Careers for English and Writing Majors and Minors Looking to the future Top 10 Skills Employers Look For NACE National Association of Colleges and Employers 1. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization 2. Ability to work in a team structure 3. Ability to make decisions and solve problems 4. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work 5. Ability to obtain and process information 6. Ability to analyze quantitative data 7. Technical knowledge related to the job 8. Proficiency with computer software programs
9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports 10. Ability to sell or influence others The Gap: It sounds simple, but sometimes new hires lack basic communication skills. Thats because as students you are exposed to people who are at a similar age and experience level. In a work environment, new hires may not be used to talking to senior leaders or in front of diverse groups. New hires can quickly learn how to fit in and show well by observing the language and style of communication used on everything from email, team meetings, and virtual meeting platforms. Speaking, writing, and communicating in a corporate environment is quite different from talking with peers. So understanding this and treating this as a skill to work on is key.
Skills Achieved with Your Degree Critical analysis
Creative thinking Written and oral communication Detail-orientated thinking Editing and revising Ability to follow guidelines Research skills Independent thinking and leadership Logical reasoning Organizational skills Problem solving Proofreading Synthesizing information Working within deadlines Awesome Jobs for English & Writing Majors & Minors Professional
Biographers Memoirists Game Designers NGOs and Governmental Agencies Non-profit Communication Specialists Fundraiser & Outreach Coordinators Event Coordinators Social Activists & Authors Researchers Salaries, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Proofreaders $35,300 Desktop Publishers $41,130 Curators & Archivists $50,770 Librarians $57,550 Digital Content Manager $62,930 Newspaper, Book, and Periodical Editors $63,000 Public Relations Specialists $63,020 Market Research Analyst $67,780 Technical Writers $70,290
Agents of Artists, Performers, & Athletes $96,410 Human Resource Managers $111,180 Advertising & Marketing Managers $124,640 Lawyers $131,990 Strategies, Skills, & Outlook to Get Ahead Dont procrastinate Get your resume done while still an undergrad Persistence Send and keep on sending Networking You never know which door will be the one! Internships Get experience and an advantage Resourcefulness Creative thinking, build your skillset Value your first job experience Dont be a hopper Dont burn your bridges Get good recommendations Practice your interviewing skills BEFORE the interview Establish an online presence Get your name out there
Create a LinkedIn account Employers use it! Freelance Writing Resources http://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/20-websites-you-cant-miss-you-wa nt-make-money-freelancer.html
- An annotated bibliography of sites to use for all types of freelance content generating. http://www.writingforward.com - A source for those who want to explore creative writing (as well as other types of writing), getting published, grammar and writing tips, writing prompts, and writing resources. https://writerscabinet.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/top-10-best-websites-f or-writers/ - Ten websites for writers. http://www.writersdigest.com/awai-copywriting/4-ways-to-start-makinga-living-as-a-writer-now - Four suggestions on how writers can apply their talents to write in various fields. Great article! http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/markets/ - Worldwide freelance writing markets and resources. http://www.writersincharge.com/websites-that-pay/ - A database/ annotated list of websites for various writing jobs. http://www.writersdigest.com - No writer should be without this one! http://www.freelancewriting.com/newsletters/morning-coffee-freelancewriting-jobs.php#.Up33v4a5xPY.facebook
- Freelance Writing database that's dedicated to helping freelance writers and potential clients find each other; updated weekly (sometimes daily) with Job Search http://www.glassdoor.com - Read employee reviews of employers worldwide. Find salary information based on job position and location. http://www.payscale.com - Find industry-wide salary reports, evaluate job offers, research jobs.
http://www.salary.com - Research positions and their salaries locally and globally. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/a-z-index.htm - Government jobs and their outlooks, including jobs that require writers/ content managers, etc. Creative Writing Resources
http://www.pw.org - Poets and Writers magazine. Find tools for writers that include grants, awards, and literary prize information and deadlines. Research the literary journal and magazine database, communicate with other writers in the forum, use the list of literary agents, browse the jobs list, and even find original writing prompts. A great source of information for the creative writer. http://www.writerscafe.org - A supportive, online community for creative writers. http://www.clmp.org/directory/ - The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses offers a comprehensive list of literary journals and magazines, including information about each magazines submission policy, etc. http://www.awpwriter.org - Association of Writers and Writing Programs offer job listings and career advice in the creative
writing and literary journalism field. Paid membership. http://www.writingforward.com - A source for those who want to explore creative writing (as well as other types of writing), Navigating the Job Search Career Planning Center Getting Started Clarify your career direction and options. Its difficult to conduct a job search if you dont have a career plan. Write/Edit your Resume- consult with Career Planning Establish a weekly timeline for your job search. Approach your search like you would a class and devote several hours a week to it. Get ready to track your job search and stay organized. Develop a system to keep track of all the information
involved in a job search: job postings, important deadlines, applications, employer information and networking contacts. Research and Strategize Begin researching organizations at which you would like to work. Create a list of target companies/ organizations you will pursue; add and delete targets going forward Begin market research to determine job market trends for your particular field. Make a list of already known contacts and people in your potential network. Go on CAMPUSTAP to connect with alumnae Attend networking events, company information sessions and career events on campus. Follow-up with contacts to schedule informational interviews or networking meetings Where to Search
LinkedIn Alumnae page & CampusTap- Use your network! College Central Network: www.cedarcrest.edu/career Job search websites: CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, etc. Make a list of the top 10 job titles and companies you are interested in Network Volunteer Applications Professional emails and send materials as PDFs Always include a cover letter
Personalize your application materials for each application Follow-up is critical- call or email to express your sincere interest or to find out if the position was filled Highlight your transferable skills! Transferrable Skills for English Majors
summarizing ideas managing a project from conception to completion finding solutions to intricate problems perceiving the world from multiple points of view summarizing and presenting information evaluating results analyzing texts and information establishing priorities writing creatively creating persuasive messages Interview Skills Career Planning Center
What is an interview? An interview is an opportunity for an employer to determine if a candidates skills and experience will match well with the position and organization. It is also an opportunity for the candidate to determine if the organization is a good fit for their skills, values, and goals. Interviewing formats and styles will vary from employer to employer and from interviewer to interviewer. Whatever the interview situation or style, youll need to be able to communicate your: strengths skills experience knowledge value to the interviewer Phone Interviews Phone interviews are typically utilized to get to know each candidate, and most recruiters will ask traditional interview questions.
The length of a phone interview can vary from as little as 10 minutes to possibly up to an hour. Your performance in a phone interview will likely determine if you will be invited to continue on to the next step of the hiring process. Preparing for Phone Interviews Ask your roommates to give you alone time and space during the designated time of your phone interview. Have your resume in front of you to refer to when speaking about your work
experience. Have a pen and paper available to take notes. Take a moment to think about the question, and then respond, speaking slowly and clearly. Dress the part for the interview. Experts say that if you are dressed in a professional manner, you will speak that way. Preparing for Phone Interviews Smile during the phone interview to project a positive tone in your voice and your image.
Stand up while speaking. Your body position affects the quality of your voice. If you are sitting down or relaxing, you do not project the same readiness and intensity as when you stand up. Because you will be lacking the visual cues of body language, it is okay to mark the end of your response with a question, such as Would you like more details about my experience as an intern with XYZ Company? Let the employer end the interview. Then you should say, Thank you for your time, and reiterate your interest in the position.
Before the Interview Pay attention to the language throughout the website to understand the company values, mission, and goals. Understand the work done at this company, the clients, and the types of products and services offered. Check the companys social media accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook). Look at Glassdoor.com: What are other professionals saying about the company? -Google any recent news on the company.
Talk to Cedar Crest alumnae who work at the company. Tell me about yourself. While it seems like an invitation to tell your life story, your approach should be to relate your background and experience to the job and company. To prepare for this question, build a framework for how you want to pitch your experience. Start with comparing your experiences, skills, personality traits, values, and educational background with what the employer is looking for along with the employers needs. Then create a 2- to 3-minute story about how you decided on your current career and why youre applying to the job. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Share your true strengths, especially those that are relevant to the job (be specific). Follow up with examples of how you have exemplified these in a professional setting. It may seem a little tougher to describe weaknesses, but theres a strategy to it (and its not to answer, I dont have any weaknesses!). Instead, think about an attribute (e.g., a typical behavior or emotion) that you struggle with but are working on to improve. Tell your interviewer the weakness, why you think its a weakness, and what initiatives youve been taking to improve upon it. Why are you interested in this position? If youve done your research on the company, this question shouldnt be hard to answer. What aspects of the company culture, work, or ________ did you identify with? What excites you about the company or the role? Companies are looking
for candidates who bring the appropriate skill set and who are enthusiastic about the work. Traditional Interview Questions What do you know about our organization? What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? How do you balance your priorities? Tell me how you organize your day. How do you spend your spare time? How would a family member or friend describe you? How would a co-worker describe you?
Behavioral interviewing: technique employed by interviewers to evaluate your past behavior in order to predict your future behavior. A behavioral interview question is attempting to assess your proficiency with a particular skill. You can identify the skills an employer may try to assess by reviewing the position description. Preparation will be critical in answering behavioral questions successfully. Utilizing the STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result) Model will help you construct an organized, specific, thoughtful, and concise answer. Five Steps to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview
Analyze the position for which you are being interviewed; determine the skills required. Evaluate and reflect on your background to identify your skills and experiences related to the position. Develop brief scenarios, or STAR stories, prior to your interview that demonstrate your skills. Each story should explain the Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR). Be specific in your stories. Employers want to know what you did rather than what you would do. Identify three to five top selling points that set you apart from other candidates, and make sure to take the opportunity to point them out during the interview and incorporate throughout your stories. Situation & Task
Describe the situation that you were in and the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific project or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from your current position, a previous job, a volunteer experience, or any relevant event. Action Describe the action you took. Be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did -- not the efforts of the team. Dont tell what you might do -- tell what you did. Result What happened? How did the project end? What did you accomplish? If the result was not ideal, what would
you do differently in the future to get the result that you wanted? What did you learn? Describe a situation in which you led a group of people. Situation/Task: Last year I was the chairperson of my clubs philanthropy committee. I led a committee of four people in organizing and promoting events that benefitted Big Brothers and Big Sisters, March of Dimes, and a local elementary schools after-school tutoring program. Action: I was responsible for leading weekly meetings, delegating assignments to committee members, and motivating the entire 50-member club to get involved with our philanthropic activities. I ensured that our committee was utilizing effective marketing by overseeing the social media platforms, encouraging entire
campus involvement. Result: During the year we held two fundraisers each semester---one for Big Brothers and Big Sisters and one for the March of Dimes---and raised over $1,000 for each organization. This was a 20% increase over the previous year. While in the position, I not only developed my communication, organization, and management skills, but I also gained a greater awareness of the importance of community. Ask your interviewer questions during and at the end of the interview. Create a list of at least 5 questions prior to your interview, and take the list with you. Theres no set number you need to ask. It will depend on what you feel you need to know. You wont get a chance to ask them all, but it is always best to be prepared! Some of your questions may be answered during the course of the interview. Do not ask
questions that are clearly answered on the employers website and/or in any literature provided by the employer to you in advance. Never ask about salary and benefits issues until those subjects are raised by the employer. The following are examples of the types of questions you can ask an interviewer. What kinds of assignments might I expect during the first 6 months? What are the strengths of the organization or department? What is the largest single problem facing your staff right now? What is the reporting structure in this department? What are the acceptable channels of communication? Describe the team/project assignments and the mix of people involved. What is the companys policy on providing seminars, workshops, or training so employees can keep up on skills or acquire new skills?
How would you describe the company culture? The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified the top skills employers are looking for across all industries. NACE has defined career readiness as the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace. These competencies are Critical thinking Oral/written communication Teamwork/collaboration Leadership Professionalism Career management Develop STAR stories to highlight your competencies in the areas associated with career readiness. Critical thinking: Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. Tell me about a situation that did not work out as expected. What steps did you take
to handle this? Tell me about the first job you ever had. How did you learn the ropes? Can you tell me about a time when a slow and deliberate approach made a difference in your response to a problem? Tell me about a time when you had to solve a problem with very little guidance or direction. Oral/written communication: Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively to persons inside and outside of the organization. Describe a situation you observed or were a part of where you felt communication was handled particularly well by someone else. What did they do? Why do you think it was effective? Tell me about a time where you experienced a communication barrier/lack of communication in a group setting. How did you handle it? Tell me about a time when you provided feedback to someone at school or at work. Describe the most significant written document or presentation youve written or presented. Who was your audience? What was the outcome of your
communication/presentation? Have you had to sell an idea to your co-workers, classmates, or group? How did you do it? Teamwork/collaboration: Able to work within a team structure, build collaborative relationships with diverse individuals, and negotiate and manage conflict. Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his/her share of the work. How did you work through it? Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise. Describe a time when you made a decision that was unpopular with the other members of your group. What was the end result?
Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasnt very responsive. What did you do? Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours. Leadership: Able to assess and manage own emotions and those of others, use empathetic skills to guide and motivate, and organize, prioritize, and delegate work. Of the people you have encountered or know about in public positions of leadership, to whom do you look as a model and why? Give an example of how you have motivated your staff, a team, or a group of co- workers. Provide an example of a time when you took on the role of a leader in a committee or group. How did you lead the team, and what were the outcomes? What is the most important skill of a good leader? Describe a time when you effectively used this
leadership skill on the job. Give a specific example(s) of how you helped your previous organization reach its organizational goals. Professionalism: Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits (e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management) and understand the impact of nonverbal communication on professional work image. Has there been a time at work when you disagreed with someone? What did you do about it? Give us an example of an important goal you set, and tell us about how you reached it. Tell me about a time that you missed a deadline. What happened? When you encounter a roadblock, what do you do? Give us an example of a situation. Give an example of how you prioritize multiple demands on your time.
Talk about a time when you worked your hardest. What was the project or task? What was your role? What was the outcome? What was the reward? Plan Ahead Carry a solid-colored portfolio folder containing extra copies of your resume and list of references. Women should carry a purse that looks professional. Dress for your interview Demonstrate professionalism in your appearance. Have a clean, neat, and well-groomed look.
Clothing should match the corporate culture. Dress in a comparable business level or above it. In most cases, a dark suit is most appropriate with conservative hair style and jewelry Avoid brightly colored clothing. Plan Ahead To be conscientious about time, be sure to wear a professional watch as opposed to taking your phone to check the time. Know the exact time and location of your interview. Know how long it takes to get there and and where to park. Be aware of any parking fees and tolls.
Gather all of your materials the night before: extra copies of your resume, references, paper, pen, examples of your work if they will demonstrate your experience and accomplishments. Get plenty of sleep the night before. Practice positive visualization in the days leading up to the interview. Picture yourself sitting opposite the interviewer, relaxed, comfortable, at the top of your game. Play it over and over again in your mind. During the Interview
Create a Great First and Lasting Impression The interview begins the moment you step foot within the vicinity of the interview location. Be courteous and kind to all individuals that you meet. Everyone you encounter will form an impression of you and may be asked to volunteer that information to the interviewers. Do not use your cell phone or other electronics. Make sure your body language portrays the message you want to send. See the following video for reference: Amy Cuddy - Your body language shapes who you are Make good eye contact, and give a firm handshake when greeting interviewers. Portray confidence in the way you physically carry yourself. Relax your shoulders and keep them back. Keep your chin up, maintain eye contact (dont look downward), and keep a pleasant look on your face and energy in your voice. Keep arms and legs uncrossed. Lean in slightly while seated. After the Interview
Take a few minutes to review any notes you may have made as well as to make note of anything specific that your interviewer(s) talked about that you might want to mention in your thank you note. Reflect on your impressions of the company, the culture, and the people, and try to determine if the organization would be a good t with your personality, values, and interests. Send a thank you note within 24 to 48 hours of the interview. Even if you decide you wouldnt want the position if offered, it is always best to maintain professionalism and follow through on this small but courteous and meaningful task.
Follow up if you dont hear back from the recruiter by the time s/he specified when you asked about next steps. For example, if the interviewer says you can expect to hear back in 2 weeks, then you should make contact in 2 weeks if you havent heard anything. Send an email or make a call, then wait four or five days and contact the recruiter again. If you continue to do this for 4 or 5 weeks with no response, then it may be time for you to cut ties and move on. Please contact the English department or Career Planning for more information. Were always happy to help provide career guidance and internship and career opportunities for our current students, prospective students, and alumnae. [email protected] LuAnn Fletcher, Chair of the Department of History, Literature & Languages [email protected]
The CESR application process. A decision is made - Successful. Specialist Registration is automatically granted. A copy of the evaluation is sent to you. A decision is made - Unsuccessful. A letter confirming you have not been successful.
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