Job Hunting in 2012? Here’s How Social Can Help

If the new year means a new job, you should be looking at your social profiles to make sure there’s nothing there that will put you out of the running for your dream gig. Once that’s done, these tips from Career Enlightenment should get your search on the right track.



Weekly Roundup: Dec. 1, 2011

School Bus

Blackboard is ubiquitous on college campuses these days–I used it constantly during my days at Georgetown and it was the one network where professors and students used it with almost equal fervor in my experience. So I was surprised to read about a tutor who was fired at Central Michigan University for using the service to schedule a meeting with other tutors over his concerns about the program. Not surprisingly, he’s planning to sue.

A PR firm in Arizona lost a contract with the Special Olympics after one of the partners tweeted about a local sports teams’ fans as “midgets” who posed “marketing challenges.” While he wasn’t referring specifically to the S.O., they didn’t take kindly to his poorly worded insult and ended their relationship with the firm, stat.

Photo by ImageMDToday’s image is related to school because there were some serious lessons learned in this week.

Cowboys Cheerleader Forced From Twitter By Team Management

Thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving means family, overindulgence, naps on the couch–and for a lot of people football. No matter what, the Dallas Cowboys (aka America’s Team) always play on Thanksgiving. During this year’s game a Dallas cheerleader got in on the action when she was accidentally knocked down by tight end Jason Witten. Melissa Kellerman, the cheerleader in question, tweeted about the accident the following morning, which apparently did not sit well with Cowboys management. Kellerman was told to delete her Twitter account, according to news reports.

No explanation was given for the decision, and considering how benign the tweets were (see below) it looks like the Cowboys have created a story out of an otherwise non-issue that would have gone away much faster had they ignored her tweets in the first place. I hope she makes her way back to the Twittersphere soon!

WoSo Roundup: Nov. 17th Edition

Four uniform hats

This week was not a good one for folks in uniform venting on Facebook or Twitter:

A New Jersey police officer was fired after posting profanity and racial slurs on Twitter and complaining about the City of Orange, NJ, where he worked. Not surprisingly his Twitter page is no longer active.

A TSA-agent at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport was fired after hating on Muslims, President and First Lady Obama and others on his Facebook page.

The police chief of Hertford, N.C., about 150 miles west of Raleigh/Durham area, was fired after he posted a link on the city’s Facebook page on Election Day about a candidate that had been arrested for contempt the weekend before the election.

WoSo Roundup: Nov. 10th Edition


A New Jersey judge has ruled that a first grade teacher should lose her job for describing herself as a “warden for future criminals” in a Facebook status update earlier this year.

The Associated Press updated its social media guidelines (for the second time this year: here’s an earlier post on the subject) to address how reporters should retweet to prevent confusing readers on fact vs. opinion. The changes make things for more confusing than ever–check out the conversation at for some of the high points.

WoSo Roundup: Nov. 3 Edition


November 2 marked the Dia De Los Muertos parade in San Francisco's Mission District. It was my first time seeing the parade and altars--amazing artful tributes to lost loved ones. Its a must see.

Its been a busy week for social faux-pas in the UK. But don’t worry, the US is still hanging in there…

An Apple employee in the UK was fired for bashing the company on Facebook, and courts sided with the company. Did he even read the employee manual? Apple is pretty strict about this stuff.

An Elon University football player has been suspended from the team for bashing his coaches via Twitter after a loss over the weekend.

Lastly, reporter/producer Caitlin Curran was fired this week after a picture of her holding a sign during an Occupy Wall Street rally in New York was tweeted widely. Curran wrote about her experience for Gawker–this is a great tale about the merging of political action, social media, and the workforce. As the Occupy movement continues I’m sure there will be more of this.

Google Searches Now Cover Blog, Web Comments via Facebook

You may have noticed over the past several months more and more websites using Facebook social plugin to handle their comments. TechCrunch is a big one, and many other sites have followed suit, citing the desire to increase transparency and cut down on anonymity in comments, which often turn the chance for feedback into a miasma of racist/sexist/idiotic dreck. For a great look at the world of online comments, read this 7×7 article from May 2011.

A view of Facebook enabled comments on TechCrunch

Until this week those Facebook comments have not been searchable via Google and other search engines, but now they are visible just the same as all the other content on the page. SO, if you’ve been hoping that your controversial online comments won’t show up when people search for you, make sure to stick to sites that still use anonymous systems like Disqus, or you might find yourself explaining your opinions to your boss or a potential employer.

For more info on the technical aspects of this enhanced search function, check out Digital Inspiration.

NJ Teacher Blasted For Anti-Gay Facebook Rant


A New Jersey teacher may lose her job for an anti-gay Facebook rant gone viral. Viki Knox posted her displeasure with an LGBT history month announcement on the Union High School Facebook page. Knox is listed on Facebook as a teacher at the school.

After Knox posted her feelings about the month, a back-and-forth on her Facebook wall led the teacher to describe her objections in religious terms. According to news reports, a parent copied the exchange and forwarded them to an attorney, who sent them to school administrators urging her firing.

The school district is investigating, and a New Jersey Star Ledger op-ed is calling for her firing. The Star-Ledger’s coverage of the issue has generated more than 1,000 comments.

The ACLU commented that they feel the comments on Knox’s Facebook page are protected by the First Amendment. Knox hasn’t been fired yet, but with this much visibility and so much attention on the bullying LGBTQ students deal with in schools, it would not be surprising if she is let go. While her comments might be legally protected, the outcry over her comments shows they are clearly socially unacceptable.

At the same time, this instance is a great opportunity for more conversation around tolerance in schools, from students and the adults that teach them. As an ACLU rep noted, “The ACLU believes that the response to offensive speech is not the restriction of speech, but more speech.”

WoSo Roundup: October 14th Edition

Hot Air Balloon being infated-2

An Atlanta teacher who lost her job after Facebook pictures surfaced with her holding an alcoholic drink on vacation (Oh, the HUMANITY!!!!) has also lost a lawsuit attempting to get her job back. (From the Atlanta-Journal Constitution)

An assistant football coach at a KIPP high school in Denver was fired for apparently make a sexual advance toward a student on their Facebook page. Really? Charter schools do NOT need this. (From CW 2 Denver)

A TSA-screener is on administrative leave for making anti-Muslim comments on their Facebook page.  (From My Fox Chicago)