“The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
In the ever changing world of social media platforms, it can be difficult to keep up with the ins and outs of each. From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram and LinkedIn, there seems to be more and more places vying for time. As an educator, the pressures and demands of the school year can quickly become overwhelming and social media takes a back seat to lesson plans, grading, and conferences. However, as a professional in a field where there is seemingly constant change and job stability is almost a thing of the past, it is important to stay visible to those who do the hiring. A LinkedIn presence can help and here are three reasons why you should be using it even when you have a job you love.
3 Reasons Why Teachers Should Use LinkedIn
1. Increased Visibility
School districts are not going to be hiring you based on your Facebook posts (although they may fire you for them), nor are they going to give you a teaching job for having a cute blog. No, when recruiters are interested in you they are going to check out all of your social media accounts and LinkedIn will play a huge part. One recruiter even admitted that she actively investigates all applicants’ social media accounts whether they list them on the application or not. She said she starts with LinkedIn, because it has become an online resume site and reflects how serious a candidate is about keeping up with current technology and trends. 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.
LinkedIn is the ultimate networking site. Connecting with other educators, administrators, and education-related companies around the world can give you a foot in the proverbial door when it comes to open job positions. Even if you are not actively looking for a new position, your connections may have or may know of job openings that pique your interest. Networking with other professionals also gives you the opportunity to help make connections for others who are interested in working at your school or in your district. Interested in pursuing an adjunct faculty position at a local university? LinkedIn is a great place to find out more about the institution and see if there is anyone in your network who might be connected to it. Expanding your network can provide you with unexpected opportunities for professional growth.
3. Expand Your PLN
While networking is about connecting with those who you know professionally, your personal learning network (PLN) is your place to shine. Professional groups like Really Good Teachers give you an opportunity to connect, interact, and learn from other educators. You have the chance to ask questions, engage in discussion, and share your knowledge about education related topics of interest. Not only is this a rich learning and professional development area for you personally, but being connected to a professional educators group on LinkedIn also shows potential employers that you invest time into learning more about teaching. You can choose which groups to display publicly on your LinkedIn profile, as well.
With LinkedIn you can increase your professional visibility, make connections, and learn from your PLN. It is never too late (or too early) to start!