How using social media can help you get a job

by Laura Vilaça

As Jasmijn de Baan explained this week, the work market is a dogfight. As such, you must be as prepared as possible, always finding ways to make yourself stand out from the competition. Today, being able to throw around a few clicks to get others engaged is as valuable as gold, and one must not fall behind on the trends. Social media may just be the push you need to look like a safe bet on a casino night. And though these tools are not as useful for some jobs as they are for others, knowing the basics can also be a way to improve how you manage your internet persona and, just maybe, turn out to be nice conversation ice breaker in an elevator or a party because, like it or not, we’re all Barbie girls in a digital world.

Given that I’m a nicer person than a new-born puppy, I organized a little guide to the social networks that are trending and that you should be mastering – or at least be aware of them. You’re welcome, future employed you.

Barbie, the computer engineer. Yes, it exists. via
Barbie, the computer engineer. Yes, it exists.

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Exploding? The Sensitive Issue of Overpopulation

By Daniel Isler

In his mesmerizing book “Freedom”, Jonathan Franzen delicately handles a sensitive but critical issue. He takes his protagonist to a journey into a large sustainability activists group, calling mainly for immediate actions to decrease the world’s population. Although being recognized as a genuine issue by sustainability scientists and social scientists – the subject of decreasing population is still a taboo in most parts of the world. Just think for a second about China’s one-child policy, forbidding more than one biological child for each couple of parents – and feel the repulse and intimidation we experience in light of such intervention to our personal decisions.

But this is by no means a new issue: warning signs were raised already over 200 years ago, namely by British scholar, Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus. In a nutshell, he showed and argued that while population growth is exponential by nature (2-4-8-16…), food and other resources grow arithmetically (1-2-3-4…). This observation means that if untouched, the population will outgrow its own fuel needed to live, and will unavoidably extinct. Although debated intensively over the last 200 years and often dismissed by other scholars – Malthusianism remains a central notion in the debate about global over population.


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Could you give me a job…please?

By Jasmijn de Baan

As a Recruiter, it is the most asked question from anyone who has just received their hard-earned diploma.

Like so many others, I started my education five years ago with all the gleam and pride of someone who thought they were getting the best start in life. Cause not everyone makes it up to university. And at that time it was literally said: ‘no matter what field of study you choose, you will have a job within a short period of time’. Five years later, the unemployment plague is a stark reality. Starter positions are relatively scarce, and the jobs available are usually met by hundreds of candidates applying (300 to 400 candidates for one job opening is rather a rule than an exception). The competition is murderous and (sadly), you can expect your group of competitors growing every half year. Unless you are in IT of course.


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Put Your Pencils Down

By Daniel Isler

A little girl sits down in her class to draw a drawing. The teacher approaches her, and asks her: “what is it that you’re drawing, love?”

The girl answers: “I am drawing a picture of God.”

The teacher, confused, answers: “But nobody knows what God looks like!”

“They will in a minute” answers the little girl.

In 2006 (this was seven years ago. Time flies by), Sir Ken Robinson, an expert on education of the arts gave a mesmerizing 20 minutes lecture on TED. This was when TED was still an innovative way to communicate new and groundbreaking knowledge in a fun and direct manner – just a tiny bit before it was adopted by stoned click-the-link-intellectuals, and became a hub for any kind of short lecture, regardless of its significance for human knowledge. This transformation in TED’s status might be yet another example for the message Sir Robinson is trying to deliver in this lecture and in his books. Schools of public education, he argues, had become a mere long process of university admissions. The capabilities and educational desires of individual students are being redesigned in order for them to comply with “market demands”, “academic standards” and so forth. Robinson says that this is not a viable way of educating children in the 21st century. Schools kill the creativity each and every one of us is born with, and standardize us in ways that “delete” some talents that might have been way more important than mathematics or proper writing. Continue reading