Companies, Grad Schools, and Colleges All Using Social Media Monitoring

Applicants of all sorts beware: the institutions you are seeking admission to are monitoring social media accounts to get an inside look at your personality.

While this certainly has been practiced by businesses examining potential new hires for multiple years, an increasing number of colleges and universities are turning to social media as an extra factor in deciding whether an applicant is worthy of admission.

Social media has never been thought of as having much of a place in the world of academia, but it’s being used by admissions offices in the loftiest realms of higher learning. In a report issued by Kaplan, over forty percent of all law school admissions officers have admitted reviewing applicants’ social media accounts and using their findings to influence their decisions.

Perhaps even more interesting is a study by Reppler, which found that nearly seventy percent of hirers decided against offering a potential employee a job due to something they found on a candidate’s social media account.

These findings point out how essential it is to always maintain tight control over what is published about you in the social media space.

Should those pictures of you doing a keg stand be kept private? Does the “About” section of your profile reveal your admiration for controversial performers?

There are many things that could turn off a potential employer or institution from accepting you. Even publishing your own political views can sabotage your efforts to get a job, as all it takes is one person involved in the hiring process to not want to work with you.

Experts recommend keeping a neutral tone in your social media profiles. It’s okay to project your own personality, but sometimes people get too comfortable with social media accounts. It’s always a good idea to check with the privacy settings on your accounts and make sure you’ve restricted access to only those who you care to share with. As long as you always keep potential employers in mind when you upload content, then it will be pretty easy to make sure you’re always doing the right thing with your social media accounts.



  • Lucas Parker

    This seems like a bit of a sad trend.  I can understand the desire to weed out potentially risky candidates, but where should the line be drawn?  At what point are institutions shooting themselves in the foot by ruling out candidates who are more expressive, or express themselves in ways that are not mainstream?

  • Anonymous

    Online background checks are certainly becoming standard practice as digital interactions become more common. There are instances where it can be very helpful, but there is also a fine balance between exploring someone’s online persona and prying. It really is just about being more aware of what is being shared with the knowledge that online background checks are more common now than ever before.

    Thanks for your comment, Lucas.