Would it surprise you to know that admissions offices regularly Google candidates? They look at everything from your Facebook page to your LinkedIn profile to news articles. Some business schools even run background checks on admitted students.

Some of the information about you on the web is beyond your control. However, if you are applying to business school or college, you should take steps to modify what you can, ensuring that your social media profile is flattering and accurate. These social media guidelines for college and MBA candidates will help you shine.

  • Choose the right e-mail address.

Even small things matter, like your email address. Hotlips97@yahoo.com does not seem like a mature candidate, and you do not want the admissions office questioning your judgment.

  • Think before posting comments.

Facebook or Twitter posts that may seem funny or harmless to you can be taken out of context and may create a negative impression. Use good judgment when posting comments. Don’t post anything that can be interpreted as intolerant, racist, profane, or irresponsible. Even something like “Called in sick to go golfing – awesome!” can really damage a candidate. I have seen candidates hurt their chances in other seemingly innocuous ways, like by posting “In at school x – so excited – don’t know why I even applied to school y!”

  • Post appropriate photos.

Posting pictures of yourself engaged in illegal activities, such as underage drinking, or inappropriate behavior is a bad idea. All pictures should be family-friendly and G-rated. Also, please make sure that no one else is tagging compromising pictures of you. The admissions office can still see them, even if they aren’t on your page.

  • Review your social media profile.

Examine your social media profile before even sending out your first application. It takes a bit of time and thought, but you wouldn’t want to look back and wonder if that picture of you in Vegas hurt your chances of admission.

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Karen Marks

Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Clients have been awarded more than 20 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 97% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.