Knowing how to market yourself as a teacher candidate with online strategies may set you apart from competitors.
By Marsha Lynn Hudson
Get connected LinkedIn offers a platform for anyone to publish articles as well as join education community conversation groups. You have put in the sweat and sacrifice, long nights, countless study hours, and now you are ready to enter the educational arena. The time has come to showcase your talents and skills as an educator. How do you make your presence known? How do you connect with potential principals and other administrators who are looking for someone like you — filled with innovative ideas, a go-getter who is ready to make a difference in the lives of students?
Today’s savvy teacher candidate knows that the best way to market is through online marketing strategies. Long gone are the days of walking into an office with a résumé in hand while waiting and hoping to get an interview. The decision-makers of today are looking at profiles online for their potential candidates before ever contacting them. These decision-makers actively search LinkedIn, Twitter, websites and blogs to find out about the candidates they are looking for. If you want to stand out above the crowd of thousands of other candidates who are looking to be hired, you must have a strong online marketing strategy.
To market yourself on LinkedIn, set up a free account and upload a nice professional headshot. Include a summary of who you are and what you are looking for as a teacher candidate. You can look on LinkedIn and read some sample summaries to get a good idea of what you should include in your summary. Your profile should include your educational and academic background. It is also a good idea to join some groups on LinkedIn so that others can see your profile and refer you or inform you of companies that may be a good match for you. By marketing yourself on LinkedIn, you are putting your résumé online for numerous connections to see. Be sure to connect with other business people, and use the job-seeking feature as you search for opportunities. LinkedIn is a great tool to have in your arsenal.
Although you don’t need an account to be active on Twitter, it is a good idea to set one up. With Twitter, you brand your ideas and your name. Use the same professional headshot to be consistent in branding “you.” With Twitter, you can keep up with industry news and trends. As an educator who is looking for a job, you’ll find it important to keep up with current events, and being a part of the Twitter community will help you stay on top of what is going on in the field of education, among other professions. Once you have joined Twitter, follow 50 industry leaders. Whom should you follow? Other educators, companies, influencers and other people of interest to you. Because Twitter is a microblogging site that can be used in real time, you can take advantage of what is happening in the world at all times. By having a presence on Twitter, you allow important leaders in all industries to find out about you and the knowledge that you possess.
You might ask why you need a website if you don’t have a business. A website is a marketing tool. By setting one up, you allow people to read a little about you, see some of your work and contact you. Not only does having a website benefit you in the above ways, but your chances of being found by a potential employer are greater because you have a website online. A website can be simple. You can create a free one with Wix.com or Weebly.com. Your website should include the following links: About, Contact, Social Sites and Blog. Because the website is a marketing tool, when you connect it to your social media sites, you increase your total exposure online.
What is a blog? In simple terms, it is a collection of articles, writings or entries written by you. You are a professional. You have knowledge on a few subjects, right? Blogging shows a potential employer your skills and intelligence. Blogging does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. You can blog once a week, and that should be worth it if you are actively looking for a position as an educator with a good school. When you blog, you are letting potential employers know that you are a good candidate for their institution. To get started, visit WordPress.com. Choose a template and start blogging for free in less than 30 minutes. Blogs do not have to be long. You can post tips, advice, lists and any type of information that you have knowledge on. You can even post blogs from other bloggers. Blogging also causes you to be found on the internet as employers search for candidates. Setting up a couple of social sites, a website and a blog may seem like a lot of work. But looking for a job is a lot of work. Once you set the foundation, all you have to do is maintain your online presence, and you will find that your online strategy is the best one for finding employment. Long gone are the days of just making a résumé and hoping to land an interview with your desired company. Today’s job search starts and ends with online strategies. If you decide that you will be dedicated to marketing yourself online, you will be in high demand — and you won’t be on the market for long.