How Much Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn And Klout Matter: A Recruiter’s Advice
Tracey John, Contributor
Whether or not you think Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are a huge waste of time, new websites like Klout are starting to measure the influence you have over your digital minions.
We know that social media is great for sharing opinions, finding news stories, making new contacts and expanding your personal brand, but it could matter much more than you think when you’re searching for a job.
A recent New York Times article talked about how websites like Klout, PeerIndex and Twitter Grader are not only looking at the the number of Twitter followers and Facebook friends you have, but also measuring the influence you have among these folks.
I reached out to Josh Yehaskel, a director at New York-based digital media recruiting firm Three Pillars Recruiting, to talk about how much Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Klout matter to employers and how potential employees should use them. Here’s what he had to say…
On Twitter: “There are a lot of ways out there to artificially, by less organic means, increase the amount of followers one has, so quantity doesn’t always equal quality. If a candidate posts a lot of industry-relevant tweets, it indicates a passion for the space, which typically translates when they are interviewing. But these things are really tough to tell just by looking at someone on Twitter. Personally, I like to follow candidates I work with, because it allows me to foster a more personal connection and enter into a ‘conversation’ with them.”
On Facebook: “Facebook matters a little more. The amount of friends that one has is neither here nor there, since it’s tough to tell the quality of those friendships. Just because someone has 1200 Facebook ‘friends’ doesn’t really mean that they have 1200 friends. However, in this case, the types of things that they post do, sometimes, affect perception of that candidate. It’s become a matter of habit for potential employers to look on Facebook at someone they’re interviewing, and we need to know, in advance, what that employer is going to see. It’s incredibly easy to create privacy settings to hide pictures you don’t want everyone to see, and anybody that doesn’t is just asking for trouble.”
On LinkedIn: “LinkedIn is one of the most important tools when looking for a new role, and just in general. It is the social network for professionals, and therefore is an exceptional way to network without the typical layers of HR. I wouldn’t say it matters more than a person’s resume, but definitely as much in the sense that it’s a passive way to keep your professional background and accomplishments out there like a ‘line in the water.’ I encourage everyone to be as detailed and thorough with their LinkedIn profiles as possible.”
On Klout: “As the social media space continues to evolve, and you have all different kinds of services such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, I think Klout is going to become more and more important. Klout focuses on the forest rather than the trees and essentially sums up an individual in the quality of their social interactions. So keep an eye on them! However, unless a specific job is looking for an ‘influencer,’ I can’t see Klout affecting someone’s job prospects so drastically.” [Update: I interviewed Klout’s CEO about how scores can affect the job market. Read the article here.]
Advice for job seekers using social media: “Social Media is much more personal than any other medium out there. Understand what you are and are not sharing, and what others can and can’t see. While everyone agrees judging a book by its cover is wrong, first impressions are the longest lasting. Also, hiring managers are people too! They have interests and hobbies, and a life outside of work. Taking a peek and seeing what a hiring manager is interested in outside of work allows anyone to find a common bond, something that can be used to drive a deeper rapport.”