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Can YouTube Help A Student’s Online Reputation?

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What Parents, Teachers, & Students Will Learn

  • How can YouTube enhance a student's reputation?
  • How does quality YouTube content help students stand out on applications?
  • Why do YouTube channels have priority in Google search results, and how does it aid reputation management?
  • In what ways can YouTube video resumes be utilized in college applications or on LinkedIn?

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Can YouTube Help A Student’s Online Reputation?

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In today's digital age, a student's digital footprint can have a big impact on their reputation and the image they portray to college admission officers and future employers. Among various digital platforms, YouTube stands out as a powerful tool that can provide not only endless entertainment but also an opportunity for students to build, manage, and enhance their online reputation. It's crucial to understand how to leverage this platform effectively and safely.

In this comprehensive YouTube reputation guide, we will explore how YouTube can be used as a positive platform for students to showcase their skills, talents, and achievements. We will also delve into the potential risks associated with improper use and offer actionable strategies to avoid these pitfalls.

Educators and parents: Guide your students' reflection and discussion with this student worksheet. (Log in to your Google account and select File-->Make a Copy)

Parent & Student Training Video

How YouTube Can Build a Student’s Reputation

  • YouTube can enhance a student's reputation by showcasing their knowledge, skills, or creative talents in a public platform
  • By uploading quality content to YouTube and other social media accounts students can stand out on a college or job application
  • Creating videos that showcase their skills can help students establish themselves as experts or influencers in the field they are interested in

Do colleges look at your YouTube channel?

  • Because YouTube is owned by Google, YouTube channels are given priority in Google search results, so it is highly likely that anyone searching for your name will find it in a Google search, making it an effective tool for online reputation management
  • YouTube video resumes can be included on a college application or featured on other social platforms such as LinkedIn to help students stand out from the crowd
  • A survey done by the Kaplan Test Prep company found that more than ⅓ of college admissions officers search for additional information on students using Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube (Source: Education Week)

How One Student Built an Online Reputation with YouTube

Students can have a lot of success establishing their online reputation using YouTube. We had the pleasure of working with our intern, Jamie, when she was 16 years old and getting ready to apply to college. When Jamie first came to us, she had no online footprint, but she did have some very unique qualities that could help her with a college application: She knew how to speak, read, and write in Mandarin Chinese.

  • Jamie wanted to showcase her language skills to stand out on her college applications
  • She created a series of YouTube videos teaching basic phrases in Mandarin Chinese
  • After doing that, her search results changed, and her YouTube videos appeared first in the search results because she used her real name on her YouTube channel
  • She was able to get into the college of her dreams and use her language skills in her studies

How can students use YouTube to share their talents?

  • Students can create high-quality YouTube content that highlights their skills and passions that can turn their Google results into a three-dimensional version of their college resume
  • Positive videos can lead to increased recognition and open up opportunities to students in the field they are interested in as well as opportunities from a potential employer
  • Passion projects, volunteer work, and club participation can be featured in YouTube videos to display the image a student wants to present

YouTube Steps for Success

  • When you are at least 13 years old and ready to build an online footprint talk with your parents to create a plan and set guidelines (We recommend creating a family media agreement
  • Set your YouTube username to your real name (to help Google find you). Example: Youtube.com/JoshOchs
  • When someone searches for your name on Google or YouTube, this video is likely to appear
  • Decide what subject you can teach (cooking, crafts, math, volunteering, language, programming, etc.)
  • Create a video of you teaching the subject in a clear and professional manner
  • Edit and upload the video in “Unlisted” mode using the free YouTube app on your phone
  • Rename the title of the video to include the subject and your full name
  • Once you get an approval from your parents, make the video “Public"
  • Use the same clear, square photo of yourself that you use on other social media networks, so colleges and employers will know that they have found the right account

Important Tips for Teens on YouTube

  • Children under 13 years are not permitted to set up a YouTube account
  • When filming videos of your friends, classmates, or other minors for the online world remember that you should never be sexually suggestive, violent, or dangerous and you should always have others’ permission before posting 
  • Learn Teen safety from YouTube

YouTube Publicity Settings

YouTube accounts are public and anyone can see your account. However, you can manage video publicity settings:

  • Public - everyone can see and search for the video
  • Private - only owner and specific friends can watch videos (while logged into Google)
  • Unlisted - only people who have the link to the video can view that video

How to use YouTube in a Positive and Safe Way

  • Establish with your parents what kind of content is positive and negative before creating your own channel
  • Be respectful when engaging others and block users who aren’t respectful to you
  • Create a video resume and post it to your YouTube channel. Dress professionally and use your accomplishments to tell a story
  • Update your video resume often and put the link of your new video in the description of your old video
  • If you participated in a volunteer program, spent the summer doing an internship, or seized a rare opportunity, create a video about your experience
  • Be sure to thank the organization you worked with and share what you learned
  • Create unique videos and let your personality shine through
  • Find an interest and post videos that tell that story. For example: if you want to go to culinary school, create cooking videos
  • In the cooking example, you could choose a niche such as meals that can be made in 30 minutes or less

What can parents & educators do?

  • Talk as a family about a channel’s messages and themes along with why they want to post videos
  • Watch every video students make BEFORE they upload and make it public
  • Limit who can view your student’s videos by setting them to Private or Unlisted until they are prepared to shine online
  • Disable comments on videos to prevent negative comments and cyberbullying
  • Join the Student Branding Academy to plan and develop positive digital footprints

More resources for Parents, Students, & Educators

How to Use AI for College Prep

10+ Ways Students Can Avoid Oversharing Online

Building a Positive Social Media Reputation for Student Athletes

Positive Impact of Social Media & Screen Time (What Students, Parents, & Educators Need to Know

10 Screen Time Management Tips to Prevent Addiction

Online Scams: What Parents Need to Know & Expert Tips

YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Conclusion

YouTube can be a powerful tool to help students stand out on their college applications and on future job applications. When used well, YouTube can help students build a positive digital reputation and build connections within the field they are interested in pursuing. Students and parents can work together to protect online reputations by setting guidelines for the types of videos shared on YouTube and creating videos that highlight the student’s strengths and passions. Taking the additional steps to build a positive online reputation can give students a significant advantage in the college application process and set them up for success with future opportunities.

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Become a member or login to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Unlock this lesson to learn how YouTube can help a student's online reputation

What Parents, Teachers, & Students Will Learn

  • How can YouTube enhance a student's reputation?
  • How does quality YouTube content help students stand out on applications?
  • Why do YouTube channels have priority in Google search results, and how does it aid reputation management?
  • In what ways can YouTube video resumes be utilized in college applications or on LinkedIn?

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

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