Did you know that it’s becoming common practice for admissions officers to check applicants’ Facebook profiles? And that it’s not uncommon that they find something that negatively impacts an applicant’s admission chances?
Not only do you have to consider every comma and turn of phrase in the applications themselves, but now you need to worry about what you may have posted on Facebook in the past as well!
Here are a few tips to consider when using Facebook.
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. This is good policy for all your social media accounts.
2. As a general rule, never post any comments or pictures that you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to see. That way you don’t need to worry that one of your 1300 friends will get offended by your post and 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 (or lack thereof) with your job, your affinity (or lack thereof) for a particular teacher or supervisor, etc. Go through your timeline now and delete any questionable posts from your history.
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.