Today, when all of us spend a major part of our life communicating over the social media, the importance of this tool in the MBA admission process cannot be stressed enough. B-schools are already extensively using social media to learn about applicants. Statistics show around 37% of MBA schools visit an applicant’s social networking pages to learn more about him/her.
B-schools are also allowing candidates to use social media to convey information about them to the admissions committee. For instance, Johnson School of Management allows candidates to use LinkedIn to complete parts of their application. Columbia Business School requires candidates to answer an essay question within 50-characters just like a Tweet. The McCombs School of Business now allows applicants to respond to a required essay question using an about.me profile.
To make a cut in such a scenario, you must have a strong social media presence. Actively use social media to engage with your target schools and learn more about their programs, news and events. Create an “online brand” for yourself. Begin with a strong LinkedIn profile. To have that, do the following:
- Write a headline and a summary that describe your goals and key strengths.
- List the jobs you have held with the relevant dates. This should be consistent with your Resume.
- Follow your undergraduate university as well as organizations related to your target industry.
- Build a strong network by adding connections
- Post impressive articles, presentations, speeches created by you.
- Include honors and awards, volunteer experience, technical skills, and certifications.
- Ask your connections to endorse you for specific skills.
- It is good idea to turn off the notifications feature while making changes to your profile. A series of changes could send an unwanted signal to people in your network that you are planning a career move.
Don’t be dormant. Actively use your social network accounts and try to post status updates at least every two weeks. Also, add content to your LinkedIn profile at least every three months to increase its search relevance.
You must ‘clean-up’ your social media presence before sharing your accounts with the B-schools. If you have any unprofessional or inconsistent matter posted on your account, do not forget to remove it before you share the link! Also, use a professional profile picture in all your social media to add value.
Make efforts to create an impactful social media presence through meaningful blogs, posts etc. Get noticed by the admissions committee!