Special Reports

Applying for College? You’re Going to Need a Good LinkedIn Profile, Experts Say


Students usually use social media to post whatever it is that's on their mind. Facebook, for example, encourages people to post thoughts, photos, videos, or links, in their website, with the option of tagging people along so that they'll see what the post was about. According to social media experts, however, social media isn't limited to posting fun things: it can also be used to help students get to college.

Social Assurity, a company that offers courses for high school students teaching them how to shape their online personas, is teaching students how to use a LinkedIn profile to be able to nail that college application, reports the New York Times. They say that LinkedIn, which is basically a business-oriented network designed for adults to post online resumés, can also be used by college aspirants.

"They are going to click on your profile," Alan Katzman, the chief executive of Social Assurity, told the NY Times in reference to colleges and universities that a student wants to apply to.

One high school senior that Social Assurity advised last year, for example, created a LinkedIn profile carefully designed to give necessary details about him. He attached a link to that profile on his application to Harvard University, and soon the student was notified that Harvard indeed checked his profile. He's now a student at Harvard.

Although Harvard did not detail how the student was accepted, of if his LinkedIn profile did help in his acceptance, Katzman believes that his online profile worked. "... I maintain that it is very powerful," he said.

For some high school students, LinkedIn serves as a defense mechanism of sorts just in case a school would want to check out their social media accounts, such as on Facebook and Twitter. According to a recent Kaplan Test Prep study found that about 40 percent of 400 college admissions officers admit to visiting a college applicant's social media profile.

Although a LinkedIn profile might help students show their professional and "good" side, there are others who believe that nothing beats a personal interview. Seventeen-year-old Nate Reeves, for example, has a LinkedIn profile, but decided to call the internship he was applying for and was interviewed in person. He's now intern at Little Rock Technology Park in Ark.

"On LinkedIn, they see what you are good at," Reeves said. "But they don't really get to know you."

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