A Student's Guide to Twitter

by Argosy University 24 October 2013

Twitter birdSo many social media sites exist that it can be hard to know how you should position yourself on each one.

You’re probably already using Facebook to stay in touch with friends, family and other Argosy students. Hopefully, you’ve already built a professional profile on LinkedIn. What about Twitter? As a student and a career-driven professional, how can you be using Twitter to your benefit?

It might surprise you to discover that Twitter can be a great tool for networking, building your professional reputation, and even searching for the next step in your career. Let's take a look at some of what you could (and should) be doing on Twitter.

1. Connect with industry colleagues.

Find and follow established companies and professionals in your field and possibly in your city. Pay attention to what they’re tweeting and when you see something you like or agree with, retweet it. Even better, reply with your opinion included.

Based on someone’s tweets, you can also start a conversation about a shared interest. Ask their opinion on something or recommend articles or sites you think they’ll enjoy. Connecting with someone on Twitter can be an easy way to start a professional relationship!

2. Build your professional reputation.

Start by choosing a Twitter handle that sounds professional and writing a bio that speaks to who you are and where you are in your career. Your tweets should reinforce whatever this bio says. If you say you’re a working mom, dedicated nurse and lifelong learner, that’s what you should tweet about. (Follow us @AuCampusCommon to see what we’re tweeting about.) Find articles that talk about things like balancing your personal and professional life, the benefits of education, or new trends in nursing. Even better, give your own advice on this topic. Build credibility by showing that you’re aware of what’s going on around you and that you have something to contribute.

3. Search for Jobs.

Did you know that jobs are often posted on Twitter? Search using hashtags and keywords to find job postings in your area. Try searching #Jobs, #JobOpening, #ApplyNow, or search for a combination of those with your career field – something like #PsychologyJobs or #ITJobs. Searching “#PsychologyJobs” and “Phoenix,” for example would allow you to narrow your search even further.

In addition, if you’re interested in specific companies, many organizations have Twitter accounts dedicated to job openings. Follow these accounts to know right away whenever a job in your field opens up!

Read More

4 Proactive Ways Job Seekers Should Use Twitter
How to Tweet Your Way to a Dream Job
4 Ways To Use Twitter To Find A Job
How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource

Check Your Privacy Settings, Facebook Graph Search is Here.

by Argosy University 31 July 2013

New search bar

Earlier this month, Facebook launched a new feature called Graph Search. Now, when you type a user’s name in the search bar, Graph Search allows you to search for specific items including public posts, likes, location, photos and interests. You can use broad searches as well as more specific ones like “Friends who live in Chicago and like sports” or “friends of friends who work at my company.”

Graph Search improves Facebook’s search functionality by taking information that was previously very hard to stitch together and making it easy to search, helping you to identify people with common interests and quickly find specific photos or content. However, if you can easily find this information about others, remember that your Facebook friends, friends of friends and even the public may be able to find the same information about you!

Protecting Your Privacy

With the introduction of Graph Search, it may be time to change your privacy settings—especially if you’re uncomfortable with people searching for your old Facebook pictures and statuses, or if you don’t like the idea of showing up in a search based on pages that you’ve liked and music or interests that you’ve listed on your page.

The easy way to protect yourself from unwanted privacy intrusions is to go to your privacy settings and click “limit past posts.” This will turn all old posts to a “friends only” status with the click of a button. However, if you want some things to stay public or to be visible to friends of friends, you’ll need to do it the manual way by clicking “Use Activity Log” and going through each post one by one, changing settings as needed.

Business Insider created this great step-by-step guide to help you keep your information private. If you don’t have time for that right now, here are the basics:

1. Go to your Privacy Settings and check who can see your posts: public, friends, friends of friends, or only you.

2. If you want some posts to stay public, click "Use Activity Log" and scroll through your history, editing the privacy settings for each one as you go.

3. To change who can see your profile information, go to the “About” page on your profile and click the "edit" button next to each category.

What’s your opinion on Facebook's new Graph Search? Feel free to share your thoughts on the Argosy University, Online Programs Facebook page!

Could You Be Addicted to Your Smartphone?

by Argosy University 2 July 2013

person using smartphone

If anyone has ever told you you’re addicted to your smartphone, you’re not alone. In modern culture, people are becoming more dependent on their phones than ever before. With instant access to text messages, emails, social media, games and practically everything else we could want, our dependence on smartphones is starting to resemble a serious addiction. You can find people using their phones when they’re walking, driving, hanging out with friends, waiting for a bus, standing in line, and even using the restroom!

Over half of U.S. adults - 56% to be exact - now own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. And according to an IDC Research report, 18 to 44 year olds who own smartphones spend in excess of two hours a day communicating with people via messaging or social media on their phones. Even more staggering is the fact that almost 80% of this group checks their smartphone at least once within 15 minutes after waking up.

So what are the repercussions of this rampant obsession with our phones and should we be describing this behavior as addictive?

Well, in extreme cases, it can cause a slew of problems from social anxiety to car accidents. Researcher and clinical psychologist Lisa Merlo says she has observed many problematic behaviors among smartphone users, including aversion to real-life social interactions and general lack of awareness of their external environments and surroundings.

Other studies have found that smartphone users exhibit signs of under stimulation and boredom when separated from their phone. New findings even suggest that technological addiction is just as serious as substance abuse. Though the consequences may not be as threatening to our health, these actions certainly do steal your time and energy with little payback.

As reported in Psychology Today recently, smartphone usage may be contributing to a modern state of existence in which human communication is suffering. Those who constantly look to their smartphones for stimulation and connectedness may be less skilled in having those same experiences when they are face-to-face with others (perhaps because they’re too focused on waiting for the latest update from their phone).

Psychologists suggest that we use smartphones a little more mindfully, taking caution to give ourselves a break—to occasionally unplug from the constant status updates and emails. Keep it out of reach or turn it off for a few hours a day. Little steps like these might help you combat some of the negative consequences of smartphone overuse.

These researchers may now turn their attention toward the underlying cause of this phenomenon. In other words, instead of thinking about checking your smartphone as an addictive behavior, perhaps they will look more closely at what it is we are checking and what actually drives our need to do so.

Read More

Social Media More Addictive Than Booze and Cigs
Cell phone dependence ‘just as real as substance addiction’
Always Connected: How Smartphones and Social Keep Us Engaged
Smartphone dependency: a growing obsession with gadgets


Related Blog Post: Is Social Media Turning Us into Narcissists?

Is Social Media Turning Us into Narcissists?

by Argosy University 27 June 2013

Social Media Icons


You might have had your suspicions for a long time that some of your social media contacts are a little more self-obsessed than is healthy, but now it's official: a new study has linked high levels of social media use with narcissism.

 

Could this be a reason to break your social media habits before it does permanent damage to your personality?

Studying Social Media and Narcissism

Published in Computers in Human Behavior, this study examined the psychology of adults in various age groups, and looked for correlations between narcissistic traits and excessive use of social media. One finding that stood out strongly from the research was the fact that young adults who scored highly on narcissism tests posted more often on Twitter than those whose scores fell in the normal range.

Middle-aged narcissists, meanwhile, chose a different outlet for their social media outpourings, preferring to post status updates on Facebook. However, the general trend remained the same - the more narcissistic individuals updated more often than those with more typical psychologies.

What is Narcissism?

The researchers conducting this study used a personality assessment to evaluate the participants' levels of certain traits—including superiority, exhibitionism, authority, willingness to exploit others, and self-sufficiency. These traits are typically associated with narcissistic personality disorder, in which individuals fixate on their own power and prestige.

Could use of social media be linked with narcissism? Researcher Elliot Panek thinks so. He describes how Facebook allows individuals to curate and control their online image, and to gain approval from others within their social circle. Meanwhile, Twitter acts as a platform for narcissistic individuals to broadcast their opinions to a wide audience.

Correlation or Causation?

Before you rush online to shut down your social media accounts, note that the researchers did not draw any conclusions about social media causing narcissistic tendencies to develop. It is not clear from this one study whether narcissistic people are naturally drawn to social media as a way of broadcasting their own thoughts and opinions, or whether excessive use of social media leads to the development of narcissistic traits.

This research was one of the first studies to look at the relationship between narcissistic traits and patterns of social media. Future research in this area of study could probe more deeply into this relationship to find out how different aspects of social media usage, such as posting status updates, reading posts by others, or commenting on content posted by other users, correlates with or even contributes to narcissistic psychology in adults of all ages.

Read more on this study here: You're So Vain: Study Links Social Media Use and Narcissism. Or, learn about our Psychology programs here.

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Go Digital with Your Job Search

by Argosy University 11 April 2013

As a student at Argosy University, Online Programs, you're already developing skills and forging relationships that will help you to advance your career. Still, job seekers should use all available avenues to find employment, and LinkedIn may be one of the best online tools you have at your disposal. Here, you'll find tips for maximizing your LinkedIn experience and finding the job of your dreams.

Create a LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn Logo

If you haven't already, create a LinkedIn profile. Upload an office-appropriate photograph and list all relevant work and internship experience. Once you've completed your profile (including specialties), ask colleagues for recommendations, which can help you stand out from the competition. Be sure to recommend your colleagues as well! The effort will not go unreciprocated.

To connect with other Argosy University alumni and students on LinkedIn, join the Worldwide Professionals Network | Argosy University group.

Tailor Your Search Criteria

LinkedIn Jobs

Many companies use LinkedIn to list jobs in addition to or in place of the standard online job boards. When you search for a job on LinkedIn, list keywords relevant to the positions you're looking for, determine an industry and define a salary range.

Save your search criteria to streamline your search process. Also save jobs that interest you so that you can find them easily in the future.

Identify the Hiring Manager

When possible, it’s best to have a name to which you can address your cover letter rather than writing "Dear HR Department" or "To Whom it May Concern." Some postings name the person who posted the job description; if so, contact the poster to see to whom you should address your letter.

Use Your LinkedIn Connections

Apply for jobs to which you're connected to an employee of the company (within two degrees). If you have a first-degree connection at a company, ask that person for a recommendation. If you have a second-degree connection (which is comparable to a friend of a friend), it's worth asking for an introduction to that person. They may be able to tell you about the company's culture, structure and even hiring process.

Do Your Research

As you probably know, no job posting lists all the skills and traits required of applicants. Here's your chance to do a bit of detective work: View the profiles of other people who work in the role for which you're applying and make note of their skills. Follow the company's LinkedIn updates to get a sense of who they are and what's important to them. For a more holistic view, see what skills people in the same role at other companies have. This will help you to determine whether you're qualified for a role, and it will also give you insight about how to word your resume and cover letter.