Opening a college rejection letter is never easy. Yet, after all the hours you and your child spent on applications, one rejection after another finds its way into your mailbox.
There's no other way to put it: the college admissions process is brutal.
Your child may be an excellent student. She wins awards for her writing, and her recent project takes home top prize at the science fair. Her report card is always straight A's.
Despite all these amazing accomplishments, she's still likely to be overlooked. The simple truth is, admissions professionals see a lot of strong candidates, so it's hard to stand out from the competition.
This is why a student's online presence is vital to their college applications and career success. Through their online presence, they can share their accomplishments as well as their social involvement, personality, and character.
Here's what you need to know about the importance of a positive online presence and how your child's personality has an impact on college applications:
The Online Presence
The college admissions process is evolving to keep up with the growing competition among applicants. In fact, the National Association for College Admission Counseling's research found that 39 percent of institutions reported using a waitlist in Fall 2016.
Many universities are now using personality testing and character skills assessments in their admissions processes. This helps them look beyond academic achievements and focus on applicants' inherent qualities.
In order to stay competitive, your child needs to build a strong online presence that showcases how they go above and beyond just making the grade. This is where their personality comes in.
Our 2017 survey found that nearly nine out of 10 admissions professionals say personality and character skills assessments are important to a candidate's admittance. This presents students with unique opportunities to shine.
But first, you need to understand the way personality plays a part in your child's academics and professional life.
Everyone falls on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, possessing traits from both personality types. Introverts are considered naturally more thorough, creative thinkers who have strong listening skills and are highly reflective. On the other hand, extroverts are often viewed as assertive, action-oriented, team players with strong leadership skills.
When students know their personality type and the traits they possess, it's easier to determine how they can best present themselves to admissions professionals. Both extroverts and introverts have many strengths that give them unique advantages when they're applying to college.
The biggest benefit of being naturally extroverted is that building relationships comes easier. Admissions professions generally prefer to see applicants who are outgoing and have many connections.
In fact, according to our survey, 61 percent of admissions professionals say applicants with large networks prove they're a strong fit for the college's culture. Also, 71 percent say they're more likely to accept those who convey outgoing, friendly personalities.
If your child is more extroverted, encourage them to let their outgoing personality shine online.
Start a vlog
Using a vlog, your child can describe topics of interest and share presentations. With an established vlog, they can show admissions professionals who they are as a student and aspiring professional.
This is a more personal approach, giving admissions professionals a better idea of the applicant. Sharing their voice and putting a face to their name makes them more memorable.
Engage on social media
Another great way to showcase their unique voice and outgoing personality is by socializing online. While many people express concern about children and teens using social media, it can actually be beneficial. Encourage them to join social media communities that align with their professional interests and goals.
If they want to study engineering, they should start following engineering experts on Twitter and Facebook. They can even reach out directly to professionals in the field and engage in conversations about the engineering industry.
The more active they are in meaningful conversations online, the better. This helps them build a large network while showcasing their expertise and gaining knowledge in subjects they're interested in.
Establish a personal brand
Their online presence should be consistent and establish their personal brand -- defining who they are by authentically displaying their personal and professional interests and activities. This strategy is quite advantageous -- our survey found that 71 percent of admissions professionals say applicants who establish a personal brand have a major advantage over those who don't.
This is where extroverts thrive: building a personal brand, expanding their network, and contributing to professional conversations in relevant professional communities.
Building a personal brand might not come as naturally to introverts as it does extroverts. However, admissions professionals favor a few introvert traits when they review an applicant's online presence.
Some of the top traits admissions professionals look for are creativity, thoroughness, and reflectiveness, according to our survey. Because these traits come more naturally to introverts, they should definitely be demonstrating them online.
Create unique content
If your child is more introverted, encourage them to hone in on creative projects they can share. They should be creating content that highlights their ability to reflect and share ideas and creative solutions to problems.
Let's say your child wants to work in software development and already knows a lot about coding. They can build an app or create an app development proposal that solves a specific problem.
This way, admissions professionals see their technical skills as well as their creativity and thorough approach to a project.
While introverted students might not feel as comfortable recording vlogs as their extroverted peers, they should at least create a blog that shares their interests and values. Their blog can act as an online portfolio where they share academic projects and write content that centers on their professional field.
Share a personality profile
Encourage them to create a personality profile on their website or blog. This should describe their personal values and what they value the most in universities.
This way, when they apply, they can share this profile with admissions professionals and show how their personal values align with a prospective university's values.
No matter where your child is on the personality spectrum, they can stand out through an online presence so help them make the most of this opportunity to shine.
How is your child showcasing their value through their online presence?
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