You’ve filled out your entire application, perfected your essays, secured killer recommendations, and written a CV that truly shows off your skills and experiences. You’re ready to send, right?
WRONG! There’s one more thing you need to do, and you should do it NOW, before the adcoms start Googling: Optimize your online presence.
Here are 5 things ways to do it:
1. Google yourself.
If you want to see what they’ll see, start with a simple Google search for your name. Once you see where you have a presence and where you don’t, then you can continue to the next few steps here.
2. Clean up your act.
Your entire application could be 100%, but if the adcoms see your Facebook page littered with inappropriate pictures, your Twitter feed overflowing with obscenities, and that blog post where you rant about items that should never have seen the light of day, much less been published for the world to see, that 720 GMAT score (or other perfect or near-perfect score) might get overlooked.
Keep questionable content private; or better yet, delete it all. (After all, is anything online ever really private?)
3. Get social.
Lest you think that we think that social media is bad, our next piece of advice here is that you MAKE SURE that you have your social media bases covered. Any tech-savvy, modern applicant should have a LinkedIn and Google+ account, and maybe even Facebook and Twitter.
While you don’t want to get in trouble for overusing and oversharing (see #2), you also don’t want to appear like a caveman totally out of the social media world.
4. Become more findable.
You can optimize other people’s search results for your name by doing a number of quick fixes: First, you can buy your domain name – pick a URL with your name in it and use that site to keep all your social info in one place (i.e. links to your social media profiles on other sites). You can also use About.Me, WordPress, and Tumblr to consolidate your social presence and make yourself easily searchable. Also, by securing clear links for your public profile (by setting up /yourname at the end of a link), you make profile sharing easier and your online presence further optimized.
5. Make what’s found reflect well on you.
It doesn’t have to bore or be professional. You can have passions and other interests. You can even have political opinions or religious beliefs. That’s all fine. Even good. But if you have a few posts, tweets or status updates that don’t reflect well on you and that you can’t get rid of, post new, positive material to push the old stuff down the rankings. Maybe you can’t make it disappear, but you can make it less prominent.
So clean up what you can, replace what you can’t, and make your social media presence a plus if an admissions officer decides to google you.
Still not ready to click “Submit”? Don’t submit until you’re confident that you’re presenting the best application possible! Get in touch with us so we can help.
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This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.