Your Facebook Reputation Can Help or Hurt Your Future

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Your Facebook Reputation Can Help or Hurt Your Future

November 8, 2014

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Facebook is no longer just a social networking platform, it becomes a personal resume, a portfolio of accomplishments, and an online reputation management tool. Even though teens and tweens no longer consider Facebook to be their favorite social media network it’s still the most popular network.

Admission officers and hiring managers will visit applicants’ Facebook pages first, while searching for additional information online.

Facebook is no longer just a social networking platform, it becomes a personal resume and online reputation management tool.

While competition for the spot at the best universities is higher than ever, top colleges have to turn away up to 95% of applicants during the consideration process (NY Times). That’s why every word you include in your application, as well as on social media matters. In this blogpost we will show you what is Facebook in terms of your personal online reputation, why you should have an account and what you can do to create a positive online image to impress colleges and future employers.

Facebook reveals to colleges a lot of personal information, but you can decide what they will discover.

What Facebook reveals to colleges

  • Real names and nicknames
  • Friends and influencers
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Personal photos
  • Visited places
  • Status updates
At least 31% of college admission officers visit applicants’ Facebook and other social media accounts. - Kaplan

How can a Facebook account help you?

  • 93% of hiring managers review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. - Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey
  • 31% of college admission officers visit applicants’ Facebook and other social media accounts. Letting them find your account early will keep them from stumbling upon other sources. - Kaplan Test Prep Survey

It’s better to be found because:

Don’t lose the opportunity to tell your story. You can use your Facebook account in a positive way.
  1. If you don’t have a Facebook page, admission officers would think you’re probably hiding something.
  2. Don’t lose the opportunity to tell your story. You can use your Facebook account in a positive way to manage what others will find out about you.
  3. Having your Facebook account under your real name keeps you from being mistaken for someone else with the same name (especially if their image is not very polite).

Why should you care?

Pictures and posts, which you consider to be harmless could be seen by colleges differently.
  1. College admissions officers & hiring managers search for applicants most of the time. However, it can be your choice, what they will find out about you.
  2. You might accidentally be sharing a lot of personal information that could reveal your weaknesses (which you don’t really want others to know).
  3. Photos and posts can help or hurt your image. Pictures and posts, which you consider to be harmless could be seen by colleges differently.
  4. You can behave fine online, but your friends can still tag you in party photos. Even if you don’t actively share your life on Facebook pages, you probably have a friend, who posts too much.

What can you do?

Let your account talk about your strength, interesting hobbies, volunteering, and your bright personality.
  1. Sit down with your friends and say “let’s look through my Facebook page.” Ask them questions as they walk you through your photos. Offer them to take a position of admission officers, how would they react on information they see. This game will be fun and helpful.
  2. Open your account page in an incognito/private browsing window and see how much the available information you are revealing.
  • Discuss which photos and posts would be better to delete and which to keep. Clean your page. Let it talk about your strength, interesting hobbies, volunteering, and your bright personality
  •  
  • Share more light, bright and polite photos and post to flood the internet with positive content about yourself
  • Untag yourself from any photos that might not help your online image. Once you’re untagged, you might consider also asking that friend nicely to remove the photo entirely  so it won’t be online for others to discover

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