12 Things MFA Graduates Can Do To Pad Their Resumes

The ongoing MFA vs. NYC debate among creative writers seems intractable. On one side are working artists trying to eek out existences in today’s mean (trendy, expensive) New York City streets; on the other, students willing to incur astronomical debt in the study of poetry and prose. Personal grudges and disputes about aesthetics, motivation, and philosophies have formed a wide rift between the two. But no matter the path a person takes to become a writer, once a literary life is established both sides will find immediate common ground in poverty and unemployment. MFA or NYC, translating creative writing workshops, publishing projects, teaching assistantships, and a litany of part-time jobs to gainful employment is not easy. Below are a handful of useful resume equivalencies to help in the often painful job search.
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1. Hosting an open mic night at the local retirement center: Special Event Coordination.

2. Binge-watching episodes of HBO’s “Girls” while stress-eating cartons of Milk Duds: Thorough Market Research.

3. A part-time position walking dogs: Expert Team Leadership Skills.

4. Trolling famous authors on Twitter: Social Media Management.

5. Drinking whiskey in nearby bars/restaurants/classrooms/forests: Networking.

6. Mailing one poem to 90+ literary magazines at the same time: Direct Mail Campaigns.

7. Searching 90+ rejection letters for hidden signs of encouragement: Analytics Research.

8. Composing linked sestinas on the plight of the underpaid barista: Advanced Word Processing.

9. Reading passages of Middlemarch to classrooms of sleeping undergraduates: Expert Public Speaking.

10. Sending passive-aggressive emails to former instructors asking for internships/TA positions/letters of recommendation/anything: Drafting Professional Correspondences.

11. Creating fake Amazon accounts to promote a self-published post-Apocalyptic novel-in-prose-poems romantic comedy: Community Engagement.

12. Grossly exaggerating professional experience to finally secure your first interview: Expert Creative Writing. TC mark

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