With the economy still making a slow recovery, competition for well-paying jobs is at an all-time high. And while many job seekers are polishing up their resumes, cover letters, and lining up their references, increasingly employers are looking at more than just a person’s job history.

These days, exploring a candidate’s social media presence—and what they have to say on Facebook and Twitter—is commonplace, but there’s a new score many employers are checking to see if you’ll be the right person for the job: your Klout score.

Not familiar with Klout? It’s yet another social media tool that uses a complex set of algorithms to determine just how popular and influential people are on the web. Anyone with a public Twitter account has a Klout score (unless you opt out), even if they’ve never heard of the service.

But a recent article in the tech mag Wired explained that some employers are now using a person’s Klout score to measure whether or not they’ll be a good candidate for the job.

Seth Stevenson of Wired writes:

Last spring Sam Fiorella was recruited for a VP position at a large Toronto marketing agency. With 15 years of experience consulting for major brands like AOL, Ford, and Kraft, Fiorella felt confident in his qualifications. But midway through the interview, he was caught off guard when his interviewer asked him for his Klout score. Fiorella hesitated awkwardly before confessing that he had no idea what a Klout score was.

The interviewer pulled up the web page for Klout.com—a service that purports to measure users’ online influence on a scale from 1 to 100—and angled the monitor so that Fiorella could see the humbling result for himself: His score was 34. “He cut the interview short pretty soon after that,” Fiorella says. Later he learned that he’d been eliminated as a candidate specifically because his Klout score was too low. “They hired a guy whose score was 67.”

After learning that his Klout score was a liability, Fiorella spent six months improving his score to make himself more marketable to other companies (he has since opted out of the service all together).

But should it matter?

What does your online influence have to do with whether or not you are qualified for a job? In a perfect world, it shouldn’t, but in an economy that’s forced new grads to compete with polished vets, companies are looking for any measure to make sure the person they pick for the job will be absolutely perfect.

But does it it work?

Interestingly enough, the guy with a higher Klout score than Fiorella only lasted five months on the job. So, I guess it doesn’t prove anything after all, eh?

Do you know your Klout score? How do you feel about companies using your social media presence when considering you for a job? 

  • iQgraphics

    oh how i’m waiting for the day when many of us will be considered pariahs for NOT having an online/social media related presence…

    that day is coming
    nineteen-eighty-four.

  • Dreaming

    Employers are using whatever tool they can to simply deny someone a job.

  • omfg

    in the field fiorella is in, there is more and more usage of social media. some people in marketing/advertising may view someone who does not make use of it a lot as a person who is behind the times and ill-equipped to deal with new technologies and approaches to work. the employer probably sees him as someone who is unable leverage new technologies for his or his company’s benefit.

    this is the landscape for people who work in communications/marketing/advertising.

    almost every company has twitter and facebook and they are utilizing it to try to convert likes/followers into sales. it is just another vehicle for advertising. it doesn’t always work though.

    as for me, my klout score would be low because i don’t have a facebook account. my twitter is not in my name. and my linkedin account just has my name, connections, and profession. it lists no education or work experience.

    i like my privacy. ish ain’t everybody’s business.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    They can klout my azz alright! What the fuggerz?!

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    This is the first time I’ve heard of a Klout score. Like Dreaming said ” Employers are using whatever tool they can to simply deny someone a job.”

    Between automation and outsourcing, a large portion of the American workforce will experience periodic bouts of unemployment. I think we have no choice but to move to a more socialist system via Scandinavia esp healthcare.

    African Mami, I heard on BBC radio that Lagos is doing well, it looks like you and I may have to swim across the Atlantic.