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8 Ways Students Can Use Facebook Timeline to Impress Colleges
By: Christine Geraci
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High school students applying to college now need more than an impressive transcript and killer essay to get that coveted thick envelope in the mail from their college of choice.
A 2011 Kaplan study shows more than 80% of colleges factor in a student's social media presence when making admissions decisions. And that makes sense: In today's connected world, students need to demonstrate comprehensive command of social platforms. They also need to demonstrate discretion and professionalism when it comes to their online presences.
With Facebook profiles now in the new Timeline format, students can present themselves to college recruiters in some new and creative ways. Some suggestions to think about:
Beef up the "About" section. In addition to listing any jobs held (volunteer or otherwise), students can include brief but creative statements about themselves, favorite quotations, and relevant contact information. 
Detail interests in the "Likes" section. Take advantage of the opportunity to show off your eclectic interests by category. Also make sure the pages you like represent values you'd want college recruiters to see. 
Use Notes to show off your writing skills. Even if you're not looking to obtain a degree in English, offer up a few relevant writing samples in the form of notes to demonstrate your command of the written word as well as your creativity. 
Screen your photos, videos, and information. Anything questionable or inappropriate has to go. If you wouldn't want your mother to see it, then you shouldn't want college recruiters to see it. 
Get creative with your cover photo. Your profile page's cover photo is the first impression, so make it a great one! Here are some ideas for cover photo designs that interact with your profile photo. 
Monitor your comments. Make sure you set up email and/or smartphone notifications to alert you when someone leaves a comment on one of your Facebook posts. The faster you can delete an inappropriate comment, the better. 
Educate yourself about privacy options. Visit the privacy settings on your timeline, and be sure you fully understand what you are giving people access to do. Who is able to post to your timeline? Can other people tag you in photos without your permission? Be smart about what you allow.
Try Timeline Moviemaker. This app is a really cool way to create a summation of your timeline in a compelling video. Simply allow the app access to your timeline and it will do the rest. You're also able to choose the multimedia featured in the final product, so have fun! Consider this a mini "video essay" to show college recruiters.
In what other ways are you using Facebook Timeline to showcase who you are as a student and citizen to colleges and universities?

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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