Tag: admissions

Developing a Positive Web Presence

Developing a Positive Web Presence

After discussing what to keep off social media  in “How’s Your Social Media Presence?”, hopefully you’ve gone through your various channels, done an audit, clean up and you’re ready to post away, the right way!

As we discussed before, colleges are facing a difficult challenge; they are receiving record numbers of applications, and record number of quality candidates. Their system of looking at GPA’s and standardized test scores (ACT/SAT) are simply not enough for them to determine whom to accept or deny admission. Students are applying with comparable statistics, and many look great on paper.

How will schools determine who their next freshman class will be? They do what the rest of us do when we need a fast answer: They Google it [you]. Roughly 35% of admissions officers searched students’ social media, in order to help make admission decisions. It is estimated by 2018, 60% of admissions officers will review applicants’ social media.

There are two ways of looking at these statistics: we can be afraid, and feel as though colleges are voyeurs to something we never thought they would see, or we can accept it and see the positive benefits of their searches. Colleges want to take a deeper look into their applicants, beyond the questions on applications. What makes you an interesting candidate? What activities do you partake in during your free time? Social media has now become a way for you to compliment your college applications, and the best part it is a task that you are very much accustomed to doing  already–posting!

What are you passionate about? Put it on social media. How have you volunteered and helped out with a club or organization? Post it! What about the award you received for being “most-spirited” or “most outgoing”? Take a photo and log-in! These types of activities and accomplishment are what set you apart which from other candidates and otherwise may not be conveyed on typical college applications. Let the words, actions and images speak to your personality and drive. Your posts will take on a whole new meaning; building a timeline and conveying a story.

Social media can be a way you can get colleges to notice you. When you Follow, Tweet, and Like colleges and universities they you are interested in – they will see you. You have now shown them you are interested in them, and those are the students they want; students who want to attend their institution and are thoroughly interested in their school. Just remember to practice good social media etiquette and refrain from over posting, commenting or stalking.

Think of your social feeds as another way showcase yourself to your dream school. If your social presence portrays you as a well-rounded individual, who is mature and has a zest for life and interesting passions – your application just may be bumped ahead of the rest.

 

 

How’s Your Social Media Presence?

How’s Your Social Media Presence?

Your hilarious post about your teacher falling in class got 256 likes. Your ugly selfie SnapChat was screenshot a half dozen times. You may have forgotten about these posts but trust me, it’s out there and it matters.

We live our lives on social media showing the world what we believe is the best version of ourselves. And why not, it’s all in good fun, it’s what it was created for, right? Well, from time to time you do need to take a step back and review what you’ve been putting out on the world wide web with fresh eyes and consider who may be viewing this content.

You probably never thought your dream college or future employer would be checking out your social profiles and making their first impression based on your latest status update. In a world where there are more and more students applying to college each year, schools want and need a different lens to understand the individuals that will possibly enrich their community over the coming years. Harsh as that may sound: one of the easiest ways  for colleges to weed students out is through an applicant’s digital presence.

I did a quick search on Twitter recently and here are just few of the things that came up from my high school students’ tag lines (entirely searchable):

“avid boyfriend follower”
“I’m a smoker…midnight toker”
“Always sleeping”
“Alyssa’s the hottest person I know”

Seemingly harmless, but do you see why these might be problematic out of context?

Here’s the thing, we probably all have posted something similar. It is when we take a step back to review, that we realize how unbecoming these posts can be.

Last year, an estimated 35% of colleges looked up college applicants online. This number is up from years prior, and the projection is the number will continue to increase each year.

So how can you protect your Social Media presence? Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Adjust your privacy settings so other people cannot post on your wall, comment, etc. The company you keep is a reflection of you. Do not allow other “friends” to have free reign on your digital presence.
  • Pause and think before you post. You probably have not been framing your posts thinking “Will my dream college approve of this?” Error on the side of caution if you have even a 1% doubt it might be misinterpreted in a negative way – do not post it.
  • Avoid negativity, improper jokes, bad grammar, overly personal information.
  • Made some past mistakes? Now is the time to clean it up. If your grandmother would not approve of your page, then clean it up.
  • Do not delete your social media! This is a red flag to colleges. (More on this in the next log.)

It’s not all negative; colleges are also using social media to find what makes you unique and interesting, so be smart about the what your social media says about you, by putting your best foot forward. Stay tuned for the next post: Developing a Positive Internet Presence.