobs. Without the resources listed above, I have no idea where I would be. That’s why it’s important to take action now rather than regret it later.
Stay tuned for the next installment of English Major Musings at Paperback Paris!
Did you use one of the resources mentioned above to find success?
Do you have a topic you’d like us to feature in our next EMM?
Let us know in the comments, below!