Thursday, March 13, 2014

Interviewer: So, What Do You Do?

English majors, as you head out the door this spring, you'll be hitting a tough job market. (D'uh!) You'll be selling yourself to the kids who majored in Business just a few years before you graduated, and who are now sitting on the other side of the hiring table.

If you get asked about your skills (or as you draft your cover letter), how do you sell what you've got as applicable to business? Hint: unless you are applying to an archaeological center with plentiful old manuscripts from the British Isles, your response "I can read Old English in the original thanks to Dan Pinti's class" is (at best) going to earn you a blank stare.

I don't generally tout for-sale products, but here's one with a modest price tag that might be worth your while: Susan de la Verne's Sell Yourself! Liberal Arts Skills Employers Want, Price: $2.99 for 48 pages, through e-publisher Smashwords. First 9 pages available for preview online.

I've followed Ms. de la Verne's writing since I began writing this blog for Niagara University English majors. I very much like what I have seen. She's an English major herself who had a successful career in IT (computers, geekery) before launching herself as a consultant "teaching and coaching communication, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and leadership" (

She also has a series of books for English majors, and for other majors & discipline-specific professionals who could learn a thing or three from us English folk, here:

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