Tag: Resume

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.



Tips on Choosing a College Major

Tips on Choosing a College Major

By Lighthouse Counselor Sarah O’Brien – M.A.

Choosing a major is a major decision and it can be quite overwhelming especially if you feel as though your entire adult life is riding on that choice.  It is true that it is a big decision but with the right preparation you can feel confident that you made the right choice.  In choosing a major, there are many factors to base your decision on.

High school students are encouraged to choose a major before starting college to ensure on time graduation and career satisfaction.  The college and career exploration process involves a great deal of research and exposure to new experiences.  One must begin by learning about various career fields and assessing your values, interests, and skills.

Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Get Inspired

  • Study what intrigues you or what you can imagine pursuing as a career. If you can’t think of anything, draw inspiration from visualizing your dream job.
  • What do you value in work? For example, having a positive impact on others, working alone or in groups, helping society, working under pressure, stability, money, etc.
  1. Get to know yourself

  • What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What kind of skills do you have?
  • Take a scientifically valid career interest inventory such as Holland personality types, which measures your strengths in 6 interest areas (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional).
  • Pick a major in your areas of strength.
  • Identify career and college majors that match your dominant personality types.
  1. Be open to the unexpected

  • Expose yourself to many different classes, you may find something you really love that you didn’t expect.
  • Take advantage of any new experiences offered through your high school, community, service projects, local colleges, internships, etc.
  • You might surprise yourself by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
  • Consider going on a summer service trip.
  1. Research

  • Start off this exploration process by narrowing your focus from all possible majors to a few areas of study that you can explore in great depth.
  • Learn as much as you can about the majors and instructional programs you identify that fit your strengths.
  • Then, research what you can do with a specific major.  Learn about various occupations and study future trends.
  • Assess personal interests and match them to careers.
  • View job descriptions, salary, and other training information. Learn what you can expect in certain work environments.
  1. Build Your Resume

  • Formulate educational and career goals.
  • Participate in various extracurricular activities.
  • Partake in numerous volunteer opportunities.
  • Challenge yourself to take on leadership positions in the clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities you’re involved in.
  • Complete an internship in the career field you’re interested in. Internships can help you find out how an industry works and if it is something you really want to go into.
  1. Get Real-World Experience

  • Talk to people in the fields that interest you. Discuss your questions and concerns with them.  Ask them what training programs or college majors prepare people for their work.
  • Plan College visits. During your college visit you can expect to go on a tour of the campus and sit in on an information session. But you should also inquire about attending a class, meeting with a professor, meeting with an admission officer, meeting with a financial advisor, attending a club meeting or a sports practice session, eating in the dining hall, and spending the night in a dorm.
  • Job shadowing is a great way to learn about different jobs and help you decide on a possible career path. Spending a day or even a few days observing a professional on the job will give you an idea of what you like and also what you may not like.  While observing someone on the job, you can ask yourself, “Can I see myself doing this?”.

College will introduce you to many new subjects and offer exposure to new passions.  Although you might begin college with a clear path in mind, sometimes things change and we change our minds and that’s ok.  It is advised to do your homework before entering college so that you don’t feel compelled to change your major. Having said that, do not operate on the assumption that your decided major is a life sentence. Just make it your job now as a high school student to continue broadening your horizons and explore many possible future career paths. Be as educated and prepared as possible for this major decision.

Throughout this decision-making process, be confident in yourself while continuing to grow as a person. Lastly, surround yourself with positive people who will inspire and encourage you to push the limits of your potential.