I was an English major here at BU; I had made the decision to study English by the time I was thirteen years old. Nowadays, liberal arts degrees are sometimes wrongly thought to have less value in the job market. In reality, majoring in English is a lot like choosing to major in effective communication skills. Learning to write critical and analytical papers, as well as learning to exercise creativity and imaginative problem-solving, are the most important skills one learns while working toward an English degree.
When it comes to communicating what skills you’ve learned in class, the most important place to show them off is on your resume. You can, and should, list relevant coursework on your resume, and the right approach can give potential employers meaningful insight into your value as a candidate.
Make sure to always highlight any team projects, as the personal skills used to build rapport between you and your teammates are just the sort of skills an employer looks for in someone who is a team player. For example, in my theatre class my senior year one of the parts of our final grade was to write and perform a ten-minute play with one or two other people in the class. Each one of the steps in producing our play took tremendous coordination, creativity, and effective communication to ensure that our work would be an entertaining performance.
You can also include large research projects as accomplishments. If you are building a resume for a position that concerns solo project-based work, be sure to include descriptions of the larger projects you have completed. While the acts of just writing and building effective communication skills are incredibly important to every job, the ability to compile research and edit your papers both show active engagement in building larger and more accurate projects. You can also include group research projects, highlighting both your contributions and the skills in project management you learned while collaborating with fellow students.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a resume that puts your classroom learning into context and gets results.