Social Media has been around for awhile now but people still don’t realize that your profile might be the reason you aren’t getting into the school or job you want. You read that right, there’s a good chance that the admissions counselor is creeping on your page as we speak. That might be a weird thought to some, but this is actually more common than we realize. Recently Time.com reported that 40% of admissions counselors occasionally check applicant’s social media accounts when determining if they are a good fit for the school. The article reported that 1/3 of the admissions counselors found something on social media that hurt the applicants chances of getting into the school.
You may be thinking, “this is why I keep everything private.” That may be a good idea to do for some accounts like Instagram or Facebook, but there are a couple of problems with that idea. If you keep everything private, schools or employers may think you have a “life” you are trying to hide. I believe it’s okay to keep some social media profiles private, (for example, I keep my Instagram account private) but I think some of your pages should be kept open to show people who you are. Let’s face it, most people keep tabs on their friends and family using their social media accounts. I love how SnapChat lets me see what my nephews and nieces are doing. Let the people doing research on you see that you are an amazing person!
This may be a scary reality to accept but there are very few things you can hide on the internet. The bigger the school, the larger the company, the better chance that they have the resources to do some digging up. Especially if you are on the fringe of getting in or not. You need to become your own PR manager from an early age. Do not let something like your Twitter handle be the reason why you didn’t get into your dream school. Do not underestimate what could be lingering on your wall either. I recently applied for a job and I was sure that all of my profiles were “safe.” Sure enough, I went back and had to do a little cleaning. Your memory of ranting about traffic 6 months ago may not be readily available.
While sloppy social media can hurt your chances of getting into a school, a clean social media can help your chances. The Time article noted above reported that 1/3 of the admissions counselors found something on social media that enhanced the applicants’ potential of getting into the school. Treat social media as your 24/7 resume. Remember, you can learn a lot from someone’s profile, whether it is accurate or not.
Pro Tips for a Cleaner Social Media Presence
- Dig Deep and Delete: This tip is probably obvious, but make sure you delete any pictures or posts that hint at careless behavior or faulty character.
- Snapchat Tip: One of the biggest misconceptions is that no one can ever see your Snapchat. This may be true for the individual snaps you send to your friends, but anyone can look on your story. If they find out your username and add you, they’ll see what you are up to when you are out with your friends.
- Don’t Forget LinkedIn: LinkedIn is not just for professionals. Use it to display your resume and to build your personal brand. Make sure your profile picture portrays a professional demeanor.
- Post Reasons Why You Love a School: Twitter and Instagram are great places to show people how much you want something. My friend really wanted to get into this graduate program last fall and did a campus visit. She met the recruiters and fell in love with the campus. During her visit, she posted on her IG a picture of the school and wrote how this was her dream to get into their program.
- Create Two Accounts: If you regularly use Facebook consider creating two accounts, one for your close friends and family and one for everyone else. Make your private account unsearchable and your “public” account accessible to everyone. When applying for anything, link your public Facebook account.
Happy Tweeting! (and cleaning)