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Although your academic and athletic accomplishments are important, perception is everything to college coaches and admission directors. And nothing affects a school’s perception of today’s student-athletes more than social media. The next time you consider sharing that photo of you and your friends after a victory party or posting questionable slang on your wall, think twice.
Although Facebook can be a great medium of communication with college coaches, it can also do serious damage to your college recruiting chances. Fairly or unfairly, 80 percent of college officers now use Facebook as a window into an applicant's character. If recruiters view your profile as a negative mark against you, you’ll have a much harder time getting into the college of your choice.
One of the best ways to guard against a social media mishap is to treat every post as if the world can see it. Some of your peers will probably suggest that you protect yourself by adjusting security settings so college officials cannot see certain posts. Unfortunately, nothing is sacred on today’s Internet. Many times, even protected pictures can be viewed through a simple Google search. Some college officials take it another step further by connecting to you through your friends and acquaintances.
Besides protecting yourself against negative attention on Facebook, use your profile as a positive. Use social media to market yourself and promote your athletic achievements. By treating your profile as an advertisement for yourself, you’ll put yourself way ahead of athletes who post without thinking.
Learn more about using social media in recruiting.
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