3 Reasons You Need To Stop Making Fun Of People’s Majors

With the Class of 2013 accepting their degrees and striding into today’s job-market, I’ve noticed a trend that is not only rude, but probably a waste of time: This trend is belittling what our peers chose to study in college. It’s important to remember that what you chose to study was a personal decision, and it should be respected as such, and just because one person may not end up with a job in the field of study they choose to pursue is no reason to mock them for it.

In a recent article by Buzzfeed, the validity of the private school education was openly mocked, displaying ‘uses’ for degrees that were not only degrading, but not in any way funny (My degree has not been used as a doorstop, window prop, or laptop coaster, I can assure you). What we need is to inspire students to pursue their dreams, most specifically the ones that inspired them to go to college in the first place. So without further ado, here are 3 compelling reasons you need to stop making fun of people’s majors:

  1. They might get hired before you do. In a 2009-2010 publication by Anthony P. Carnevale, Ban Cheah, and Jeff Strohl, it was estimated that recent graduates faced a 8.9% unemployment rate (mind you this was 2009-2010). However of these, the recent graduates of the Arts, Architecture, and Humanities faced the most difficult unemployment rates among their peers (9.4-13.9% unemployment rate). Similarly Yahoo took a closer look at the census materials used in the aforementioned article, and found that some of our favorite major fields of study to mock had the lowest unemployment rates: Agricultural Science ranked 3rd and Communications ranked 4th (surprise to no one, Health ranked 1st). Statistics aside, if someone you mocked gets hired and later you have to use them as a connection for a job, that could be rather awkward.
  2. There are more constructive things you could be doing. In the time it took you to look up an article mocking someone’s major study, you could have perused a Mashable job board, applied to a position on LinkedIn, searched for alumni/alumnae from your college to connect with, or even given your resume spa treatment. There are a plethora of places you can send off your resume (like a message in a bottle) but sometimes it can be tricky to get started. Before you send your friend pictures of your resume being used as…anything other than wall decoration…take a look into some great places to start, like this handy writeup from CareerBuilder.
  3. Your might not work a job in your major field either. When you begin your precarious job search (I say precarious because it can be scary), identifying your true passion and where you aspire to work can be just as difficult as when you were deciding on a major field of study (if not more so). While you may have had an undying love of architecture, or a passionate love of fine art…you may find yourself making a 180 degree departure from what you studying to pursue something similar or bearing no relation to what your read about in textbooks. You may find that your studio arts passion is enlivened by graphic design…or you may find yourself in love with the competitive nature of sales. You may even find that you want to go back and reinvent yourself and go headfirst into philanthropy or non-profit work. Whatever the case, spend your energy focusing on your career path, not nitpicking the lives of others.

Hope this helps, and good luck class of 2013!

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A Word on Transparency and Professionalism

 

 

The word ‘transparency’ is thrown a lot in the social media world, a tantalizing buzzword meant to embrace authenticity, or put simply ‘realness’. In terms of brands, companies, and influential professionals, this means being accessible to others by what you share on your media platforms of choice. Put simply, transparency could be characterized as being truthful and genuine to the outside world, or appearing to have nothing to hide.

And transparency is a beautiful thing.

Until it isn’t.

In a 2013 report from Fox Business, it was estimated that Americans in particular spend approximately 16 minutes of every hour on a social media site (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  The more readily available social media has become, the faster we embrace it, spending more and more time sharing our lives with the outside world. And this is a great thing in principle, giving us an inside look into some of our favorite celebrities on their own terms separate from the invasive lens of the paparazzi. At a glance, social media enables even the most distant figures of our world accessibility like never before. For example, did you know you could tweet at the pope, the president, and Oprah with just the touch of a button?

There is a Downside

I’m not sure whether our ability to share has prompted us to share more, our defenses have been lowered by promises of confidentiality, or whether younger adopters of social media have less inhibitions, but transparency has shown a darker side to those we share the Internet with.  Where before, it was common for users to adopt a ‘if you wouldn’t want your mom to see it, don’t share it’ policy, many users now share images that could greatly negatively impact their future careers; drinking pictures from high school and/or college, explicit photos and video, and even viciously hateful remarks about others via Facebook, Twitter, and the newly adopted Snapchat apps.

About Snapchat…

You may or may not have heard of the app recently applauded as ‘the new instagram’, but if you are a parent, you probably should. The app’s primary function is to send and receive videos and photos, which self-destruct after 10 seconds. As you might imagine, like with the ‘confidentiality’ claims of Facebook, this isn’t entirely true; with the right smartphone, its possible to take a screenshot of a compromising image and publish it to another social media website, often with dire consequences.

Going Forward

If you choose to be transparent on social media, make sure you make smart decisions about what you post, where you post it, and what the implications might be. If you are seeking a job, or maintaining a professional presence, it may be wise to avoid posting compromising photos involving alcohol, illegal activities, or that portray you in a way that could be easily misconstrued. It’s also important to note that ‘protecting’ your tweets on Twitter, creating a ‘limited’ profile on Facebook, and even trusting in Snapchat’s ‘vanishing’ images will not prevent someone from finding images that could put you in a compromising position. The safest way to use social media is by always putting your best face forward and presenting content about yourself and others in the best light possible.

In fact, maybe even show your mom before you post it, because chances are she’ll eventually see it regardless of what privacy settings you have.

Hope this helps! 🙂

Sources:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/04/26/social-media-addiction-study/

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/03/tech/mobile/snapchat

http://gawker.com/5967303/snapchat-sluts-shows-why-snapchat-isnt-the-consequence+free-sexting-app-wed-all-hoped-for

3 Quick Resume Fixes

Does your resume need a quick touch-up? Here are three incredibly simple fixes you can apply right now to perk it up a little!

1. “Professionalize” you email

If you are still using PrettyBallerina110@something or ILoveBacon290@somethingelse or any other email that reminds us uncomfortably of the 90’s, it might be time to do some spring cleaning. As you go forward, you want to put your best foot forward and impress. You email address might be one aspect of your resume you haven’t addressed yet, and if you are still using a college email, this might not be a big concern. However, sending off your resume with a ‘childish’ email might be a big turn off to recruiters.

Some quick fixes?

Try using ‘Firstname.Lastname@(whichever service you use)” or “FirstinitialLastname@(whichever service you use” 

Already taken? Try to keep your new email as uncomplicated as possible. While being expressive and being creative isn’t a bad thing in life…on your email and your resume, you should always take the safer option. Be professional.

2. Pick a font. Yes, just one font.

Comic sans, Papyrus, and Courier were all awesome fonts in their heyday: people put them on everything and they were much beloved. Fast forward to the 2000’s and most people have dropped the silly fonts for more clean and consistent fonts like Helvetica and Arial (and some Times New Roman too). If your resume has alternating fonts or multiple colors, it might be time to make some minor adjustments. The first (and best) change you can make, is set all the writing on your resume in one clean legible font. I feel confident in saying that no employer will see the humor in a resume written entirely in Wingdings or Dingbat. Similarly, while Chalkduster is playful and child-like…it can come off woefully childish; much like wearing a Barney the dinosaur tie into a corporate interview. If you do nothing else, make your resume all one consistent and clean font, and do it soon.

3. Check your spelling.

This might sound a bit silly, but always check you spelling every time you revise a resume. Between auto-correct, spellcheck, and whatever else is built into your word processor, there is always the off-chance that a company name, employer name, or job title can be woefully altered by accident. Always check that your name is spelled correctly , as it is the first thing an employer will see (and it just looks dumb if you mess that up). This also applies to everything else you do in your job search; check your contact’s name, check the company’s name, and check any name you’re going to have to put down in writing. Never EVER misspell an interviewer’s name in an email, and better yet, turn off spell check and do it by hand. Your resume will thank you.

I hope this helps! Happy Spring Cleaning!

Twitter for Beginners: Step 3

And we’re back! Welcome to step three of your basic guide to Twitter. Today I will be explaining how to use basic functions on Twitter such as ‘favoriting’ and ‘retweeting’. Let’s begin:

Overview

On twitter you will encounter a set of functions available to all twitter users: the favorite, the retweet (or RT), and reply. There are other options available, but these three will be your primary focus going forward. Replying to a tweet is as straight forward as it sounds.

Let’s look at how to reply to a tweet:

Tweet-Replyex

So here I have clicked the ‘reply’ button and chosen to commend Michelle Mangen on this cool infographic. So what I’m going to do is type in my response and hit enter.

Tweet-replyfinish

This is the result. This will not show up as part of a ‘conversation’ on twitter. It is publicly viewable, and can be interacted with by followers of both users, and by the general public.

Now, on to retweeting: to ‘retweet’ or share a tweet with your followers/the public, you will need to select the ‘retweet’ button. This should be the result:

Twitter-RTex

Once you have chosen to retweet an article, this should be the result:

Twitter-RTexdone

Another option you have is to ‘favorite’ a tweet. This ‘favorite’ will not be viewable to the general public, but will alert the user that you liked their tweet. This is a great function if you want to politely and discretely liked something without drowning your followers in replies and retweets. To favorite something, simply click the ‘favorite’ button. The result will look like this:

Twitter-Favex

Now that you know how to retweet, reply, and favorite tweets, your homework is to find up to 5 tweets you like, and retweet and favorite them. If you really like it, send the user a polite reply.

Next Week:

How to get people to follow you.

Merry Christmas: The Greatest Gift

As some of you know, the holidays are a time of merriment and family values….sort of. For some, merriment is time spent around a tree with close family and friends and the new year is spent in front of a TV watching the ball drop in New York, or celebrating with sparklers amongst close friends. However, for young professionals, this is sometimes also followed by office parties, crazy new years parties, and this year particularly, Mayan end-of-the-world parties (and ‘we survived’ parties afterwards).

If you’re like me, you like the holidays as much as the next person, but don’t always want to see some of its unintended drunken side effects: that’s right, I’m talking about drunk pictures. Unlike potential employers, I’m not really interested in seeing pictures of people I knew in high school or college’s ‘happy drunkidays’ albums pop up on Facebook. Seeking a way to remove these unsavory holiday horrors, I found a fun fix that has multiple applications.

Unbabymemain

Unbaby.me  is a chrome plug-in designed to eradicate images of babies from your Facebook feed by replacing them with pictures of cats, sports cars, or whatever you happen to like. A while back, I discovered that this application could be manipulated to screen out any unwanted images whether it be people’s cats, tattoos, drinking pictures, political views, or what have you. You can swap out these things for literally ANYTHING you like. That’s pretty cool. Here’s how it works:

Unbabyme1

First, input keywords you don’t want to see. The preset will be set to baby terms like ‘child’, ‘baby’, and ‘birth’ but you can swap these out for things like ‘kegstand’, ‘drinking’, ‘yolo’, ‘alcohol’, ‘party’ or ‘wasted’.

Unbabyme2

Next, input the substitute topic of your liking. For me, I really like Koalas, so I opted to have koala pictures used. The result will look something like this:

BEFORE

Koalabefore

AFTER

Koalareplace

BOOM! Just like magic you can remove images of your daughter’s unsavory boyfriend, your friends getting wasted, and even (if it’s not your thing) all your friend’s random snapshots of their food.

Merry Christmas and you’re welcome!

3 Easy Things To Consider For Interviews

Here’s another short and sweet how-to for the week: What are three things you should consider before walking into an interview? Well, what I can relate to most is comparisons, here are three comparisons that might help you out:

  1. If you wouldn’t say it on a first date, don’t say it in an interview. As weird as this may sound, oftentimes the things you wouldn’t be caught dead saying to an interviewer are similar to things you’d never want to say to a first date (especially a blind date). If you don’t think you should open a date with “I’m too attractive for you, but I can settle” similarly, maybe don’t start with its equivalent”I’m too qualified for this job, but you should hire me”.
  2. If you can’t say it to your most conservative family member, don’t say it. If talking about gay marriage and pro-life gets your in-laws, grandparents, uncles, etc upset, don’t spring it on your interviewer. For all you know, they could be pro-gay marriage, anti…or not even care that much. It’s not something you want to find out when trying to impress them and land a job.
  3. If you think a hipster would say it, don’t say it. Oddly enough, this one works too: if you were planning on opening with “I worked for company X, but you’ve probably never heard of it” DON’T. A better way to introduce a small company is to mention what they do, what drew you to them, how much you learned working for them, etc. Insulting your employer’s intelligence and being offended that they don’t recognize the name isn’t going to get you any brownie points.

I hope these help! Now go forth and nail your first date…er… I mean conversation during thanksgiving with your conservative relatives…er I mean…interviews.

(These also work great for conversations during Thanksgiving & on dates btw…feel free to try them out and see how it goes!)

Three Easy Ways To Tweet More Effectively

I’ve been noticing an uptick in different no-nos on Twitter recently, and seen many opportunities for companies, individuals, and groups to maximize their twitter interaction. Now granted, I’m only a college grad and ‘what would I know’ about advanced social media campaigns and social media strategy? Well, as it turns out, I know enough not to do these three things:

Let’s get to it! Image courtesy of Creative Guerilla Marketing (they also have a great article if you click this image)

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Aurora, Colorado

After a 12:05 AM showing, excited fans of The Dark Knight saga were met with tear gas, gunshots, and terror.

Jacob Stevens, 18, hugs his mother Tammi Stevens after being interview by police outside Gateway High School where witness were brought for questioning after a shooting at a movie theater, July 20, 2012 in Denver. (Barry Gutierrez/AP Photo). Image courtesy of ABC news.

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So You Think You Can Blog?

Hipster glasses time!

As more and more people turn to blogs to share inspiration, stories, and valuable information, its only natural that there are some things new bloggers should keep in mind. In my brief experience of blogging, I’ve learned a few handy tips for building a decent audience and maximizing your blogging potential. Here are some of them:

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