Vibha Kagzi tells you how one can use social networking sites to help get admission into a dream college abroad
We live in a hyper-connected world. We leave a digital footprint wherever we go. Your status updates, tweets, posts and comments are vital clues to know who you really are. Naturally, admissions officers want to know the real you. Are you ready to reveal everything about you?
Social media can actually help you get into your dream school. How? Let’s look at it this way. The admissions department receives over a hundred applications every day from students with impressive percentile ranking, excellent scores, resumes, and essays. The admissions officer is faced with a difficult choice to identify the right candidate for their school.
Merely a strong academic and work profile won’t tip the scales in your favour. That’s when your social media profile can bring out the real colours that make you unique to the college.
Of course, the underlying assumption here is that all information provided on social media is authentic and not crafted for the purpose of leading the admissions director. Your posts, pictures, and comments reveal valuable nuggets of information about you. Here are 5 ways how your social media profile can help you boost your chances of landing that plum admission.
Your posts reveal your likes, dislikes, preferences. You enjoy gardening? This skill does not sound as impressive on an essay or resume as it does on a social media platform. If you have been posting pictures of your hobby, this reveals a side of you that may attract the attention of the admission officer.
Your comments reveal your passion for social engagement. If you are a sociable person, love to engage with others in your community and share ideas, that’s great news. Colleges love candidates who believe in community building and sharing. If you come across as a keen participant in the events going on around your locality, your application will find favour.
Your followership reveals your leadership skills. You may not have had many opportunities to showcase your leadership skills. But on social media, there is ample opportunity. If you have a strong band of followers, admissions department will love that. To be a true leader on social media, you have to engage with everyone, accept views, while standing your ground.
Your posts reveal your communication skills. Writing an effective message on social network sites with the limitation of character count is a challenge. To be able to communicate effectively, you need to write engaging pieces. You can showcase your ability to communicate with short and long posts through social media.
Your choice of groups strengthen your profile. Have you joined the Aerosmith fan page? Or do you follow Gordon Ramsey on Twitter? Did you sign up a petition on Change.org to create awareness about food adulteration? All your activities on social media help flesh out your character. Even more than what you write about, social media reveals all that you don’t write about. Admissions officers who are looking deeper to find information would love to know the other side of you.
Having understood how social media platforms can assist you in entering your dream school, here are some ideas on how to leverage your social media presence.
HOW TO USE LINKEDIN
It is the largest networking site for professionals. Your job profile, your connections and their endorsements about your skills and talents speak a whole lot about you. Who you follow and who follows you are important signals to the admission officer. Moreover, you can engage with people from different industry having diverse expertise. Your engagement reveals your keen interest to learn and develop your skills. Join groups that help you leverage your talent or hone your skills. Learn from the masters, without leaving your chair. People who actively engage on LinkedIn have a higher chance of boosting their employability, as well as securing admission to the college of their choice.
HOW TO USE FACEBOOK
If you are an avid FB user, you probably have visited the page of your preferred university. Scan the posts to understand the activities done at the school, the student community, the campus environment, and other important details. Follow the events. If there is a webinar, or online event that you can attend, it is a good idea to be present. Interact with the college professors, the alumni, the admissions board, or other aspirants on their page. Your engagement on their social media pages showcases your keenness to be a part of their community. Also, you can give them a chance to know you even before they have actually met you.
HOW TO USE TWITTER
Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a great platform to broadcast ideas and opinion. With the 140 limit on characters, Twitter posts are direct, brief, and sharp. If you are Twitter savvy, you will know how to use hashtags to popularise your tweets. Also, you understand the importance of social engagement, and creating followers. Your Twitter profile brings out the best information about you in small packages.
There are many other social networking sites that can put to use. Make sure to create an honest profile that supports your interests and reveals your nature to the admissions department. Also, as a safety measure detach or ‘un-tag’ yourself from posts that don’t work in your favour. Employ social media to maximise your chances of getting that coveted college admission.
The writer is founder-CEO of Reachivy.com
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