You know I am a fanatic about cleaning up one’s digital image before embarking on any endeavor that is likely to prompt a Google Search of your name. Whether it is a college application or a job interview, you have to Google Yourself and clean it up. One of my son’s friends found out his mug shot for a DUI was online when he had applied for graduate school and one of the school recruiters let him know. Not good. Be proactive and don’t just stop at cleaning it up, you can work to craft your online brand. Although I always say, It’s Never Too Late, in this case it is Never to Early!
The following post is from Direct Hits Education, an SAT preparatory that is giving this great advice while SIMULTANEOUSLY (at the same time) building up your vocab!
Social media has become UBIQUITOUS (omnipresent) in our culture. With Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more, we’re sharing a lot of information online. In case you’re OBLIVIOUS (unaware), your online image matters, especially when it comes to applying for colleges, scholarships, and jobs. How you present yourself online can be a BOON (benefit) or BANE (source of harm) for you, as more and more college admissions officers and prospective employers use Facebook and other sites to research applicants. A negative online image could COMPROMISE (jeopardize) your college applications or job opportunities. Let us help you ELEVATE (move to a higher place) your social media presence as you prepare for college and beyond.
First, we IMPLORE (urge) you to clean up your social media accounts including usernames and handles. Timeline is becoming a PREVALENT (widespread) Facebook feature, making it easy to look through photos and posts from long ago. While Timeline is a great feature when you’re feeling NOSTALGIC (longing for the past) and want to relive old memories, it can be DELETERIOUS (injurious) to college applications. While a simple Facebook post seems EPHEMERAL (lasting for a short time), it remains online, and now, with Timeline, admissions officers and future employers can easily access old photos and Facebook statuses you wrote years ago. Would you be CHAGRINED (feeling distressed because of embarrassment) if an admissions officer saw some of the posts or photos on your Facebook profile? Take time to EXCISE (delete) any inappropriate content that you’ve posted on your social media accounts over the years.
EXPUNGE (delete) any PROVOCATIVE (causing controversy) photos and untag yourself from any of your friends’ photos that look potentially problematic. Remove any photos or posts that show you being COMPLICIT (associated or participating in a wrongful act) in any SOPHOMORIC (exhibiting great immaturity and lack of judgment) or illegal activity. Review your Facebook wall and Twitter feed and EXPUNGE (remove) posts that are discriminatory, DISPARAGING (disrespectful), or CRASS (vulgar).
The next step in your social media makeover is to privatize your information. Change your Privacy Settings on Facebook so that only your friends can see your full profile and the content you’ve posted. Choose an interesting profile picture and cover photo that creates a positive impression since admissions officers will be able to see these, even if they can’t read your Facebook posts. Social media is a BOON because it can show your passions and personalities, so use your “About” section on your Facebook profile to add to your positive online image. In your profile, ENUMERATE (list) your MYRIAD (numerous) interests and pick quotes that describe you. Establish a new REGIMEN (system) for posting online. Be PRUDENT (careful) with what you post online, and ESCHEW (avoid) posting things that reflect poorly on you. Use good grammar and spelling and ABSTAIN (refrain) from using profanity. Use social media in a way that ENHANCES (improve) your online image and perhaps even your college applications.