Your online profile — on Facebook, MySpace, or your personal blog or website — says a lot about you.
That’s why some college admissions officers search for applicants’ profiles before they decide to reject or accept a student.
You may think your Facebook profile is only for yourself and your friends, but think again.
Many online profiles can easily be found by anyone who takes the time to look.
Follow these 5 tips to project the very best image of yourself to admissions officers who use online profiles as a way to supplement the college application.
Remove any picture from your Facebook or other online profile that you would not voluntarily show an admissions officer when you’re choosing a college. Photos of you drunk at a party, for example, portray you as irresponsible at best and, at worst, as participating in an illegal activity (depending on your age and country).
Not sure if a photo warrants the delete button? If you have to ask, get rid of it.
A Wall Street Journal article in September 2008 told of a college applicant who praised the college during a campus visit but criticized it online. The applicant was rejected.
Admissions officers don’t know you personally, and it is sometimes difficult to tell when a person’s profile or blog post is serious or meant in fun. Be careful.
If friends or acquaintances have problematic photos of you (especially if they are labeled with your name) or have written questionable comments about you, ask them to be deleted.
Yes, you should edit your profile. No, you shouldn’t lie or make up things.
Don’t post comments you don’t believe or change your favorite movie to something you think sounds impressive. Your profile should still represent you.
Not sure if you deleted everything you ought? Switch your profile or blog to private and allow only friends to see it.
Some college admissions officers occasionally use online profiles to screen applicants, but others don’t use them at all. It is unlikely that any college views the Facebook profiles or other online footprints of each and every one of its applicants, and your college application will carry a lot more weight. Either way, you should construct a profile that you can proudly show an admissions officer.