Most students understand the importance of having a stellar reputation. But what about their online reputation?
Last year, nearly 50% of admissions officers searched for applicants online. Landlords are taking to Facebook to search for data indicating that you’re a good match for their properties. Before employers even invite you to an interview, 80% run a Google search on job seekers.
The Internet is a real tool that students can use to enhance their chances of getting into a great school or landing the perfect job.
6 Tips for Students
After years of research on the impact of student online reputation, Cornerstone Reputation has put together six ways a student’s online footprint can positively impact college admissions officers.
1. Curate, curate, curate
Students are already spending a ton of time online, upwards of nine hours a day according to Common Sense Media. The best way to use all of this time is to be intentional about posting positive content that accurately reflect a student’s interests. Post content that will leave a good impression on anyone who can access it, namely college admissions officers.
2. Highlight your community service
Community service is a big deal to college admissions officers. In a 2016 survey by Cornerstone Reputation, over 60% of admissions officers said mentions of community service made an applicant more impressive. Most students have mandatory community service requirements for academic organizations, so taking a second to highlight service publicly on social media could pay dividends.
3. Showcase your art
Admissions officers love to see what students are passionate about. If you’re into the performing arts—whether that’s playing an instrument, singing, dancing, or acting––set up a YouTube channel with videos of your performances. Make sure your name is the name of the account, and link to it from your other profiles like Facebook, Twitter and your personal website.
4. Flash your academic creds
Many schools post the results of academic awards online. If that’s the case with your school, make sure your name is on them and link to them from your profiles and your personal website. Admissions officers nowadays often search online to verify awards that students claim on their applications (because it’s easier to search Google than call a school’s college counselor). And, sharing your academic awards online lets students make sure that their best achievements are discoverable.
5. Stake out your e-turf
Creating a website with a personal domain name has so many benefits for students. Not only does a personal website afford a student the chance to showcase content that bolsters their online reputation, but it demonstrates to admissions officers an impressive degree of e-savviness. Seeing technical work a student has done leaves a positive impression on admissions officers by demonstrating a positive engagement with the Internet and an ability to “get stuff done” in the world that exists beyond their studies.
6. Get published
Getting published in a school or independent newspaper is among the most impactful type of content a student can create. In Cornerstone Reputation’s survey, almost 70% of admissions officers noted a positive impression of applicants who had been published in a periodical. If you don’t already write for your school paper, ask if you can submit an article and then see if you can gradually increase your participation. And if your school paper doesn’t yet publish online, talk to them about possibly featuring a few articles each month on the school website.
Want to learn more about how students can get a handle on their online presence? Reach out to Cornerstone Reputation at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want some help getting started, check out Cornerstone’s virtual workshop at www.courses.cornerstonereputation.com.
By Jennifer Schwartz