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Your credit score carries significant weight in your financial life. Want to rent an apartment or buy a car? Good luck doing so with a bad credit score. The same logic applies to landing a job if you have a negative online reputation.
So says MyWebCareer, an early stage startup that has developed algorithms to run your “Career Score,” a credit check for your professional web persona. The service analyzes your Facebook profile, LinkedIn network, Twitter account and Google juice — evaluating more than 200 different variables in the process — and spits out a score between 350 to 850.
Where you fall could be an indicator of how employable you are and indicate your overall professional attractiveness.
Once you grant MyWebCareer access to Facebook and/or LinkedIn, the service works to retrieve employment history and searches Google for references to you in any of the positions you’ve claimed to have held. The startup is also running semantic analysis on your Facebook updates, checking out your Stack Overflow profile, if you have one, and factoring in your Klout score, among other things.
The resulting score — which remains private until you opt to share it publicly — is evaluated against your peers in three areas: your connectedness, professional online brand and internet search footprint. The service will highlight potentially offending status updates and make specific recommendations for how you can improve your score.
If a search query doesn’t bring up results, for instance, relating to past jobs, MyWebCareer will call your attention to these eyebrow-raising issues.
The public beta service, only having launched in February, is far from complete. Co-founders Greg Coyle and Nip Zalavadia say they want to make the Career Score as reflective of your online reputation as possible. This means they’ll continue to add data sources — like Quora once there’s a publicly accessible API — in the future.
The Credit Bureau of the Web?
If MyWebCareer’s calculation is meant to be a credit score for your digital life, then the startup aims to be like an Experian or Equifax.
This presents it with the challenge of convincing consumers, and eventually business users, that its score means something significant, beyond the novelty of the site itself. Because other startups also traffic in reputation management (Brand-Yourself) and online influence scoring (Klout), this will not be an easy sell.
In a month’s time, the startup has acquired more than 4,000 users, according to Coyle and Zavaladia. Not overly impressive numbers, and more interesting, perhaps, is that a significant subset of users are openly sharing their scores via Facebook or Twitter and helping to bring in new members — 20% of new users sign-up through this network effect.
In the product pipeline are new features that could better drive home the utility of the service. A premium version is slated for early April release and should offer the full breadth of everything that MyWebCareer evaluates for a small monthly or yearly fee.
Also in the works is an enterprise version that will allow employers to evaluate content without giving them direct access to a candidate’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile, says Coyle and Zalavadia. This will eventually be positioned as a recruitment tool that employers can use to discover potential talent with high Career Scores in certain industries.
So long as MyWebCareer can figure out what their score really means, it could have bright future. Employers are socially screening candidates and employees are more likely than ever to have blemished online records, so there is an audience for the product.
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.
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