Social Assurity University is the first eCurriculum designed for schools, students, parents and job-seekers that makes social media education positive, empowering and goal-oriented, by teaching new skills and strategies for college admissions and job recruiting in today's world.
Instead of focusing on what not to post, Social Assurity University teaches learners how to post with a purpose and get discovered. Social Assurity also expects these strategies and techniques will reduce incidents of cyberbullying by giving new purpose to teen social media activities.
Consider this: applying to college is the beginning of college. How you manage the college process determines not only where you land but something much bigger: who you are and what you do in college once you arrive.
I know the college process feels nearly unendurably stressful. You’ve worked so long and so hard, and the eye of the needle seems to get narrower every day. It’s true that college is hugely expensive, and only 69 colleges provide a family’s full demonstrated financial need (only 40 if you want to graduate without loans).
If you are academically qualified for those 69 (you can find out on their average grades and test scores on their web sites), you should apply. But there over 3000 other colleges in the US, and many of them will provide financial aid if you stand out as a “must have” candidate. Social media engagement can help shape you into someone with a unique voice and purpose: the kind of student who outperforms the odds in college admissions--and life.
In the age of holistic college admissions, Naviance’s simplistic data correlation is essentially flawed. Reading the admissions websites of highly selective schools, we now understand that GPA in and of itself is not a determinative admissions factor. Admissions officers look beyond the GPA to examine the course curriculum selected by the applicant. Are the courses intellectually challenging or are they simply ‘gut’? Do the courses align with the applicant's stated field of study and demonstrate an intellectual curiosity? Standardized test scores also continue to be deemphasized by most institutions while other subjective admissions factors are gaining weight as part of the holistic admissions approach. Perhaps most importantly, intra school admissions data is very limited and highly unreliable.
As highlighted by the Huffington Post, more than 200,000 high school seniors graduated with a 4.0 GPA last year. Nearly 3,000 students scored 2200-plus on the SAT, and Harvard rejected 200 applicants who boasted a perfect 2400 score. Naviance is not programmed to deal with such complexities.
At the beginning of the summer a close friend of mine waited anxiously to hear back from a company she had applied to for a summer internship when she informed me that she would be deleting her Facebook account until the end of the summer.
According to her, the company said it would conduct a sort of “social media background check” so she did not want to risk jeopardizing the opportunity for a photo or post that she may have been tagged in years ago.
After “stalking” her Facebook page to see what sort of things might be of that nature, I realized she had nothing to hide. She was an average, athletic, 21-year-old college student with a social life and a lot to offer. But this made me think.
If a college-aged female with an appropriate social media presence is intimidated by the idea of jobs looking at her Facebook and Instagram, how does everyone else feel? And, on the other hand, what are colleges and job recruiters looking for on these pages? And for what purpose?
I've had the privilege of attending Alan Katzman’s session on social recruiting where all of my previous notions about social media flew out the window. Since I have learned and implemented the elements Alan presented, I have seen a dramatic difference in my social media presence.
SOCIAL MEDIA: FRIEND OR FOE
When on the job hunt, social media is not the enemy; that was a foreign concept to me. As Millennials and young professionals, the only advice we receive about our social profiles is to make them private and keep them appropriate; red solo cups in pictures are now a faux pas and a risk employers aren't willing to take. If you are using your social platforms purely for interacting with friends and sharing cat memes, you're wasting your time.
Colleges are using social media for admissions and recruitment now more than ever before. It's a tool for marketing, communication, recruitment, and research. And that means college students should be paying more attention to how they're using social media, too.
"Colleges have embraced social media as an effective way to market to and attract applicants," says Katzman. He notes that almost all schools have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, some are even on Snapchat.
By using these services, colleges are extending an invitation to applicants to engage with them on social media. "This is a great opportunity for students to demonstrate interest and also impress college officials with their social media profiles and activities," says Katzman.
Yesterday's editorial in The Brown Daily Herald discusses a critical yet often overlooked element of why schools and businesses are checking applicant social media. The editorial "Cleaning Up Social Media Pages" did not discuss the impact of social media on a student's reputation. No, this editorial discussed the impact student social media posts have on the overall reputation of Brown University and how Brown is perceived by prospective students and their parents as a result.
"Many of our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts can be linked to Brown, and how we portray ourselves online could jeopardize the way outsiders feel about the institution we represent. " This is a powerful concept to understand. Our online presence reflects upon the reputation of the groups and organizations we represent whether they be our schools, our employers, our clubs, our associations.
Your children are being told to stay away from posting on social media. This advice is not only wrong, it could actually be hurting your children’s chance of getting into their chosen college.
College Admissions officers are increasingly turning to social media to evaluate the applicants to their schools. There are many students with good SATs, “A” grades, extracurricular activities, and strong essays on their applications; but a student’s social media can tell a much broader story about the applicant.
Each year, more and more of the world’s most talented students compete for the coveted opportunity to receive an Ivy League education. As a result of this intense competition, serious applicants with hard earned credentials now need to further distinguish themselves against other equally qualified peers. As admissions offices continually search for new ways to responsibly distinguish between the “best of the best,” social media’s role has grown in importance.
While information about a person’s habits and character isn’t found on a resume, it’s readily available elsewhere. A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that a person’s Facebook profile reveals more about the kind of employee they’ll be than an IQ test.
Social media is a hiring manager’s friend.
While cover letters were once the place where candidates would weave their marketable soft skills into their professional narrative this is no longer the case. Realizing the treasure trove of actionable data stored by social networks, recruiters are increasingly using the search capabilities of Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to identify, assess and then recruit targeted talent. This is known as “social recruiting” and, as social recruiting grows in significance, less entry level job opportunities are publicly posted giving rise to the hidden job market.
For college students, social media is now the cover letter they didn't realize they were sending. Understanding the problem (at least in part), college students believe that simply re-purposing their resume on LinkedIn is the answer. Unfortunately, the majority of these LinkedIn profiles are worthless. They lack the critical elements for effective search, are incomplete and totally ignore the presentation of soft skills. Most importantly, mastering social recruiting is all so much more than simply creating a LinkedIn profile.