by Beth Connolly on April 27, 2012
Forget about the whole Facebook password issue. As unsettling as it is to think of an interviewer checking out your Facebook presence from the inside out, it might be worse to think of them evaluating you based on an unscientific, trendy, middle-school style social media metric.
Have you heard of Klout?
If you haven’t, you probably don’t have a very good score. So you won’t be receiving free and unsolicited perks from retailers. And you might be at a disadvantage in your job search.
That’s okay, just log on to Klout today and see what your score is. By diligently tweeting, facebooking, google plussing, engaging with other cyborgs, and focusing on hashtag-worthy subjects, you can inch your score up, point by point.
Klout is a service that conveniently ranks your digital media presence, using accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and many more. If your score is above 50, you begin to qualify for the rewards, according to an article in Wired. The only celebrity to have a perfect score is, you guessed it, Justin Bieber. Meanwhile, President Obama clocks in at 91.
No evidence suggests that there has been widespread usage of Klout scores as a method to evaluate job seekers. However, especially for high-profile or media-related positions, it does not seem unlikely that such a phenomenon could become common place. Employers are already obsessed with your social media presence. Why? It’s akin to checking out a blind date on facebook before accepting: a candidate-vetting method that takes little time, no face-to-face contact, and allows for very little pesky grey area. When you check out a date on facebook, you are hoping to find a glaring dealbreaker, like a profane forehead tattoo, evidence of drug addiction, or way too many wall posts from an ex. Employers check you out on social media with the same basic intention.
Klout just takes it one step further. In addition to eliminating candidates with glaring issues without even having to meet them, employers can now see how “important” you are on the internet without having to do any calculations themselves.
Wired cites the case of Sam Fiorella, who was taken aback when a potential employer asked him for his score in the middle of a job interview. Fiorella said he didn’t know his score or even what Klout was. Turned out he pulled a lousy 34 and the interview ended shortly thereafter. Fiorella later found out that the employer chose a candidate with a score of 67.
With all of the internet media backlash against Klout, it seems rather unlikely that employers will pursue this method of evaluation as a general rule. On the other hand, what people say on the internet has never stopped employers from doing what they want.
In closing, you are probably already over at Klout checking out your score. I know, it’s addicting. I managed to bump myself up from 41 to 42 in 24 hours. But don’t take your Klout rating too seriously without measuring it up against your Klouchebag rating. That’s right, a new service measures how much of a douchebag you are on twitter. (I’m a 31; I retweet too much.)