Can Social Media Hurt Your Chances of Winning a Scholarship?

By Amanda Olavarria on July 10, 2017

The huge presence social media has in our daily lives is indisputable. With more and more young people using these social networks to broadcast their lives, you can’t help but wonder what kind of negative implications these sites can have beyond the screens. Social media can hurt not only your job prospects but also your chances of winning a scholarship.

We all have been given the “watch what you post” speech from our parents. Although it can be redundant there is great truth in that speech because it is vital to create the right image of yourself online, especially if you are looking to receive a scholarship or score a new job.

It was actually found that a quarter of scholarship organizations look to social media sites like Facebook to find more information about students before deciding on a recipient. That means your Facebook profile is under close watch by scholarship organizations, so keep that in mind the next time you want to post a picture of you and your friend holding up red solo cups.

Having a good image on social media can be the difference between you or someone else receiving a scholarship.

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Scholarship organizations look through your profile to have a further sense of who you are and your values. This means they are on the lookout for any negative things on your profile like posts that suggest illegal activity, inappropriate or provocative photos, and extremely negative posts.

Scholarship organizations want their recipient to be as professional as possible. They want a person that would represent themselves in a classy and mature way, especially online. If they see any signs that you are the opposite of that description, then they will be sure not to choose you.

Every time you decide to post on social media, you need to ensure that what you are posting will not hurt your image in any way, and if you are unsure about it, then don’t post it. People often mistake Facebook for a diary and write these rants either about a person they dislike or their current job. All this does is reflect bad on you, not those you are talking about, and it’s posts like these that will surely follow you later in life.

If you find yourself needing to vent, write in a journal or talk to a close friend or family member about your feelings. Facebook or any other social media should not become your therapy session. No one wants to hire or give a scholarship to someone who is always complaining or posting negatively on social media. These kinds of posts can come off not only as obnoxious, but overly pessimistic.

Your social media account is your brand and you want to make sure it is correctly displaying who you are as a person to those who see your profile. You definitely do not want to be misunderstood due to a negative or inappropriate profile. This is why it is important that you review your profile.

Look at your profile thoroughly as if you are a third party observer and if anything on there is questionable or you would be embarrassed if your mother saw it, then it should probably be deleted. Unfortunately, social media now is about a whole lot more than looking cool to the rest of your friends, it is also about creating the proper image and one that you would be proud to display to any person.

Another way you can check your image online is by typing your name in a Google search. This is a great way to make sure nothing inappropriate comes up with your name and if it does, you can find a way to delete it. You also want to make sure your profile is private and if not you should change it immediately. This not only keeps people from viewing your profile without your permission, but also helps with online safety.

The last thing you want is your social media to work against you; you want a profile that displays you in the best light possible. If your profile highlights you as a wild partier that frequently complains, that hardly does any justice to who you are as a person and how future employers or scholarship organizations will see you.

Although you may be tempted to post pictures that can be deemed inappropriate, you should resist the urge. Even if you think posting that picture is a good idea now, you may come to regret it later when it has some negative repercussions. Posting a picture or writing a post is not something you should take lightly because once it is out there, it is out for the world to see.

Instead of using social media as a tool to vent or as a way to show off, you should use it to show what you are passionate about. You can use your profile to share your favorite articles or to write meaningful posts about what you are interested in. You should make your account into one that accurately represents you and does not hurt your chances of getting a scholarship.

Amanda is a junior at the University of Connecticut studying communication studies with a psychology and english minor.

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