Why Every Teacher Needs Linkedin

linkedIf I was to tell you that over 100 million individuals have been using an online networking job platform as of 2010, would that make you question why on earth you weren’t a part of it? Linkedin is a fantastic way of managing your professional identity yet so many educators fail to see it’s potential. With times and technology forever changing, the time to jump on the social networking bandwagon is right now. As a teacher, the pressures of the school year can quickly become overwhelming and social media takes a back seat to lesson plans, marking and meetings, however it is vital to stay visible to the ones that do the hiring.

But how do you create a strong profile?

Just like your CV, your Linkedin profile must be able to speak for itself. Create a profile that sets you apart from the rest of the bunch. Write a short, snappy summary that identifies your career goals as well as what academic projects you are currently a part of. List your skills and educational information. Include anything and everything that you feel is impressive, whether it be your university grade, examples of your work or volunteering experience that shows your passions and the causes you care about. Include links to outside blogs you may have created, or suitable social media accounts that you wish others to see (these you may choose to restrict due to privacy reasons).

Today it’s not just about what you know, but who you know. Ask for previous colleagues and people who know you to endorse you for your skills. Establish connections with the suggestions Linkedin offers based on your profile. It is likely that potential employers will look for you on social media so make sure that this platform boasts every little detail that would help you land any job that you apply for.

BUT remember…

Don’t use your LinkedIn account in the same way as you would Facebook. This is a professional site, so treat it that way. Your LinkedIn audience is completely different from those on your friend lists, so remember this whilst posting updates, sharing content and picking a suitable profile picture.

And why should you join?

Just because you have a job you love, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to put yourself out there. If you are great at what you do then other employers should know about it. Setting up a profile to showcase your skills/achievements will not only keep you current with vacancies but technological advances too. Having a presence on LinkedIn does not guarantee you a job, but a professional profile listing your past teaching experience and strengths certainly gives you an advantage.

An important part of LinkedIn is making connections – with classmates, professionals you admire, coworkers from placements, faculty from your university etc. Catch up with old friends, give recommendations to those who have worked alongside you in the past and build your repertoire. Join groups to start discussions, share insights and discover jobs in your industry. By asking and answering questions that are completely teacher related, you will be able to develop better working relationships with not only new individuals, but at your existing job too. Don’t just stick to personal profile updates and private messages with your connections. The more knowledgable and passionate you are about your job, the more desirable you become.

Plus as previously mentioned, it recommends plenty of connections as soon as you sign up. By continuing to connect with these contacts you’ll increase your chances of getting in touch with the right people and companies in your industry. Due to the nature of the platform, it is a great place where information and advice is shared by successful business minds, thus keeping you ‘in the know’ with like-minded teachers.

Regardless of your feelings towards it, it is imperative that you should use these tools to always stay one step ahead of the game. Your pupils will soon leave school, putting themselves in the position that you were once in. Being on these social platforms means that we can educate them on the best ways to showcase their own gifts and successfully land the job that they’ve been working towards. LinkedIn is not only a place to be head hunted in the future, but a place to learn, which surely should be a continuous focus in any career.

Each and every industry is changing and more recruiters are going to take to LinkedIn as a primary tool for recruiting, so what are you waiting for? It is never too late (or too early) to start!

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