Beyond LinkedIn: Can Social Media Get You A New Job?

Facebook is great fun, but can it and other social media networks help with your job search?

If you’ve ever been on a long job search, you know how taxing it is to be constantly sending resumes, writing cover letters and giving out samples of your work. There has to be an easier way, right? Believe it or not, social media may be the answer, but this goes beyond just LinkedIn. Klout, a website created in 2008 as a social media analytics service, could help people get connected to a new job, according to a recent Forbes article. This is where application control may become extremely important, as you’ll want to be sure that your social apps are all secure and that no one can tamper with your hard-won and increasingly valuable online reputation.

Klout originally started as a corollary of Twitter, Forbes said, but it now works on as many as 12 social media platforms. Depending on user preference, it will monitor activity on each of these feeds and give users metrics on their social media presence, including “True Reach,” or how many people you influence on your social media websites. As much as it is hard to believe, people can end up reaching hundreds, thousands or even millions of people via their social networking websites, and this translates into a higher Klout score. As the Forbes article pointed out, employers are starting to look at Klout score in making hiring decisions.

“We look at this as similar to an SAT,” said Klout spokeswoman Lynn Fox, according to the news source. “It is one of many factors that is considered when a person applies to a university. Likewise, the Klout Score can be used as one of many indicators of someone’s skill set.”

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

It’s already a given that your social media use could impact your job prospects, and up until now, it seems most of the stories have been pretty negative. Research from The Ladder shows that recruiters spend six seconds looking at each resume and make their decisions on a person based on subjective measures and their own gut instinct. This may seem unfair, but it’s incentive for you to start making sure your social media accounts are free of anything that may be viewed as harmful to job recruiters, as one wrong Twitter post could mean getting denied for a job down the line.

An article on Monster.com shows that there is another side of social media job searching, as well. College students may have their search for a first job or new full-time job negatively affected by having unprofessional social media websites. Didn’t think that Twitter post on the controversial subject would be a big deal? You may want to rethink clicking the send button on that tweet.

“While Facebook is a social network, it has become a professional stomping ground as well,” Abigail Solis, a college student, told Monster.com. “In the event a potential employer were to view my page, I wouldn’t worry about their perception of me being damaged or altered because it is quite above reproach.”

Getting back to the positives of the Klout score, the Forbes writer said she had no doubt that businesses will start taking note of social connectivity when looking at job applicants. If you have great reach online, you could leverage that reach for a business, or help a company increase its social media influence.

As an added positive to using Klout, there are “Klout Perks,” according to the company’s website, that let users get exclusive products or experiences. All around, it seems as though as more people get online and start using social networking, the more important they become in everyday life.

Do you currently check your Klout score? Have you ever been asked about your social media accounts on a job interview? Does this seem like nonsense or is it the wave of the future? Let us know in the comments.

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.