Klout Scores: How They Contribute To Your Online Presence

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What is a Klout Score?

A new aspect of an online presence is social media analytics. These consider an individuals influence across their multiple profiles on the web. The first popular social media analytics service is know as Klout, which was launched in 2008.

According to the Klout website, “The Klout Score is a number between 1-100 that represents your influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score.” This score is calculated through a specific algorithm that determines influence across a user’s social networks. According to Klout, “it isn’t about how much someone talks, but about how many people listen and respond.”

How important are Klout Scores?

“We look at this as similar to an SAT,” says Klout spokeswoman Lynn Fox. “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.”

In an article by Forbes about the importance of the Klout score, Jeanne Meister says that “companies will increasingly take note of social connectivity when considering applicants, keeping an especially keen eye on those with a demonstrated ability to turn their networks into enhanced marketing opportunities.”

Klout scores may not be important for every employer. However, companies that focusing on building brands and marketing will look at how an individual can create their own brand through social media.

According to an article on Wired, by Seth Stevenson, Klout scores also influence how seriously a person is taken as a customer.

 In February, the enterprise-software giant Salesforce.com introduced a service that lets companies monitor the Klout scores of customers who tweet compliments and complaints; those with the highest scores will presumably get swifter, friendlier attention from customer service reps. In March, luxury shopping site Gilt Groupe began offering discounts proportional to a customer’s Klout score.

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Do Klout Scores affect an online presence?

Social media analytics are surely becoming more of a factor when it comes to an individuals importance on and off the web. This information also tells us that building a strong online presence demands an individual to be influential on the web. One cannot simply create a website about oneself and have varied profiles online. They must also be interactive online and create content that others want to hear.

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Knowing how to be influential, online and off, is important to employers. Having a distinct identity will help one stand out in applications because employers value marketing skills. These skill begin with your building your own personal brand. Being influential is  important to beat the competition, even if an employer doesn’t look at Klout scores.

Another helpful article: Tweet or Die: Employers Hiring Based on Applicants’ Klout Scores? by DAMON POETER of PC Magazine

To calculate your own Klout Score, go to their website and create an account. Make sure to link as many social networks that you can to get your full score.

College Admissions: Helped or Hurt by Search Engines

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No longer do only job applicants need to be wary of what their online presence is saying about them. There has recently been an increase in the number of college admissions officers who are now looking at high school senior’s social media networks to help make their decision easier.

According to a New York Times article, 31% of 381 (5% increase from last year) college admissions officers said they had visited an applicant’s Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them.

What’s even more alarming is that, according the NY Times article, “30 percent of the admissions officers said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.”

This practice had become very controversial due to disregard for privacy rights. Also, teenagers are not always accountable for their actions and therefore some believe that they should not be judged by what they put up online for their friends to see.

However, this new deciding factor can actually be helpful to prospective students. Many students can benefit from admissions officers finding portfolios, blogs, videos, publications or awards online when they search a students name. Some students even provide this information themselves. Having this personal aspect to an application can actually make a student stand out among the words and stats on a application.

What we can all learn from the new trend of college admissions officers using their Google search bar to aid their decision making process is to be cautious when it comes to posting online. Think before posting anything or leaving tagged photos and comments online no matter your age. You may think an inappropriate post will be funny or cool to your friends but it may hurt you in the future, even if your not a teenager.

We can also learn that putting your work and awards or publications online and then sharing them with friends and family could potentially reach employers. Don’t be afraid to show employers yourself what you have done or achieved. This will give protective students and employees alike a leg up on the competition.

Dos and Don’ts

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When creating a strong online presence there are some clear dos and don’ts that everyone should be aware of. Before posting anything, professional or private, consider these tips.

In short:

Do…

  • make personal profiles private
  • have a diverse network of profiles
  • share your work online
    • be open to critiques on your work
  • express your opinions- be proactive on social networks
  • be mindful of word choice
  • *think before you post!*

Don’t…

  • make everything private
  • be afraid of having diverse information on yourself
  • share something you are not proud of
  • make careless grammar and spelling mistakes
  • include pictures or posts including profanity, alcohol, drugs, or religious related subjects
  • *post something you are not proud of*

Do make personal profiles private and beware of versions of privacy settings. But, don’t make everything private. You can’t create an identity without profiles and you don’t want to seem like you have too much to hide.

Do have a diverse network of profiles- use multiple kinds of sites. Also, don’t be afraid of having diverse information on yourself; you want to add some personal finesse to your profile to show what interests you. This will help you create a holistic image of yourself, even though it’s virtual.

Do share your work online but don’t share something you are not proud of. Having a virtual profile can be really helpful for getting jobs and displaying your talents, as long as you share things you wouldn’t be ashamed of showing an employer in the future. Also, be open to critiques on your work because they can only help you create a better profile.

Do express your opinions and be proactive on social networks. Every little thing you do on the Internet helps make a diverse identity online. However, don’t make careless grammar and spelling mistakes. People pay attention to the details even when you don’t. Recruiters also pay attention to certain keywords and phrases you use, so be mindful of word choice.

Don’t include pictures or posts including profanity, alcohol, drugs, or religious related subjects. It’s very important not to post controversial topics on a public profile. Keep these on private sites for friends and family if you would like.

The most important rule of thumb when posting anything online is thinking about the future. You need to be aware that what you post can come up far in the future when you least expect it. Deleting things online can be very hard to do (refer to this helpful article on deleting things online if you need help with this). It’s even harder to delete the memory of an embarrassing post from the minds of others. Just think before you post.

Sources:
Social Resume Infograph by Kristin Marino, onlinecollege.com
10 Tips To Optimize Your Online Presence (For Job Hunts) by Michael Poh, hongkiat.com

Forbes Article on Online Presence

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An article in Forbes magazine explains the importance of having a good online presence. Author Dan Schawbel explains why an online presence will be more important than a resume in the near future. This may seem surprising, but Schawbel backed it up with data: OfficeTeam [a leading staffing service] shows that more than one-third of companies feel that resumes will be replaced by profiles on social networks. This information means that creating a positive identity online is even more important if you’re seeking employment in the next few years.

I think this article is valid because the points he outlines reflect the way that technology, and especially the web, are more prominent in all aspects of society. The article is also helpful because Schawbel doesn’t just tell you why you should create a better internet presence, he tells you how to do so. He explains the importance of creating a website at yourfullname.com as a first step to help employers see what you have to offer them. According to Schawbel, creating a website will help you to have control over how you are perceived.

This website is the core of your online presence and if you optimize it effectively, it will rank number one for your name in major search engines such as Google. 

Finally, Schawbel helps readers understand how to create diverse identity online with the social networks you are already a part of or those you didn’t know you needed to be on.

Also, your online presence should contain social network profiles, with vanity URL’s, on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter at a minimum. I would also get listed on sites, such as Spokeo.com, and obtain your Google profile.

Overall, the article makes it clear that having an online presence is crucial in order to get jobs in this technology driven age. If you have a good online presence, it will help you stand out among all the other words on a screen.

By building your online presence, employers can find you and thus you have more opportunities. If you don’t have an online presence, you won’t appear to be relevant and you will be passed over for more savvy applicants that have visibility.

My Personal Experience With Online Presence

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As a college student who is starting to apply to part time jobs and internships I have begun to understand how important the web is in the job market. Before I knew much about online presence, I was very skeptical about submitting resumes and applying to jobs online. I never understood how some one could get to know me as a potential employee without meeting me in person. There is so much competition out there that I don’t want the first impression I give to be from a screen where everyone seems the same. It is true that the web can take away some personal aspects. Regardless, most parts of the application process are being put online and those in the job market have to learn to adapt.

This summer, I applied for over 20 jobs and didn’t get many call backs. Out of those 20, I spoke directly to the employers only a quarter of the time. During that time, I wished I could have talk to them face to face to get ahead of the competition.

This being said, there are many benefits to creating a presence online that makes the first impression. You can refine your information. Also, there is less opportunity to be unprepared for questions or fumble over answers during an interview. It was also easier for me as an employee to apply to multiple jobs in a shorter amount of time.

I am learning to better appreciate the benefits of applying for jobs online. Also, as I learn more about how to create a strong online presence that will impress employers, I am becoming less weary of the digital world. I hope that through making this blog I can further educate myself and others about making a good reputation for myself on the web.