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Can Your Social Media Presence Affect Your Admission To A Top Global University?

Posted on Dec 08, 2016
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The answer, in short, is YES. Admissions officers today are looking at your social media presence across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram for many different reasons:

1. To get a sense of who you are as a person, and to ensure that your application matches who you are. Your social media and blog posts reflect your true opinions, preferences, hobbies and interests, and provide the admissions officers with insight into your personality over and above your application.

2. To verify the authenticity of high-profile awards and claims. For instance, if you founded a nonprofit, does the nonprofit have a legitimate website? Does it validate that you are the founder?

Prospective candidates can utilize social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to be an extension of their college applications, by appropriately posting comments and links to highlight strengths, skills and interests to give targeted schools authentic insight into their personalities.

To get started, you first need to clean up your current social media presence by:

1. Knowing when to de-tag. Watch your online photo libraries, and make sure that you are not tagged in too many party photos. The essential rule of thumb is to de-tag yourself from posts that you would not want your family to see. Eliminate foul language, too many photos where you have a drink in your hand (or all of these photos if you are applying at the undergraduate level), and photos where you obviously look inebriated or hungover.

2. Paying attention to your online names. This applies to your email address, Twitter or Instagram handles, or any other online social media usernames that are searchable on Google. These usernames are your key identifiers, so it is essential that they remain professional and politically correct.

3. Checking your privacy settings. Take a look at your profile from a friend’s computer or on an incognito window or browser, so that you can see what you look like to third parties. You will be able to see the extent to which posts from your wall, your photos (the ones you have uploaded and the ones you are tagged in) are visible to the outside world.

Remember to Google yourself, to see what your online reputation looks like! Online reputation management tools like Qnary and Google’s “Me On the Web” can help you see what you look like online, and you can then use this data to reposition yourself accordingly.

How do you, then, leverage your social media presence to create a strong, positive impact on the admissions officer that is viewing your profile?

 1. Have a strong LinkedIn profile. ReachIvy provides a LinkedIn review service to help candidates strategically document important information required to build a strong and attractive profile to showcase achievements and build credibility.

2. Follow your prospective schools on social media, join their online groups, and stay engaged with their content – all top schools have a robust and active digital presence, through which you can learn more as a prospective candidate.

3. Post and share content based on your interests and impact. Whether it is articles you relate to or have written, music you listen to or instruments you play, your artwork, photos or videos of your winning sporting events or of you attending live performances. Ensure that you cover all leadership and community service interests and activities.

It is important to remember that you can use social media to further showcase your personality, interests, impact and achievements beyond your academic prowess and the contents of your application form. While your admission to the school does not depend on this, there is no plausible reason why your social media presence shouldn’t impress an admissions officer that’s taking a curious sneak peek into a prospective student!

Need help building a strong online presence? ReachIvy can help!

ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counselling  with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources  to access our free premium content.

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