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May 16, 2008

Facebook Professional Success Story

We've all heard the stories and some of us have seen them happen to people we know:  a great candidate didn't get the interview or didn't get the offer because of problems with their online persona.  A scandalous Flickr.com photo or a tasteless comment on YouTube has come back to haunt many a qualified, talented person.  With all that negative news, it is nice to hear from someone who used one of the biggest culprits to her professional advantage.  Below is the message:

"I started a facebook group about two years ago for alumni of my collage. Beyond my expectations,  the group membership exploded and is now an active discussion and meeting board including student, faculty, and alumni. Another alum messaged me out of the blue, told me he had noticed my posts, and said he was impressed with my thoughts and articulation in the discussion threads. He introduced himself and mentioned he is a founding partner of small law firm. During our correspondence he asked how my job search was going and mentioned that he might be looking for a new associate. One thing lead to another and his firm just offered me the position!" 

So, as you embark on a job search, remember to pay attention to your online persona.  Make sure it helps you, not hurts you!  Start with:

  1. Setting your personal Facebook or MySpace page to private.
  2. Googling yourself and see what is out there. Correct any unprofessional or damaging items that you have control over.
  3. Combating negatives that you don't have control over with professional activities. Here are some ways to do that:
  • Start a blog about the area of law you are interested in and write frequent, professional posts.  Link to other experts in the field. 
  • Join LinkedIn and flesh out your profile.  In order for LinkedIn to come up early in search engine results, you need to utilize it to its full potential.  Guy Kawasaki has an excellent article on how to do this at his blog found at 


  • Promote your positive image. When you write a great post on your blog, forward it to your professional networks.  Send it to Digg (www.digg.com) or Slashdot (www.slashdot.org) to share with people you have yet to meet.

Carla DeVelder, Notre Dame Law School

May 16, 2008 | Permalink


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