When it comes to college applications, social media is like that proverbial double-edged sword—it can make you or break you.
Every high school student is sure to have heard about the importance of maintaining a clean online image. They don’t want to risk their college admission chances. In case you are wondering, yes, today most colleges do check social media to get a look at the real you—the person behind those impressive academic scores and outstanding personal essay.
Everyone will give you advice about being extra careful with what you post online. You don’t want to inadvertently paint a negative image about yourself. But what you may not know and what nobody thinks to mention, is that the flip side also applies.
Just as the wrong posts and pictures may create a not-so-good picture of you, the right ones can help create a positive image of you. If your long term plans include a college education, it’s never too early to start using social media to enhance your college application.
These ideas will help.
Create And Develop A Positive Online Presence
The important thing to keep in mind is that hiding is not the solution. Deleting your social media accounts and pretending you do not have an online presence will not do you any good. Today, everybody has an online presence on at least one social media site. Build a positive profile.
To start, go through your existing social media accounts and delete all posts and photographs that show you off in negative light. Did you post a negative, hurtful, or biased comment? Even if the post was made in fun, it’s best to get rid of it. In a best-case scenario, the admissions officers may invite you for an interview and ask you to explain your comment. In a worst-case scenario, you will not even make it to the interview.
Showcase Your Accomplishments
Now that you’ve cleaned up your act, it’s time to put some energy into slowly uploading posts, pictures, and comments that showcase your skills and your accomplishments.
Are you part of a sports team? Do you spend weekends volunteering at a nursing home or at an animal shelter? Is there an activity you excel at? Whatever the case, post up pictures of yourself participating in some activity. In addition to posting up pictures, sometimes write a larger post talking about the activity to demonstrate your involvement in it.
Follow Colleges You Are Interested In
Follow colleges you are interested in and be active on their site by asking questions about the program, congratulating students who have accomplished something and being enthusiastic about their triumphs in any field. This serves two purposes. Firstly, it helps you learn more about the college and the college community. Secondly, colleges will be more interested in knowing more about you when they see you are interested and active on their college site.
Don’t pass up on the opportunity to use social media to enhance your college application. It only takes a few minutes a day and it is well worth it.
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