The Importance of Social Media
The Importance of Social Media
You’ve covered everything regarding your college application. Everything is on point; GPA, recommendation letters, transcripts, personal statements and you even covered the application fees. Then, in that moment of truth, your long-anticipated acceptance letter turned into a big fat NO and you’re left wondering why. Unfortunately for you, the one thing you may have overlooked in your college search is your social media footprint. In 2018, CareerBuilder conducted a survey in which data showed that 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. The survey also stated that about 43 percent of employers utilize social media to check on current employees. Since social media is at the forefront of how we communicate today, why wouldn’t a prospective college or employer take a peek at your social media history?
Future employers want to learn as much as they can about the real you, despite any attempt to use a crafted smokescreen of academics. Maybe you forgot to make a certain inappropriate picture or album private and kept it public. Perhaps they saw that one picture of you passed out on a recliner made of pizza boxes or fallen in a pile of beer bottles or some other form of debauchery. If you’re not careful, the pictures you take and statuses you make on social media can come with unforeseen consequences. It is imperative that you take the proper precautions before tapping that post button. Social media has become a large part of our lives within the last decade. We have been given new ways to connect via the Big Three of Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We have been given the ability to better keep up with long lost friends and family, read news articles, share opinions and so much more. However, this is also a two-way street. On one end, you share every aspect of your life online. At the other end, future educational opportunities and post-college careers await you. However, this is only if your social media presence aligns with their idea of the employee or student that they want to hire or accept. If you are planning a career or applying to college, it is crucial that you run through your social media accounts and clean them of anything that could hurt your reputation.
It’s no secret that when you apply yourself,you put your best self forward. Personal statements and essays end on positive notes nine times out of ten; more than likely it doesn’t involve that one time you ran from the police or got so drunk to the point of embarrassing yourself. Colleges don’t want to hear about that, what they want to learn is who you are as a person beyond the academics. The person behind the carefully written essay and recommendation letters. You should get used to getting Googled because it doesn’t stop after you get into college. Keeping a clean social media footprint will come in handy for future opportunities. It will be one less thing to worry about when you take on internships and prospective careers later on down the line. You don’t need to avoid social media, just think ahead of the possible consequences of what you are posting.
Don’t know where to start? Try Googling yourself. A quick search of your full name and see what kind of results it gives you and don’t forget to check the images! There aren’t any official rules regarding what not to post, just use common sense. Delete the albums of wild parties, especially if you’re currently underage. If you’re over the legal age, one or two tasteful photos are okay. If it’s a whole album dedicated to what you do at every Friday night party, then you should probably delete it. The key here is to look at your social media profile from the perspective of a prospective college or employer. No rants or bad-mouthing another person, especially former employers or a teacher at your high school. Future employers and professors want to rest easy knowing that their students or employees are well mannered, respectful people. They want their future graduates to carry around a positive outlook on life and treat others with respect and dignity. Regarding future posts, a good rule of thumb is to only post things that inspire others and personal accomplishments. Share moments in your life that you are proud of. Create posts that spread positivity. A single picture can speak volumes about you, so stay one step ahead and clean your social media. It’s all in how you market yourself. You’re the product, college is the manufacturer. How you sell yourself to the college can make or break your prospective career.
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