Monday, October 31, 2016
How to Impress College Admissions Staff
If your college uses social media to narrow the field of incoming freshman you could find yourself reeling when you receive that "Thanks, but no thanks" letter in the mail. At least that's what the good folks over at CNN are telling us as they go through some step-by-step questions.
1. Should I delete my social media account or make it private? CNN recommends delete, but I think that is a bit extreme. Private is probably a good idea because it narrows what comes up about you. BTW when was the last time you conducted a google search on yourself?
2.Do I have to delete every single party pic of me and my friends? Nah, just be sure you take down the ones that "exhibit poor judgement" - you know the one. Plus, ask your friends not to tag you in every single pic they take.
3. The college I'm interested in contacted me through Facebook. Doesn't that mean that they're cool and won't care about my "youthful indiscretions"? Be careful, once you respond to a school via social media you have let that person/school in to your social media account. Do you really want them to know that much about you?
4. I once got in a public war of words with someone not on my social media but on another online forum. Will that hurt me? CNN recommends that you have a separate "ranting" account. I think that is cowardly. If you have a "war of words" with someone, you might consider responding just like you would in person. That is an impressive feat - staying cool under pressure. And, yes, it can hurt you if you have a "war of words" that includes a bunch of ad hominem attacks. (Remember that fallacy from English?)
5. Will the weird stuff I like on other people's social media reflect negatively on me? I'm not even sure how to respond to this. I guess it depends on what your definition of weird is. Disturbing, yeah, that might be seen negatively.
6. Could the school look poorly on me if I follow provocative figures on social media? I agree with CNN when they say if all the provocative figures you follow are biased in the same direction, it might reflect negatively, but if you have a good general mix that shows you are open to other points of view.
7. What should I do if I think a school unfairly disqualified me because of my social media? Most school would be using social media to examine you because they have so many qualified applicants, but CNN advises if you think that you were disqualified because of social media you should contact the school and ask.
8. Should I groom my social media specifically to look good for colleges? I think this is a hard question. I was taught that you should think of EVERYTHING you write down, and that includes social media, as something that could end up in front of a judge. This may be a bit extreme, but you want to make a good impression. Don't exaggerate your goals, don't exaggerate your exploits, just present a "spiffier" version of you.
By the way, you should keep all these things in mind when looking for a job. Employers definitely use social media to narrow applicants. In fact, more than 50 percent do so.
Do you have anything to worry about? Is there anything that you would change on your social networking sites?