How Klout's Changes Cost Me a Job

We have all heard horror stories about people losing out on potential jobs because of their online behaviours. We will admit when we heard these stories we did not feel much sympathy. All of the stories revolved around people putting pictures online doing things they shouldn't be doing or saying things that should not be said in a public space (or ever). We're smart, we think about what content we put online and we keep our noses clean, so why is it that it looks like something online might have cost us a job?
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Remember that post we did recently on how to use the internet to find your dream job? One of the items on that list was Klout. Klout assigns you a number that they determine is your influence based on your online presence. Recently they changed their alogorithim dramatically which caused a large amount of drops in scores and other changes among heavy professional social media users (Klout denies that most users saw a score drop, but the anecdotal evidence to the contrary is quite strong).

One of the worst things about these changes is they changed the history of your scores as well. So you might have been steadily increasing from 47 to 62 over the past few months but according to the new system you have been in the high 30s to low 40s over that same span of time.

I was interviewing for positions over the past month and when the topic of my Klout score and style came up, I told them my style was currently a "specialist," and gave them my current score while explaining how it had grown over the past few months. The interviewers were impressed and it boded well for my future employment.

Then the algorithm change happened, my score plummeted and my "specialist" title was taken away (although all of my specialised technology topics of influence remained because that makes sense). I hoped that this would not impact my job search, but it did. It became apparent during follow up correspondence that several potential employers felt I had lied about my score, about being a "specialist" and was therefore no longer being considered for the positions.

This could have been avoided by Klout retaining the old score information and indicating when the algorithm change took place and explaining what the new scores meant. Instead because Klout not only changed your current score, but also changed the history of your score, those who gave their Klout information prior to the change look like liars.

Lesson here beware of giving out information to potential employers that is subject to change. I am not the kind of person that would lie on my resume and I would also not lie about my social media metrics. I had no idea Klout was going to change their algorithm and dramatically change scores and styles. Don't let this scare you off of using the internet to better help your job search, but keep it in mind the next time a potential employer asks about your Klout score or any other metric subject to change that you have no control over.

(Image: Joelle Alcaidinho)

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Joelle loves technology and making things and is in an almost perpetual state of problem solving. She's quite fond of airplanes and coffee and is pretty sure she will eventually read all of the books in her library.

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