8 Reasons Why Students Need a Clean Online Presence Is it important for students to maintain a clean online presence? Through our Mega Scholarships website, we’ve helped students win over $100,000 in college scholarships and we’re offering this advice to help you too. Maintaining a clean online presence is becoming increasingly important for students as they apply for college and university scholarships, internships, and even jobs. Checking a student’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile may seem like an invasion of privacy, but if you choose to interact through social media, you’re also choosing to put yourself out there for the world to see.
Below are the TOP 8 reasons why students need to maintain a clean online presence:
- Admission departments and Employers check social media posts. We’ve been told by professionals in both schools and organizations that when they are considering people they will often use social media as a means to shortlist candidates. So don’t be surprised if these folks are reading your posts to get additional insight to determine what type of person you are. Posting, “I had such an amazing time last night even though I was wasted!” will not impress an admissions officer or potential employer who’s trying to choose between a few qualified people.
- Facebook picture tagging may be too revealing. Did you know that you don’t even have to be friends with someone in order for them to tag you in a Facebook picture? This means that someone who doesn’t know you can still tag you. Make sure your security settings are setup so that no tagging is allowed or is at the very least limited to people who are friends with you. You never know what people will think is funny and by tagging you in inappropriate pictures; it could tarnish your online presence.
- Your social media friends may not always be good friends. The term friends is used loosely in the social media world. Just ask yourself how many of your online friends will actually help you when you’re in need? The reality is that many people are quick to accept friend requests from people they hardly know. This often results in connections posting something about you that is untrue or insulting. Be careful about who you add to your social media circle.
- Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want to see about you in the news. Online posts and pictures are out there for the world to see, so why risk your online reputation by posting something that may come back to haunt you? Use your social media presence in a positive way by posting about volunteer experiences, how you’ve accomplished something at school or on a sports team and other facts that you want to share that are uplifting. Be sure to read Mega Scholarships Social Media Guide for more tips on this topic.
- Always use the Social Gathering Test. Before hitting that post or send button, think, “Would it be ok for me to share this in a social gathering?” If not, don’t post it! Any doubt that you have about what you are about to post usually means you shouldn’t be posting it at all. Use your common sense when posting things. Don’t use language that would make people upset or spread rumors that will make you wish you had never posted it to begin with.
- The delete button is never guaranteed. You may think that by clicking “delete” your words might be gone, but that simply isn’t true. No matter how quickly you click it, someone could have read what you wrote, copied your words, captured your post and pasted them somewhere else. Once out there in cyberspace, it’s not going to be easy to get it removed. We can’t stress this enough: There are NO GUARANTEES with the delete button.
- Your future employer is out there watching. Students can use social media to their advantage by networking and making connections that may one day result in their first job or internship. On the flip-side, an internship or career offer could easily be rescinded if an employer checks the social media presence of any potential employee and does not like what they see. Your social media presence in some ways is connected to your resume whether you like it or not.
- What you do now will pay off later. A junior high school student posting on Facebook may not be worried about future employers, admissions departments or scholarships. That’s where adults, parents and teachers need to come in and teach awareness of how social media can affect the future of students. Students need to understand the implications social media can have on their future. The earlier they understand this along with the consequences of having a negative online presence, the better off they will be in the future.
With all of this great information at your arsenal, go ahead and Google yourself. You can even setup a “Google Alert” for your name. Google will send you an email each time your name comes up in their search results. Use quotes around your name (i.e. “Jane Doe”) to cut down on the number of results you will get sent. Of course if you share the name of someone famous then this may not work for you. But you can setup Google Alerts for any search query that you want and this service is free. To learn more about scholarship tips and tricks check out our Scholarship Application Guide at www.megascholarships.com
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