A growing number of admissions officers believe it’s “fair game” to scope out applicants’ social media feeds, a 2021 Kaplan survey confirms. Kaplan polled 150 business school admissions departments in 2018 to address that same issue. In that survey, 40% said they visited applicants’ social media profiles to learn more about them when making admissions decisions.
Among admissions officers who visit applicants’ social media, half said they found something that negatively impacted an applicant’s admissions chances. For that reason, applicants must review and mitigate any red flags.
While we talked about cleaning up your online presence earlier this week, today, we’re sharing a few specific tips you can use to enhance your LinkedIn profile to further support your MBA candidacy. Having a LinkedIn profile that shows your unique personality and presents your professional/life experiences compellingly can help sway an on-the-fence adcomm member in your favor.
(Don’t miss these LinkedIn tips from the Blacklight, SBC’s newsletter for professionals.)
Tip 1. LinkedIn can help MBA applicants differentiate themselves.
Your profile should highlight your leadership and accomplishments, plus present a complete picture of your interests, passions, and career goals. All that will complement what’s already in your application and provide more insight to the reader. Also, an MBA interviewer may look over your profile to get a better sense of your personality before the meeting. So, this is the place to start the process of winning over your audience.
Be specific about your professional role in the headline. Also, think about whether you can provide a broader picture of yourself in this prime piece of real estate. For example, you may work as a staff consultant at Bain & Company or as an analyst at Goldman Sachs.
But if you’ve also created some type of non-profit organization—our client Ali co-founded one helping girls in the Middle East obtain educational opportunities—listing that additional position in your headline will set you apart from the typical analyst in the applicant pool.
Tip 2. Quantify your achievements.
Admissions committees like to see results. So, try to quantify results within the body of your profile just as you would in your MBA resume. For example, it’s much more powerful to write that you “created a marketing plan that resulted in a 30 percent increase in leads,” as opposed to noting that you simply “created a marketing plan.”
Managing a staff is interesting. But the fact that you supervised 30 employees and improved profitability by 25% is something anyone can understand. By giving the reader a number, you provide them with the chance to see just what kind of leader you were—and will be.
Tip 3. Your LinkedIn “Interests” should match and support your candidacy.
Suppose your application touches on your keen interest in renewable energy, micro-investing in India, or Silicon Valley startups. In that case, this section should show that you’re following influencers or organizations in those industries. This consistency reinforces the narrative within your application and lends credibility to your stated interests and passions.
Tip 4. Make sure career and education information is consistent with your MBA application.
It sounds obvious, but our memories can get fuzzy and minor discrepancies are pretty common. Cross-check your education, employer names, and dates to ensure all are in the proper order. Consistency between your LinkedIn profile and MBA application is vital.
If the person reviewing your application spots inconsistencies compared to the data form, you’re inviting additional scrutiny. This could potentially raise a red flag that puts other aspects of your application under the microscope.
LinkedIn can help MBA applicants in numerous ways. You can bolster your candidacy while providing a multi-dimensional view of yourself to the admissions committee and future recruiters. Isn’t it time you revisited your profile to make sure it’s MBA-ready?
Whether you need to professionalize an existing profile or develop a presence on an entirely new platform, SBC can provide informed direction on which steps to take. For a b-school applicant, proper management of social media channels can also help you expand the scope of your application without infringing on limited essay word counts.
Learn more about the SBC Social Media Strategy Review, and you can set yourself up for a lifetime of online social success.