Most people look for posted job openings as their primary focus in a job search. However, statistics confirm that REFERRALS are the # 1 way to get an interview.  Consider using your web presence and your influence to motivate others to give you job referrals.

Take a look at Klout.com established by a San Francisco start-up in 2008. Klout scrapes social network data and creates profiles on individuals who are assigned a “Klout score”. 100 million profiles are currently being tracked. Klout is not an “opt-in” service, but if you register with Klout, you enable your social networks to be accessed and evaluated to get a Klout score. Data from your social networks is used to give you a Klout Score based on (1) True Reach: How many people you influence (2) Amplification: How much you influence them and (3) Network Impact: The influence of your network. Klout also builds profiles of individuals who are connected to those who register at Klout.

The 2012 Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World have recently been announced, and this year, the list underscores a shift from well-known people within well- known companies to individual people who are personally influential. Influence is quickly becoming more valuable because of how it impacts the actions of others instead of just creating an awareness of someone generated by public relations and mass marketing. Now, a simple tweet can reach millions in a second and the internet’s metric tracking capabilities give us the opportunity to measure how people who are active in social media actually influence each other online.

Taking a closer look at Klout scores reveals another interesting perspective. Not all people with high Klout scores are celebrities or in the music or movie industry. 50% of the 2012 “Time 100” have Klout Scores ranging from 95 to 23. The average Klout Score on the list is 62.  Alexei Navalni, a Russian lawyer, politician, and political activist has a Klout score of 81, higher than the average of all U.S. politicians on the list (80).  Billionaire Eike Batista, listed by Forbes Magazine as the 8th richest person in the world, has a score of 77, higher than Warren Buffet (64). The only person with a perfect 100 Klout score is Justin Bieber, an 18 year old pop star.

Almost equally important as someone’s score, are the lists they are a part of. Klout Lists are a great way to discover and interact with people in your “influence network”. Klout essentially makes it easier to connect with new people through social media by helping you find influencers in your areas of interest.  Find the influencers and then work on getting referrals to get an interview and land a job. Recognize that relationships are the key to getting a job referral, not just contacts. Focus on using your talent to influence opinions, processes, perspectives or the actions of others. Then quantify your results with Klout and measure the effectiveness of your job search related to building relationships that lead to referrals.