College Admissions – Social Media Do’s and Don’ts
Starting college applications doesn’t necessarily equate to discontinuing all of your social media accounts. In fact, there are actually several ways that your posts can help you in the admissions process.
Although not all colleges scour social media when considering prospective students, those that do would probably agree with the following do’s and don’ts.
DO: Post photos and videos of you engaging in a sport or hobby. Have a friend record a video of you scaling the climbing wall at the rec center or snap a photo of you next to your favorite painting at the art museum.
DON’T: Post photos of you wearing inappropriate clothing or costumes, making rude gestures, or appearing with drugs or alcohol. (Even if it’s not really wine in that glass, perception is reality.)
DO: Showcase your volunteer work. Whether it’s picking up trash on the side of the highway or running the arts and crafts program at a senior center, take a few photos or write about your experience.
DON’T: Even if you’re on the straight and narrow, everyone has at least one friend who has the potential to be a bad influence. Make sure your photos reflect your behavior. If there’s a girl in the background doing a keg stand or a boy sitting next to you smoking, keep it off your social media.
DO: Help admissions reps get a better feel for who you are by liking and following groups that are important to you. It’s great to come across as an animal-lover by liking the Humane Society or animal rescue, but skip joining the Tequila Tuesdays group.
DON’T: This is no time to be modest about your awards and accolades. If you took home second place in the chess club match or grabbed the gold in a cross-country race, be proud! Schools are looking for leaders and successful prospective candidates to round out their incoming class.
DO: Share your travel adventures. Have a photo of you at Mount Rushmore? A view from a Scottish castle? Post it with an interesting caption so they know you are curious about life beyond your hometown.
DON’T: Don’t be afraid to post your (positive) comments about multiple colleges, including your experiences on campus visits. Unless you applied for early decision admission to a school, colleges expect that you’ll be making the rounds and doing some comparison shopping.
DO: Reach out to schools of interest on social media by liking their page, commenting on posts and following them. You can also ask questions to demonstrate your interest.
DON’T: Don’t create a separate Facebook or Instagram account as a facade. It’s OK to go through your existing accounts to double check for less-than-desirable posts, photos, videos and comments, but let the real you shine through on social media.
Still not sure what’s OK to post? As a general rule, if your grandmother would approve, you’re in good shape!