Many college-bound students work very hard to achieve good grades, write compelling essays, participate in extracurricular activities, and even devote their time to helping in their communities. These are all excellent ways to boost your chances of being accepted to a university or getting a scholarship. However, one area that tends to be completely overlooked is digital presence.
If you are a millennial, chances are that you have a consistent online presence on multiple websites. While you may think of social media as nothing more than harmless fun, the truth is, it can impact your chances of winning scholarships.
Scholarship Judges Care About What You Post on Social Media
You Post on Social Media
A study by Kaplan Test Prep found that 35% of college admissions officers check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social networking sites to learn more about potential candidates . Furthermore, 42% of admissions officers who check said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.
What is Negative Social Media Content?Negative social media content includes posts that are vulgar, emphasize illegal drug use, sexual acts, violence, and anything else that would horrify your grandma.
So if your social media pages are filled with unflattering content and nothing substantial, it could cost you a college admission, scholarship, and even future career opportunities. The good news is that you can also use your internet presence to your advantage.
Here are a few suggestions on how to clean up your digital presence and use your social media profiles to highlight your accomplishments.
How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Step 1: Clean Up Your Digital ProfileYour social media accounts say a lot about you. Go through your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media profiles and delete any posts or photos that are inappropriate. If you don’t want to sift through everything, delete the account and start over. Do not open a dummy or fake account. You will be perceived as sneaky and dishonest if they are traced back to you. You can also adjust your privacy setting as high as possible so that casual browsers won’t have access to your posts. It is also wise to Google yourself and check what turns up. You should remove any material that belongs to you and is questionable.
Step 2: Be Mindful of What You PostYou want to be careful about the images you share, and the posts you’re tagged in. If someone catches you on camera or video making out, in your bikini, or playing beer pong, ask that the images be deleted before they are posted online and out of your control. Moreover, your profile name should be appropriate. Don’t call yourself SexKitten69 or GanjaLover420, just use your first and last name.
Be respectful in what items you like and share. You may find a racist cartoon hilarious, but sharing it on social media can make you look like an intolerant bigot. Keep your opinions conservative. Avoid heated political, religious, racial, sexual, or other intolerant online arguments. While it’s okay to debate with your friends, far left or right-wing musings can cost you big.
Step 3: Populate Your Profile with Positive ContentYou want your online presence to show you in a positive light. Highlight your accomplishments and achievements. There are a few ways you can do this. Try to emphasize your excitement about the program you’ve chosen, or post pictures on Facebook of you accepting a volunteer award. Tweet about your sports team winning a championship game, or showcase time with your family. You can write public blog posts and notes about an empowering or touching incident that happened recently. Emphasize time with your family and positive academic or social activities from school.
Social media and an online presence can be extremely powerful tool in your quest for scholarships, but only if done right. You want to present yourself in the best way possible to scholarship judges. That includes content that you post or share on social media. Use this valuable tool to modifying anything unfavorable that may hinder your credentials.
Are you shy and uncomfortable with meeting new people? Follow these simple steps and make college friends that will last a lifetime!
Employee background check errors harm thousands of workers By Patrick Thibodeau, Senior News Writer/Makenzie Holland, News Writer
Employee Background Check errors harm thousands of workers:
See the full article here: https://www.techtarget.com/searchhrsoftware/feature/Employee-background-check-errors-harm-thousands-of-workers
A criminal background check only needs minutes to ruin a life. That's how long it takes for prospective employers, in some instances, to get a background check report on a job candidate. But mistakes that incorrectly identify an applicant as a thief or sex offender happen more often than many expect. The effect can be emotionally and financially devastating, and HR managers make it worse by often dropping their job candidate before a correction is issued.
Common mistakes include mismatched names and addresses. One background check lawsuit alleged that the first name of Ashley was misidentified as Alysha. In another case, two people with the same first and last name were mixed up despite their distinct middle names: Magdalena and Elena. In another lawsuit, an applicant with a middle name of Scot (one T) was confused with someone whose middle name was Scott (two T's). A background check firm told one job applicant that his Social Security number was in the government's "Death Master File."
But the lawsuit against a First Advantage Corp. subsidiary alleged that it incorrectly mixed Donald up with someone with a criminal record. Donald has no criminal convictions; the "corrected report came weeks after plaintiff had already lost his Lowe's job offer," the suit stated. The case is in settlement discussions, according to court records.
More than 90% of employers use background check data as part of the hiring process, according to the CFPB. The background check industry is also expanding what it offers, with one growth area known as "continuous" background checks for existing employers, according to IPO filings. Background checks are also expanding in scope to include social media.
Another man who filed a lawsuit, Eric, obtained a job as a driver with a trucking firm that operates as an Amazon subcontractor. He was offered a job as delivery associate "pending a successful background check." The background check reported no criminal record, according to his lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in California. But the background check firm reported that he was a registered sex offender, the lawsuit alleged.
Eric was "shocked and angry"; he was "now unemployed and with a family to support" and could not "believe that he had to explain to his wife and family that he could not start work because his background report showed that he was a sex offender," the lawsuit stated
Michael, an Arizona man, was accepted for a job at health insurer Humana in June, before the background check, which was taking a long time to complete, was provided to the insurance company.
When the report was issued, Michael's background check included a "patently inaccurate" criminal conviction for theft of services, the lawsuit said. The background check firm misidentified him as someone else, leading Humana to put him on a "no work status," according to the lawsuit
Excerpts taken from:
Broken Records: How Errors by Criminal Background Checking Companies Harm Workers and Businesses
©2012 National Consumer Law Center http://www.nclc.org/issues/broken-records.html
Samuel M. Jackson, Illinois: Mismatched Report, Company: InfoTrack
Mr. Jackson was allegedly denied employment after a prospective employer ran an InfoTrack background check.
InfoTrack reported a rape conviction from 1987— when Mr. Jackson was four years old.
The rape conviction actually belonged to a 58-year-old male named Samuel L. Jackson from Virginia who was convicted of rape in November 18, 1987.