Monday, August 24, 2009

Weathering the Storm: Using Social Networking Sites to Uncover the Hidden Job Opportunities

By: Pang Ly, Esq. and Kevin L. Nichols1
Some social networking sites (“SNS”) are still in their teenage phase: crushes, gossip, sports stats, and local flavor are their typical posts. Most SNS’ casual approach to communicating is not the standard communication style among lawyers particularly when “communicating” in writing. How then as legal professionals can we appropriately utilize the tool for job searching? By understanding and finessing the social features particular to each SNS, you can effectively use the SNS tools in a focused manner for your own ends. Make sure the social networking you engage in achieves two goals: (1) identifies persons of interest (“POI”) and (2) reveals networking opportunities.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and JDSupra are four commonly used SNS which you can easily dabble in and employ for your own purposes including a job search.

LinkedIn is the most professionally focused SNS with its online resume functionality. Anything you would include in your resume and experience section, you can certainly enhance with LinkedIn’s features including showcasing glowing recommendations from colleagues, clients, or past employers as part of your profile. Indeed, you can send an email containing LinkedIn standard text requesting a recommendation or choose to write your own request for a recommendation.

This SNS’s underlying goal is to reduce the "6 Degrees of Separation" by allowing individual members to mine the connections of existing relationships and request introductions to meet potential employers, clients, or other resourceful people. Rather than cold calling companies, etc., LinkedIn facilitates introductions that broaden your contacts. You can easily find people who you went to school with or have worked with and add them to your network. You can easily upload your contacts from other sources such as Gmail or Yahoo. LinkedIn also has job postings, calendar of events, and updates about your contacts so you can keep current.

Practical Tips:
1. Your LinkedIn account should have a professional headshot, detailed resume, solid recommendations, and a careful edit of interests. Employers glean a lot of information from the profile listing, so show off a little and put your best foot forward. Warning: do not get too personal here save that for Facebook if you want to go there.
2. A useful function of LinkedIn is the contact settings “expertise requests”. This enables you to identify a person as a specialist in their field, and regardless of whether the person is outside of your network, the setting is an excellent icebreaker by facilitating an easy introduction. People appreciate having their knowledge valued and are eager to share about their practice. Once you have identified a POI, then schedule an informational interview. If nothing else, you will make a new friend.
3. Ask a contact to forward your resume to HR. Oftentimes a firm will have an
opening and, instead of blindly sending your resume to HR, LinkedIn can help
you identify a POI in the company. For example, a law firm just posted an
advertisement for a senior associate because the previous one, whom is in your network, was recruited in-house. You ask your contact to forward a detailed introduction to the hiring manager about you and your ability to fill the vacancy. Assuming that their departure was a pleasant one, you have spectacular inroad to a position that no one else would have. 4. Ask for introductions. Really extend yourself and ask your existing contacts to introduce you to POIs. LinkedIn makes it easy to get third parties introduced into your network.
5. Keep track of events or job posting within your area of interest.

Facebook ("FB") is perhaps the most popular SNS today with many features to keep friends and family current about your life. Individuals can post events, share photos, play games, post relevant articles, YouTube clips, and other video, and create groups for worthy causes or networking. Members are able to update their "status" by sharing their moods or current activity, to which others may comment and respond accordingly. This SNS tends to be less professionally oriented, however, many professionals maintain both a work oriented LinkedIn page and a friends and family/interest group oriented Facebook page. Thus checking out and being open to both SNS provides a way in which to become better acquainted with your professional contacts. FB also has many settings to address privacy concerns; the settings allow you to manage who has what level of access to your personal
information and details of your life which are on display. Manage appropriately!

Practical Tips:
1. By updating your status, you can let your network know that you are looking for a particular opportunity and those who frequently read what is going on in other's lives, can respond to you with either referrals, connections, or helpful information that you may use to achieve your goals.
2. Belonging to the professional groups, alumni associations, affinity groups, etc., you can learn about social mixers and events that can allow you to meet the right people and open up the appropriate doors for you to walk through.
3. Search for POIs. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you actually know someone who can put in a good word for you.
4. Look for events posted regarding your practice areas. Even bar associations and groups have FB listing networking functions.
5. Sometimes receiving "friend requests" from bosses or co-workers can be unsettling so please visit http://www.examiner.com/x-11864-Office-PoliticsExaminer~y2009m6d23-The-politics-of-Facebook-friends-from-your-job for some helpful tips.

Twitter is a site that allows individuals to post short, roughly 160 character messages, containing their thoughts, services, needs, feelings, etc. to their "followers" as well as the rest of the universe. This is like sending an instant message to everyone you know and depending on your settings, the entire world. Thus, it has upsides and downsides. Recently, it has grown in popularity due to celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher's race to beat CNN to 1,000,000 followers, or Oprah Winfrey sending her first "tweet" (message) on her show. Even President Obama tweets!

Millions of people read each others tweets and links to various articles, pictures, and other content on the web. A more focused Twitter for legal professionals is LexTweet which gathers legal tweets. However, it is difficult to measure how effective this tool is with advancing your career as unlike LinkedIn and FB, Twitter is one way conversation. It can help keep you on people’s minds if you use it to provide focused information that they want to see; you can think of it as targeted direct marketing lite.

Practical Tips:
1. Update your status and let your network know that you are looking for a particular opportunity.
2. Keep posts professional because tweets are searchable.
3. For a handbook on how to use Twitter, please visit

JD Supra
JD Supra is a SNS focused on the legal community and allows lawyers to showcase their work product. Its motto is: “Give Content. Get Noticed.” and is intended for lawyers to really highlight their legal acumen and the SNS is a searchable database of court filings, decisions, and articles submitted by the individual members. Employers will appreciate reviewing your work product and evaluating your abilities. This can be used for marketing yourself by reminding people of the client alerts or talks you have given recently. Providing value is key.

Practical Tips:
1. Remember that everything that you post is being "published" and discoverable. That being said put your best article, case or result out there. Prior work is a great way to sell your skills to a potential employer. Remember to keep it current.
2. Identify POIs and make networking connections.
With the working understanding of SNS, make sure to use it in an overall diligent job search.

SNS can be leads on hidden job opportunities and they can also enhance your ability to
positively stand out from other candidates. Here are some great jobs posting sites to get you started, and you just might find that dream job:

1. The Association of Corporate Counsel: www.acca.com
2. www.lawjobs.com
3. Worldwide Legal directory, see its Law Employment Center: www.hg.org
4. The Ladders: http://law.theladders.com
5. Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s job bank:
6. Corporate Counsel Women of Color http://www.ccwomenofcolor.org/
7. www.indeed.com
1 Pang Ly, Esq. is a founding member and current President of the Society of Asian Women Leaders (SAWL) and President & CEO of Legal Presence LLC. Kevin L. Nichols is President & CEO of KLN Publishing, LLC. The information in this article is a general description of social networking sites and is not intended to provide specific [legal] advice nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Because of its generality, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations. Printed with permission of Pang Ly, Esq. and Kevin L. Nichols. Copyright ©2009. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love is now playing in the Bay Area!

Please find some information that I received for your review. Please contact Anne below with inquiries.
Very truly yours,

Hi Kevin,

I work with Groovy Griot, a production company in New York and
we released a new film in the Bay Area on July 31 entitled,
"Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love." The film is a documentary
about Senegalese music superstar, Youssou N'Dour. The film has
won numerous awards on the festival circuit and it opened in
New York and Los Angeles to much acclaim. The film is an entertaining, compelling documentary and it sends a message of positive change through music. Here's a link to a review of the film in the San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/31/MV35190UNA.DTL .

We are trying to get the word out about the film in the Bay Area. I wanted to see if you would be willing to send information about the film to your group members via email or if you would be willing to post something on your linked in blog about the film. Below please find additional information about the film. Please take a moment to view the film trailer by visiting the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK4kE329o28.

Warm regards,

Anne Broecker
Groovy Griot

It gives us great pleasure to announce that the new award winning film Youssou N’Dour: I BRING WHAT I LOVE opened in San Francisco (UA Stonestown Twin), Berkeley (Rialto Elmwood) and Monterey (Osio Cinema 6) on July 31 after opening to great success in New York and Los Angeles – “One of the best openings for a documentary so far this year" - Indiewire.

An audience sensation at film festivals worldwide, I BRING WHAT I LOVE takes you behind the scenes and into the world of Africa’s most famous musician: Youssou N’Dour. This never-before-told story follows N’Dour at a turning point in his life and career, as he releases his most personal and controversial album Egypt. But the singer’s hope for promoting a more tolerant face of Islam erupts in scandal and outrage in his native country that rejects the album and denounce it as blasphemous. Part explosive documentary, part stirring drama, I BRING WHAT I LOVE is an unforgettable musical journey with an artist whose courage and conviction shook the music industry and ultimately awakened the world. Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba49eFI3WsU

If you live in or near San Francisco, go see the film and bring your friends, family and colleagues. The film's beautiful footage, fun beats, and inspiring personal story make it a must-see.

Enjoy the tantalizing beats, be inspired by Youssou's compelling story, but also go see the film because there is more at stake. It’s all too rare that an African or Muslim subject gets this kind of filmmaking and this kind of attention. Amid the images in the U.S. media of African AIDS, war and poverty, this film is a chance for Americans to see a positive, realistic representation of contemporary Africa. In addition, it is all too rare that stories go below the surface and give nuanced views of a more tolerant Islam. Every film is judged by its box office receipts, so please do your part to make this film a success - to show theaters and the media that we want to see films that reveal an entirely new Africa.

San Francisco, CA
UA Stonestown Twin
501 Buckingham Way
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 681-0331
Daily 1:00 PM, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Opens July 7 at the Roxie
Roxie Theater
3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA
Daily at 9:45pm

Berkeley, CA
Rialto Cinemas Elmwood
2966 College Avenue at Ashby
Berkeley, CA 94705
Daily 2:30 PM, 4:40, 7:00, 9:30 with Sat/Sun Mat 12:15 PM

Opens in El Cerrito, CA on August 7
Cerrito Rialto Cinemas
10070 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530
Daily: 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Monterey, CA
Osio 6 Cinemas
350 Alvarado St
Monterey, CA 93940
Daily: 12:10pm, 2:30pm, 4:50pm, 7:30pm, 9:40pm

Reel Talk/NBC: June 20th, 2009
“Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love”
http://video.reeltalktv.com/player/?fid=28804 - videoid=1127487
CNN: June 13th, 2009
“African Voices: Singing from Senegal”
http://edition.cnn.com/video/ - /video/international/2009/06/12/av.a.youssou.ndour.cnn
Huffington Post: June 12th, 2009
“Youssou N’Dour and ‘I Bring What I Love’: an Elegiac Meditation on Faith, Islam and Music”
Group sales questions? Email: groupsales@ibringwhatilove.com

Visit the website: http://www.ibringwhatilove.com /and join our email list
Join on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=20862148780
Follow on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/YoussouNdourDoc
Subscribe to http://www.Youtube.com/YoussouNdourDoc for exclusive videos and music!

For more information, questions, and to share your ideas please contact:
Anne Broecker
Groovy Griot
I Bring What I Love Outreach Manager