LinkedIn to Business School

linked in to social mediaStudents beware!  Use of social media can hinder your job application process and even your application into business schools.  But some sly students have created a flipside to this debacle.  They are using the media to enhance their profiles. A 2012 Kaplan Test Prep survey indicated that more than a quarter of college admissions officers are looking beyond the traditional application by checking Facebook profiles and Googling students’ names. The study showed the percentage of admissions officers who used Google to learn more about applicants increased from 20% in 2011 to 27% in 2012, and 26% reported checking candidates’ Facebook profiles.  Using social media to learn about admission candidates is still not the usual policy but social media is most definitely growing its role in this admissions process.  Keep in mind, however, applicants need to be cognizant of the brand they are representing. Researching the admissions process at specific colleges and universities is imperative. While the Kaplan study primarily focuses on the potential negative consequences of social media, social media can also be used for good. If you communicate ineffectively, it can be extremely detrimental. Being accepted into business school is difficult as is, so gaining an edge is always on a prospective MBA student’s agenda.

Remember to ask for the “right of endorsements”.  When it comes to endorsements, the logic is similar to written recommendations. If the endorsement is vague, it is not beneficial at all. Specific endorsements with tangible recognitions of successes are far more useful.

It is widely known that LinkedIn is the tool that all business school students should be using. LinkedIn indicates to admissions committees that a prospective candidate already exhibits professional maturity. A LinkedIn profile gives admissions people an insight of interests and strengths beyond the application.

It is also a good idea to collect information on the types of job and roles that you might see yourself upon graduation. Research, through a site like LinkedIn, will help prepare an applicant for essays and interviews.  Stay consistent with how you describe yourself with regards to curriculum vitae and resume.  This is true for your photograph, as well. A consistent, conservative profile is highly recommended. This helps a business school to begin placing a face with a name.

Start by asking admission questions on Twitter with regards to business schools.  Other students will share the steps and offer suggestions and advice. It also helps prospective students stay current and up- to- date on news, deadlines, and requirements. If you are using Facebook, make sure everything that is public uses acceptable hiring and admissions context. Standard thinking is “less is more”.

Be vigilant in following the social media of business schools where you have applied. If you are still in the early phases of your MBA search, check out the GMAT prep center’s social media accounts.  Signing up for forums has proven to be extremely beneficial. Years ago, we could have never imagined the far reaching attributes of social media in the business school application process.  It is time to “climb on board”, though, as we are seeing it is becoming an asset to the pursuance of education and career.

Source: “Using Social Media to Get into Business School.” OnlineMBAcom Using Social Media to Get into Business School Comments. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.

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