Most teenagers I know use social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter nearly every single day. But when it comes to college admissions, we need to start being a little more aware of what we’re posting. According to Time, 40% of admissions officers look at applicants’ social media, a percentage that has greatly increased in recent years. So how does your social media help your admissions chances? And how does it hurt?
These things help
1. Researching schools
Use your social media accounts to research the colleges you are considering applying to. Look at the school’s accounts, but also try to find some of the accounts of current students. This will give you a better sense of the vibe of each school. You’ll be able to see what kind of characteristics they portray to the world. Then you can decide whether you want to attend a school that values these kinds of characteristics.
Also, when you keep up with certain colleges on social media, you’ll know more about each school and what is going on there. If you know more about the school, you’ll seem more knowledgeable when you write your application. This will increase your chances of getting in. Use social media to your advantage.
2. Portraying yourself responsibly
When admissions officers look up your social media, they’ll be checking to see how you present yourself to the world. If you present yourself responsibly and professionally, this may increase your chances of admission. When your social media portrays you favorably to potential employers, it will also portray you favorably to admissions officers. Creating a LinkedIn profile definitely can’t hurt.
3. Post about your passions
Post videos of your musical performances, photos of your artwork and articles about your interests. Show that the extracurriculars you listed on your application are activities that you are genuinely interested in. If they are a big part of your life, make sure to show that on your social media.
Negative social media portrayals
Avoid posting anything that might not portray you in the best light. This doesn’t mean that you need to police yourself, but use common sense. Remember that once you post something on social media, it’s there for the world to see. If you don’t want your grandparents to see something, then don’t post it.
Want more tips on how to gracefully handle your social media presence? Check out my post on how to stay classy during college acceptance letter season.