First of all, understand that tools are simply that - tools. A chisel in the hand of a novice makes clumsy cuts and produces amateurish results. The same is true of online tools and social media. Learn how to use them effectively to land the job you really want.
Let's focus on the pros and cons of using social media in your job search.
Creating a presence.
Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and Twitter allow anybody anywhere to create a presence for themselves. These tools offer you a way to get yourself noticed.
Standing out from the crowd.
With thousands of people vying for a few openings it is very important for you to use social media to help you stand out from the competition. Be careful how you do this, of course, but the easiest way to get noticed is to participate in discussions. Make sure you subscribe to or belong to professional associations and affinity groups relative to your academic interests. If educational technology is your thing, then you should belong to and participate in the fascinating discussions on ISEN.
Proving your competence.
You may have a degree from Cambridge University. But if you keep your learning hidden from others, how are they going to know that you are...
- Apply Correctly by:
- Manage your Job Search Process by:
- Manage Job Interviews by:
- Protect Your Attitude & Morale if:
- Working with Agencies and Recruiters
DO: Use your network.
Arguably the best way to find a job in a private school is by using your network. These are friends and colleagues who know you, indeed have known you for years, and can talk enthusiatically about you and your skills as a teacher or administrator. Networking is all about meeting people and staying in touch with them. How do you do that? Use all the social and professional networking tools out there. They cost little but reap huge rewards. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs allow you to exchange ideas and comments as well as see what's going on. Professional sites like Independent School Educators Network and ISED-L give you an opportunity to become known in the private school community.
DON'T: Use weak references.
When you submit your job application, you will be asked to include 3-5 references. These people will be called if you make the short list. You must make sure that your references include...
Abroad? Yes, there are plenty of teaching jobs overseas. Hundreds of private schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean are always looking for qualified teachers. Of course, you probably have already seen dozens of emails from ESL schools in Taiwan. Are those jobs real? Yes, they most certainly are. But, caveat emptor. Do your research carefully. There are some lemons in the bunch.
But we are not talking about only ESL teaching jobs. How about teaching in a country like Argentina? Say you are a Spanish speaking graduate with a degree in American language and literature from Brown or Boston University. You have worked hard getting that degree, but the job market here is nasty and you don't want to start your master's degree for a few years. So, why not get out into the world and gain some real life experience. Alejandria will show you listings of all the schools in Argentina.
Many of these are international schools whose students are English speaking. Why is that? Places like Buenos Aires have large expat communities. They usually insist on sending their children to a school with an American or English style curriculum so that their children can fit in more easily back home...
- Make arrangements to meet employers and be interviewed at the NAIS Annual Conference which takes place in February/March. Check the NAIS site for time and venue.
- Review openings listed on Klingenstein Job Bank.
- Review openings posted on various state, regional and national association websites.
- Attend interviews.
- Negotiate job offers.
- Request official copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
- Notify your network as soon as you accept a job.
- Send hand written thank you notes.
- If you are just beginning the process, now is the time to plan your job search.
- Assemble your portfolio if you teach the art and other practical subjects.
- Cast your net widely as you search for a job.
- Be flexible if you can with regard to location and salary expectations.
- Get unofficial copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
- If still looking for a job, keep an eye out for unexpected openings. Filling a position just before school opens is always a tough proposition, made easier if your name happens to be on a list of approved, pre-qualified applicants.
- Scan the job openings.
- Use summer conferences to network.