Your friends are not the only ones looking at your social media! Up to 27% of college
counselors said they look at a prospective student’s pages to get a better idea of the kind of students are applying to their school, and that number grows every year. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts if you want to pass the #SocialMediaTest.
What they want to see:
#Volunteering – Colleges want the best and the brightest, but also the most responsible. Volunteer work shows that you’re more than just a GPA.
#Links to Relevant Articles – If you already know what field you want to be in, posts about new breakthroughs or research can set you apart as someone who is already keeping up with the latest and greatest.
#Frequent Updates – A well maintained blog or Facebook page gives them a fuller picture of you than a resume. Keeping things up-to-date also shows long-term responsibility.
#Many Followers – Colleges (and future employers!) love trendsetters. If your blog has hundreds of followers, it shows you know how to create and maintain an online presence.
And what they don’t:
#Partying/Wild Behavior – The infamous red Solo cup can kill your chances faster than you can say “party on”. Delete embarrassing photos off your profile, and un-tag yourself from other people’s unflattering posts.
#Extreme Amounts of Negativity – You may think posting angry political rants or diatribes against your English teacher wouldn’t be a big deal, but colleges and future employers both would prefer a people person, so it’s best to eliminate tirades.
#Crude Humor – Nudity or crudity can give the wrong impression fast. Experts recommend you use the “grandparent” test. If you wouldn’t show your grandmother, then you don’t want a college representative to see it.
27% of admissions officers surveyed said they Google prospective students.
26% said they look up applicants on Facebook.
35% said that when checking up on a student’s online presence, they found something that negatively impacted an applicant’s chances of getting in, nearly tripling from 12% last year.