How to Give Your Digital Presence a Makeover While Prepping for College

We live in a very digital age. So much of our lives revolve around the internet, as such, much of our lives are on the internet. How much of this content is detrimental to your future? Colleges and employers can absolutely look at what you have put online – or what your friends and family have posted about you! And your online presence is so much more than your social media, though that definitely is part of it. Here are 4 tips for cleaning up your digital presence with a digital makeover.

4 Digital Presence Tips and Tricks

1. Clean Up Your Social Media

It’s no secret that college admission teams and future employers will browse a person’s social media pages. If they find something unsavory, they can / will pass you over for another candidate. It’s all about presentation.

So go through your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media accounts to delete any less-than-wholesome posts, pictures, and videos. If you wouldn’t show it to your grandmother, it’s not worth having on your social media feed. 

Need some tips on what may earn you a rejection letter? You don’t want photos, videos, and other content showing you doing any of these things:

  • Drinking
  • Doing drugs including marijuana even if it is legal in your state (it’s still illegal on the federal level)
  • Doing or admitting to illegal activities
  • Making derogatory statements even if it was “meant as a joke” among friends
  • Inappropriate photos, videos, or other content

It’s not only your content you need to think about either. If you are following, liking, or retweeting questionable content, for example, you will want to delete those retweets and likes and unfollow the accounts. Schools and employers can and will look beyond your posts!

2. Create a Professional Email

We all have an embarrassing middle school email address. But now is the time to get rid of “CakeLover97” and “Sw1mK1ng”-esque emails and switch to something more professional. Your name is always a good bet. Here are some professional examples:

Of course, you can mix and match, use underscores or dashes, and other forms, but just make sure to keep it professional. You don’t want to send an email to a college or a potential future employer with the tag “XxMissFortunexX” or even “XXXjanedoeXXX.”

This is also a good time to be sure your emails are showing up appropriately in the recipient’s inbox. Your name should appear on their end under sender, so double-check that you didn’t put in a joke name or initials. You should be able to easily change this through your provider!

3. Make a LinkedIn (and Keep it Updated)

Think of LinkedIn as Professional Employee Facebook. Your digital presence here is a key place to emphasize your skills, education level, work experience, volunteering efforts, and more. You can link to other people who endorse your skills. It’s a great place to learn about companies, potential bosses, and potential colleges, and have them learn about you.

It is especially important to keep this one professional, too! While Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok definitely can have “fun” photos, you need to keep that type of content off of LinkedIn in general. You should only be using the platform for professional updates, statements, and content.

4. Create a Personal Website or Blog

It seems like everyone and their dog has a blog nowadays, but it can be a great platform to describe who you are, show off your passions/skills, and give a first impression. If you’re going to an art school, a website is an ideal place to display your work. People searching for your name will also come across this site likely before other entries, so it’s a great way of controlling what comes up when someone searches for you.

This is where TikTok and YouTube can also come in handy! If you’re majoring in art, you can use video to showcase your skills, teach others, and build a portfolio. If you plan on studying history, consider making accounts dedicated to historical places. These are excellent routes to show colleges and employers that you’re invested in your studies and work even outside of the classroom or office!

Colleges and employers will look at their applicants beyond their applications. It’s important, then, that your digital footprint puts your best foot forward. Take some time this week to devote to cleaning up your profiles, LinkedIn, and email to ensure you’re showcasing a solid applicant. And be sure to keep your digital makeover up! It’s something you’ll want to stay on top of for your entire career.

Have you already finished with your digital presence makeover? Then it’s time to apply to colleges! Your next step is to identify the colleges that match you as a student. An easy way to do just that is through our College Match tool. Simply input your information to identify the best schools for your goals, achievements, wants, needs, and more. Start here for FREE. 

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

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