What you might want to be reading ...

Not that I suspect that there are any readers of this space out there whose weekly existence hinges on hearing from me, but I do feel like I'm letting you down when I miss what would be my “usual posting” slots. I wish I had a “better” reason than I do … i.e., that I was suddenly gainfully employed … but I find myself (again) in a situation with all the time constraints of having a job, with none of the benefits such as getting paid.

I'm involved in two separate projects, both of which are taking up over half my time, leaving me with almost no hours to spare to keep up with either my job search or even the basic research which produced the links that I would usually bring you in here on Fridays. This latter point is why those posts have been MIA … it's been taking me 2-3 weeks to amass a dozen links, and I've been hesitant to scale that back to what seems like a less-useful dribbling of what I might have on hand each week.

Today, however, I have another book to bring to your attention. This doesn't have anything specifically to do with the job search, but is very interesting from a Social Media and “brand building” angle. Mark W. Schaefer's Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing takes a look at the new trend in ranking people according to their on-line influence.

If you think this has nothing to do with you or your job search, you're living in the wrong decade. More and more the first place a would-be employer looks is on LinkedIn and other Social sites, and one's visibility in those contexts can be essential in coming to the attention of “real people” (since, as I noted last time, your resume sure isn't going to). Speaking of LinkedIn, one thing I recently learned was that users with “500+” connections come up first in searches there … which suggests that making an effort (like I recently did to push my numbers out of the mid-400s) to expand your network there might be worth it.

Anyway, Return On Influence is a two-part book, the first looking at the history and theory of “influence” and the second specifically considering the Klout service (and similar ones, Schaefer lists nineteen in an appendix!). The book is, admittedly, focused on the use of these rankings in business, and some of the material here really does raise unsettling questions of “castes” and functional elitism (if you have a Klout score in the 70's or so you're likely to have companies showering you with freebies and “perks”, while under 40, you're nearly invisible) … but the over-all message is how these sorts of rankings play and ever-increasing role in business decision-making, including hiring.

Imagine two candidates for a job, both with very similar skill sets and experience, but one has a Klout score of 65 and the other a mere 23 … who do you suspect is going to get the job? Check out my review for more details. It's a very enjoyable read, and is far more “conversational” than most businesses books.

Speaking of books …

NOTE: If you're near a Dollar Tree store, you might want to swing in there to check out the book area … recently a large number of Harvey Mackay's excellent Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door: Job Secrets No One Else Will Tell You (featured here a bit over a year ago) are currently on the shelves there for a buck! I was up at one of the ones I frequent a few days ago and they had around 10 copies … but good books like this don't last, so check it out!


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