twitter

Everyone Needs To Stop Doing This

Plashing Vole tweeted:

“As the Dissertation God for one of my subjects, the words ‘everyone’ and ‘everything’ are now banned due to unthinking abuse.” [Source]

Apparently, some dissertations that had been submitted for marking contained this type of saying:

  • “Everyone is on Twitter.”
  • “Everyone knows X.”

It’s best to leave these sayings behind. Here’s why:

Crowd (photo by Redfishingboat (Mick O))

“It was amazing. Everyone was there.” – No. Not everyone. (photo by redfishingboat (Mick O))

Everyone is on Twitter

No. Not everyone. You know that really. It’s just a way of saying how popular Twitter seems to be. Surely everyone is using Twitter? But academia needs to be pedantic. Your coursework is not the time for casual remarks.

This isn’t the same as stating information that is generally regarded to be the case without need to explain further. More on that below.

To make a point, you need a reference. Twitter statistics are hard to come by in any up to date and accurate measure, especially in academic papers and textbooks. However, go to the source and you can make a good start.

Twitter’s own Twitter account posted on 18 December 2012 that there are more than 200 million active users per month. They give no further evidence, so it isn’t definitive (even if they say so themselves), but it is a good start if you want to talk about how many people use the service.

Similarly, if Twitter announced that everyone was using Twitter, you could reference that and find examples of people who do not use the service. That’s what research is all about…Although I’m pretty sure Twitter aren’t about to say that the entire human population on earth is now using Twitter.

Everyone knows X

Some information can be referred to and used without referencing. Usually when there is wide agreement, nothing controversial, and generally understood far beyond academic circles.

In these rare cases, I’m pretty sure the information won’t involve ‘everyone’ or ‘everything’. That’s another clue not to use those words.

If the detail is genuinely accepted and requires no further referencing, you can get rid of “everyone knows” anyway. First, because it’s not literally true (it’s unlikely to be stored in a knowledge bank in the brain at birth), and second, because they are pointless words. If everyone accepts it, why do you need to tell us? After all, you’re telling us what we already know.

But why am I telling you about this? I thought everyone knew not to do it… 😉

There are variations on this. When you start writing things like, “People say…” and “Many researchers note…“, remember that you need to be specific. Give examples. Refer to the researchers. Don’t call them ‘people’ or ‘researchers’ at all. Name them outright and give them pride of place.

Every time you find yourself writing along these lines, you have a way forward. Take the offending remarks and look for a way to reference the information instead. You’ll get a useful footnote in and you’ll show that you’ve looked for the detail. What first looked like a throwaway comment has suddenly become potential for a better mark. Not a bad incentive for dropping ‘everyone’ from the writing.

Why right now is a great time to be heard on LinkedIn

Now that LinkedIn isn’t taking Twitter feed updates any more, it’s a great time to get involved.

You might be thinking, how does a loss of service improve things for me?

Because update feeds on LinkedIn (mine at least) comprised mostly of Twitter updates. Updates I’d usually seen on Twitter anyway!

After the announcement that Twitter updates won’t get posted to LinkedIn (but LinkedIn updates can still be posted to Twitter), your home feed looks different. Gone are the Tweets and back are the links, conversations, and connection updates.

In short, everyone’s home feed is quieter. It’s easier to find out what else is happening.

But it may not be quiet for long. A post on Just Professionals agrees that the Twitter switch-off is a good thing and says:

“Conversation on LinkedIn is already recovering – you may note that people are beginning to use their home feed again.”

Now is the best chance to start adding to the discussion and adding conversation and content that’s relevant to the future you want. Be professional as early as possible. There’s no need to wait until you’re looking for a job; do it now. Do it always!

This approach will get you noticed right now and help people see that you’re engaged in professional matters. When you finally do need to find work, you’ll have a great head start and a developing network to boot.

8 top tips to help graduates gain employment after university

For many students, leaving university can be a very difficult time. After spending the best part of 15 years in education, moving into the working world can be a daunting experience but it doesn’t need to be…

“Preparation and forward planning is essential for any student who wants to make the best start to their graduate career,” explains Crystal Evans from graduate recruitment scheme GO Wales.

work (photo by will_hybrid)

work (photo by will_hybrid)

And I’ve got eight tips from GO Wales on getting into the world of work. Crystal says that by implementing a few simple essentials it will, “put you in a much better position when confronting the competitive job market after graduation”.

I’ve added my own comments below each tip to help you even further along the way.

Eight top tips to help secure employment after university

1. Get out there

Work experience is crucial when applying for jobs because it shows a non-academic interest in your industry sector. Being in the working environment that you strive to succeed in allows you to see what it’s really like. Many graduate jobs go to those who have completed relevant sector specific work experience.

[Martin’s note: You can even ‘get out there’ as you stay on campus… Jobs are often available within uni or your students’ union that can get you useful experience.]

2. Know what you’re doing

Taking an active interest in your career sector will help you stand out as knowledgeable and enthusiastic at the interview stage. Graduate jobs go beyond the skills you learn at university, so a thorough understanding of your industry will help you come across as keen, as well as dedicated.

[Martin’s note: To show your growing understanding, get blogging about the industry and build a portfolio of content that you can refer to at any time with ease. When you know your stuff, it’s valuable to show what you know!]

3. Keep your CV fresh

Your CV is like the window display inside a shop – it brings people in. A good CV must look professional and needs to be well tailored to the job that you’re applying for. Make sure your CV is up-to-date, demonstrates the skills and experience you can bring to a company, is accurate and spell checked.

[Martin’s note: Use LinkedIn so you can keep a living CV online. When you need to update, just add the new information. That way, you’re visible and you don’t have to start each CV from scratch. Job applications need tailoring, but that doesn’t mean you have to write a new CV every time. Also, LinkedIn lets you connect and network, as well as give and receive recommendations. Bonus!]

4. Go and get involved

Taking part in extracurricular activities will help you stand out from the rest. Participating in clubs, socials and sports at university will build your confidence and teach you team building skills that will ultimately impress an employer.

[Martin’s note: Just don’t get involved in too many societies and clubs. Aim for a managable amount that you can do really well, rather than loads of different activities that you hardly engage with.]

5. Network with others

Social networking sites present excellent opportunities for securing a graduate job; enabling you to communicate directly with people who work in the industries you’re interested in.  Following the appropriate professionals on social media sites like Twitter and Linkedin will help you to network in your industry; talk to professionals via social networks and don’t be afraid to seek advice from them.

[Martin’s note: Online networking is a big deal right now, and it’s easier than ever. Also, take your social shine to the next level and meet up with your online contacts. Attend seminars, conferences, and tweetups (put simply, meet with people you follow on Twitter!). Join industry groups online and check out what events they’re holding near you. Face to face encounters can be more memorable and more rewarding than online alone.]

6. Fail to prepare: prepare to fail

Turning up to an interview unprepared will waste all the work you’ve put in to getting to that stage.  Research the company beforehand to demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of what they do. Make sure you look professional and remain confident throughout.

[Martin’s note: Even after you have prepared, don’t be scared of failure. Every interview is an experience. You may have prepared extensively and still get thrown a curveball when you’re there. Far from knocking your confidence, let each failure boost you up for success further down the line. See the next tip for more on this…]

7. Don’t give up

Finding the perfect job takes time and a lot of effort. The graduate job market is very competitive and only 50 per cent of students find work in their preferred industry straight after university. Staying positive and realising that every failure has taught you something new will help you progress.  Finding relevant part-time work or volunteering will keep your industry knowledge up-to-date and you will also learn new skills along the way.

[Martin’s note: It’s also important to start early. Build up your strengths (both new and old) and tailor yourself as soon as you can. Don’t wait until you graduate!]

8. Use your resources

GO Wales works to help students and graduates secure work placements and quality work experience opportunities. Work Placements not only give you the chance to develop your knowledge and skills in a real work environment; you will also be paid a minimum of £250 per week. 65 per cent of their graduates secure long-term employment as a result of work placement schemes.

[Martin’s note: While GO Wales is aimed at students in Wales or graduates who are looking to develop their career in Wales, don’t stop if you’re not in that neck of the woods. Seek out other services either in your area or nationally. A good place to start is with your own uni careers services. Don’t be shy; they exist for you to make the most of them.]

Now go back to the first point. Time to get out there and be awesome!

99 UK Students’ Unions on Twitter

Back in 2009, I compiled a list of all the students’ unions I could find on Twitter. I found just over 60. Twitter had already made quite a mark.

With the increasing popularity of Twitter, even more SUs have come on board. There have been a couple of name changes since then too.

My original list remains pretty popular, even though it was never updated.

Until now, that is…

I’ve checked the list for changes and additions to make sure it’s as relevant as possible today. There are now 99 SU accounts out there.

Students in Percy Gee Atrium (photo: University of Leicester)

Napier, Cranfield and Buckingham told me that they don’t currently have official Students’ Union/Association Twitter accounts. If I’ve missed any other SUs off the list, please let me know. Otherwise, I hope the list is useful.

If you want to follow all the SUs in a convenient Twitter List, I’ve put all the accounts together on the UK Students’ Unions list for you.

99 104
Students’ Unions on Twitter
(last checked January 2012)

Aberdeenhttp://twitter.com/ausatwit
Abertayhttps://twitter.com/#!/abertayunion
Aberystwyth https://twitter.com/aberguild
Anglia Ruskin http://twitter.com/AngliaRuskinSU
Astonhttps://twitter.com/#!/aston_guild
Bangorhttps://twitter.com/#!/bangorstudents
Bath http://twitter.com/BathSU
Bath Spahttps://twitter.com/#!/bathspasu
Bedfordshirehttps://twitter.com/#!/bedssu
Birmingham Cityhttp://twitter.com/bhamcitysu
Birmingham http://twitter.com/guildofstudents
Boltonhttps://twitter.com/#!/UBSUnion
Bournemouth http://twitter.com/sububournemouth
Bradford http://twitter.com/ubuonline
Brightonhttps://twitter.com/#!/subrighton
Bristolhttps://twitter.com/#!/ubunews
Brunel http://twitter.com/brunelstudents
Bucks New Unihttps://twitter.com/#!/buckssu
Cambridgehttps://twitter.com/#!/CUSUonline/
Canterbury Christ Churchhttp://twitter.com/christchurchsu
Cardiff http://twitter.com/cardiffunion
Central Lancashirehttp://twitter.com/uclansu
Chesterhttps://twitter.com/#!/chestersu
Chichester http://twitter.com/Chi_Union
City http://twitter.com/CULSU
Coventry http://twitter.com/cusu
Cumbriahttps://twitter.com/#!/cumbriasu
De Montforthttp://twitter.com/demontfortsu
Derby http://twitter.com/udsu
Dundeehttps://twitter.com/#!/dusa_theunion
Durhamhttps://twitter.com/#!/durhamsu
East Anglia (UEA)https://twitter.com/#!/UnionUEA
East Londonhttps://twitter.com/#!/uelunion
Edge Hillhttp://twitter.com/edgehillsu
Edinburgh http://twitter.com/EUSA
Essex http://twitter.com/EssexSU
Exeter http://twitter.com/exeterguild
Glamorgan http://twitter.com/GlamSU
Glasgowhttps://twitter.com/#!/gusrc
Gloucestershirehttps://twitter.com/#!/yoursu/
Goldsmiths (Uni of London)http://twitter.com/goldsmiths_su
Greenwichhttps://twitter.com/#!/sugreenwich
Heriot-Watthttps://twitter.com/#!/HWUnion
Hertfordshirehttps://twitter.com/#!/uhsutweets
Huddersfieldhttps://twitter.com/#!/huddersfieldsu
Hull http://twitter.com/Hullstudent
Imperial http://twitter.com/icunion
Keele http://twitter.com/keelesu
Kent http://twitter.com/KentUnion
Kingstonhttps://twitter.com/#!/kingston_su
Lancasterhttps://twitter.com/#!/lancasterSU
Leedshttps://twitter.com/#!/LeedsUniUnion
Leeds Methttp://twitter.com/leedsmetsu
Leicester http://twitter.com/PercyGee
Lincoln http://twitter.com/lincolnsu
Liverpoolhttps://twitter.com/#!/LGoS/
Liverpool Hopehttps://twitter.com/#!/LiverpoolHopeSU
Liverpool John Moores https://twitter.com/LiverpoolSU
London Methttps://twitter.com/#!/londonmetsu
London South Bankhttps://twitter.com/#!/LSBU_SU
Loughborough http://twitter.com/loughboroughsu
Manchesterhttps://twitter.com/#!/UMSUnion
Manchester Metropolitanhttps://twitter.com/#!/manmetunion
Middlesex http://twitter.com/mdxsu
Newcastlehttps://twitter.com/#!/LiveNUSU
Northamptonhttps://twitter.com/#!/northamptonSU
Northumbria http://twitter.com/Northumbriasu
Nottingham https://twitter.com/#!/UoNSU
Nottingham Trenthttp://twitter.com/Trentstudents
Oxfordhttps://twitter.com/#!/ousunews
Oxford Brookeshttps://twitter.com/#!/oxfordbrookessu
Plymouth http://twitter.com/UPSU
Portsmouth http://twitter.com/portsmouthsu
Queen’shttps://twitter.com/#!/qubsu
Queen Mary (London)https://twitter.com/#!/QMSU
Readinghttps://twitter.com/#!/rusutweets
Robert Gordonhttps://twitter.com/#!/rguunion
Roehamptonhttps://twitter.com/#!/RoehamptonSU
Salford http://twitter.com/Salfordsu
Sheffieldhttps://twitter.com/#!/sheffieldsu
Sheffield Hallamhttps://twitter.com/hallamunion
Sheffield Hallam (Officers)http://twitter.com/hallamofficers
Southamptonhttps://twitter.com/#!/YourSUSU
Southampton Solenthttps://twitter.com/#!/solentsu
St Andrewshttp://twitter.com/standrewsunion
Staffordshire
http://twitter.com/StaffsUnion
Stirlinghttps://twitter.com/#!/stirlinguni/
Strathclydehttps://twitter.com/#!/StrathUnion
Sunderland http://twitter.com/sunderlandsu
Surreyhttps://twitter.com/#!/Surrey_Union
Sussex http://twitter.com/USSU
Swansea http://twitter.com/SwanseaUnion
Teessidehttps://twitter.com/#!/teessidesu/
University Campus Suffolk
http://twitter.com/UCSunion
University College London (UCL)https://twitter.com/#!/UCLU
Warwickhttps://twitter.com/#!/WarwickSU
West Londonhttps://twitter.com/#!/wlsu
West of England (Bristol)http://twitter.com/uwesu
Westminster http://twitter.com/westminstersu
Winchester http://twitter.com/winchestersu
Wolverhampton http://twitter.com/wolvessu
Worcester http://twitter.com/WorcesterSU
Yorkhttps://twitter.com/#!/yorkunisu
York St John
https://twitter.com/#!/ysjsu

Sheffield SU (photo by ShaneRounce.com Design & Photography)

Sheffield SU (photo: ShaneRounce.com Design & Photography)