When I was graduating from high school, Facebook was popular and Twitter was gaining popularity. Instagram and LinkedIn did not exist. Tumblr was around, but I don’t remember how popular it was. However, employers and scholarship committees were starting to use social media to do mini-background checks on possible candidates. Now that was in 2011. Fast forward to 2016. I can promise you competitive, prestigious scholarships look at students’ social media.

How do you know if you are applying to a scholarship that will look at your social media? If the scholarship requires an interview process, they will Google you.

Now I don’t recommend deleting your social media if you have it. I do recommend looking through pictures you have posted or have been tagged in. Take down any pictures that are not appropriate. How do you know if they appropriate? Show them to your grandmother. If she doesn’t like it, take it down. If you are embarrassed or afraid to show them to her, take them down.

Also look through your posts. If you have posts where you have misspelled multiple words, delete it. Or edit posts where your grammar is bad. If you posted links to videos on your social media that are sexual or violent, take them down. Links and articles that deal with religion, politics, or controversies are fine. They show you have an opinion and are engaged in the world.

Google yourself. If you are fine with the way you are represented on the internet, then you have nothing to worry about.