How much time do I need to spend cleaning up my online image? Will MBA admissions people be checking out my facebook profile for unflattering partying pics? Do I need to spend some time sprucing up my LinkedIn profile?
Cleaning up your presence on social media is always a great idea but especially for MBA candidates. Because the admissions process for MBA programs can be so subjective, you'll want to give yourself every advantage you can in presenting yourself.
You may be familiar with the process as there are a lot of articles out there, but here are some personal tips.
A good place to start would be checking all of your social media channels and making sure to remove any locations or pictures that would not want your future professors, advisers, and eventually employers to see. A further step you can take is setting those profiles to private. If you trust your friends to only post good content and you are sure that your profiles are professional, you can choose to make them less private.
A good step further is to Google your name and check the first pages of results (including photos) that turn up. If you find anything unflattering, try to remove it by contacting the website where it was indexed and asking them to take it down.
Good luck! Here is some inspiration for those essays if you're still in the application process: http://www.searchmba.com/blogpost/Survive_MBA_Application_Season_with_5_Essay_Writing_Tips__p4486.html