An Alternative to Klout Scores When Hiring and Seeking

TechCrunch just 'outed' Salesforce for using a Klout score as a "desired skill" for a community manager (bold comments in parentheses are from Drew Olanoff at TechCrunch): 

Desired Skills:
– Knowledge and use of social media/social networks considered an asset (Of course, good thinking!)
– Ability to work independently and as a part of a team (Definitely. Smart ask.)
– Experience with Radian6, video, photography considered an asset(This is pretty smart to ask for.)
– Klout Score of 35 or higher (I’m sorry, WHAT?)

I completely agree with Drew, even for community managers. They're rarely being hired to reach out to their own audiences.

If you're looking to be a community manager though, or have any kind of role that at least partially involves crafting a brand's voice, you do need to know how to use social media, and you need to be able to communicate effectively. That's why there's one piece of advice I like to give to those looking to enter the social media field or build on what they're doing:

Develop your voice – somewhere.

That doesn't mean actively having a presence on every social and content site. It's about finding something that moves you and a means to sharing something about it on an ongoing basis. It's about being able to be consistent with something, investing in at least one platform or community rather than just testing it out (though it's great to test out as much as possible too). It could be a blog, Twitter, a photo or video sharing site, a forum, Tumblr, Slideshare… something. Show you have a voice. Show you care about something. A voice is more important than an audience, most of the time. And that's not something you can game.