How many times have you had a laugh over pictures of the last drunken party you attended? Or criticised your teacher or educational institution with your friends on Facebook? While most people feel that their social media information is private, they would be surprised to know just how much of this is actually public. And if you are a prospective aspirant to universities abroad, they are probably being able to see pretty much most of what you are posting online.
Social Media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are increasingly being used by universities to get a better idea about the students who apply to them. Universities understand that students put their best traits forward in their application forms, but they also want to get a closer look at their online personas. In fact most universities state that students should assume that they will be looked up online as part of the application process.
So what can you do? Here are some simple ways to ensure that all the information a university receives about you is positive
Ø Make your online information private. It’s not enough to just make the generic settings private. If there are pictures or posts which you feel might adversely affect your application, make them private as well in addition to the generic settings
Ø Before you post anything online ask yourself are you okay with your family (especially grandparents) viewing the posts. If the answer is “Yes” you are safe to go ahead and post.
Ø Use the internet to portray your best side. Start a blog which talks about career goals and what you intend to do at University. Post pictures with family or friends having clean fun; sports activities for instance.
Ø Remember that if you “Like” the page of a particular institution, they will have access to almost all the information on your profile, unless you specify otherwise.
Ø Have a decent email address. Coolguywantstohavefun@___.com is probably NOT the impression you want to convey to a university you are trying to impress!
Ø Don’t create multiple profiles. While you may think the university will only have access to your “Clean” profile, it would be disastrous if they stumbled upon your “secret” profile.
Technology is a great tool so ensure that you use it to highlight the positives in your life and personality. Remember there are scores of other students with equally good grades and brilliantly written essays. Let your social media be the key in making, not breaking, your university applications.
University Options assists students with the entire application process from choosing universities to guidance on the personal statement as well as post application follow up and sending of documents to the universities.