In applying to law school, the next person to peruse your Facebook profile may not be the attractive economics major in your public policy class. This social media inspector could very well be a law school admissions officer.
Law schools are more likely to search for an applicant online than business schools and other colleges, according to a survey released Oct. 24 by Kaplan Test Prep. The survey showed that 37 percent of law school admissions officers have searched for applicants’ Facebook and other social media sites, while another 32 percent found information online that negatively impacted applicants’ admissions chances. Time to start cleaning up those profile pictures.
The rapid evolution of the digital age is certainly overwhelming, especially when statistics like those produced by this survey reveal how a simple Facebook post can potentially catch the curious eyes of law school officials and internship recruiters. As the world is evermore moving into an online era, students must be more wary of the public persona they are creating through social media and be responsible for maintaining it.
Still, we would hope that in scanning students’ social media sites, admissions officers and employers narrow their searches to relevant information that reflects an applicant’s capabilities.
By creating a Facebook or Twitter, students put themselves into the public arena and thus have to be more cognizant of how they may be perceived, especially by the employers and graduate schools they seek to impress. While ever-changing privacy settings can be confusing, students should stay savvy as to how to use them in order to control what information about them is available online.
There’s no sense bemoaning the ability of schools and employers to peer into the social media lives of candidates. Our world is changing and students should learn to adapt along with it.