LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — With college application deadlines just around the corner, savvy L.A. seniors are turning to social media to help boost their chances of getting into their top schools.
Professional social networking site LinkedIn recently launched University Pages, offering online snapshots of colleges and often revealing the types of students they're seeking.
LinkedIn Higher Education Evangelist John Hill says 23,000 schools have their own pages, and an increasing amount of admissions officials are using the site as a tool to find prospective students as well.
"I can start to look at the freshman, sophomores of a university, look at their profiles, how they develop their profiles, what they put on there. It starts to give me an idea of the breadth of experiences they brought in," Hill said.
Each university page also lists the types of alumni schools are graduating, and the types of careers they're getting.
The venture, launched in August, is a welcome one for L.A. senior Jordan Jace, who says he's utilizing the site for the first time while applying to several top schools, including the University of Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU and Scotland's University of St. Andrews.
"I knew nothing about LinkedIn before I discovered University Pages," Jace said.
Even with limited work experience, LinkedIn says students can create strong profiles using its student verticals feature.
"You can add things like coursework, things that you are learning in the classroom, publications that you have been quoted in," Hill said.
High schoolers can also emphasize volunteer work and tap their network for endorsements.
Another LinkedIn benefit - it could give you a direct connection with someone in admissions.
Jeff Schiffman, Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Tulane University, says he recently received his first LinkedIn request from a prospective student.
"Whereas Facebook is going be pictures of your social life, LinkedIn is universally recognized as different form — a form that's for advancement of career — allowing others to see your resume, skill set and what you're passionate about in the workforce," Schiffman explained.
If you're worried about your child's online safety, LinkedIn says its profiles for kids are automatically set to the highest privacy level.
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