When Kaplan Test Prep released the results of its survey of business school admissions officers, revealing that 32% of business school admissions officers performed internet searches on applicants, 27% visited an applicant’s social media (Facebook, Myspace, etc.) page, and 10% had found something online that negatively impacted an applicant’s admission chances, applicants around the world collectively shuddered. Not only do we have to consider every comma and turn of phrase in the applications themselves, now we have to worry about what we may have posted online in the past as well?! YES! Here are a few tips to consider when using Facebook given these stark statistics.
1. Make sure that your Facebook profile is for Friends only (and not open to Friends of Friends or Everyone), and also remember to check that you’ve selected this option for every picture that you post.
2. As a general rule, never post any comments or pictures that you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to see. That way no one of your closest 1300 friends who is offended by your post can simply take a screenshot of it for global dissemination. Think very hard before using Facebook as a forum to comment on a political matter, your satisfaction with your job, your affinity for a particular teacher or supervisor, etc. Go through now and delete any questionable posts.
3. Even if your Facebook profile is private and viewable only to Friends, you need to keep in mind that some things are viewable by anyone on Facebook: all of the data you’ve entered in Basic Information, the names of Groups you’re a member of, the pages you’ve Liked, all of the pictures you’ve saved as Profile or Cover Photos, and any pictures or comments you’ve posted to an open group. Be conservative in your Group memberships and contributions to open groups, and delete any cover or profile photos that you don’t want in your application file.
Jennifer Bloom has been successfully helping applicants demonstrate their readiness for the top MBA programs around the world for 14 years.