Careers for Humanities Majors: The Basics

Here are five slide decks to get you started on answers to some of the most common questions we hear from students.

This material is just a beginning, and everyone’s situation is different. Make an appointment at go.illinois.edu/HPRCAdvising and come to additional events this fall to learn more about how to become career-ready in your major!

What Do People with My Major DO When They Graduate?

Contrary to popular belief, your major is not your career. Your major is a disciplinary framework in which you develop skills, cultivate habits of mind, and identify your interests and commitments. That framework can take you in a lot of different directions.

How Do I Build a Professional Network?

You don’t need to acquire a new personality to engage in networking. People find the term terrifying, but it’s just an extension of everythingĀ  you are already doing in your social and school life. Find more advice here.

How Do I Apply for Things?

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back from pursuing opportunities. The starting point for applying for jobs and internships is Handshake. The starting point for thinking about graduate school should be conversations with people who can give you more in-depth information on the programs you’re thinking about: your academic advisor (for MA/PhD programs in your major), pre-law advising (for law school), pre-health advising (yes, people with humanities degrees go into a wide range of health professions), or the Humanities Professional Resource Center to talk through these and other options (MSW, MSLIS, MSM, MBA, MPH, MHRIR…)

Our suggested resume format is here.

Our suggested cover letter format is here.

How Do I Gain and Demonstrate Career-Relevant Skills?

Key to building and demonstrating your skills is recognizing what they are. Use our skills handout to start recognizing the abilities that you develop in the courses for your major, and look for ways to practice those skills outside the classroom.

How Do I Talk to Employers?

Conversations with potential employers can take many forms beyond job interviews — particularly virtual career fairs, info sessions, and networking events. Learn about potential events on Handshake and look for opportunities to practice talking about yourself in a professional context.