What is your professional brand? A vital component of your career and job search is creating a brand relevant to education and communicates your authenticity.
It’s essential in your job search that the information schools find about you online is positive and professional. Many school hiring representatives will Google or search LinkedIn for their potential candidates to find personal and professional information about them. It’s important what they read is uplifting, relevant, and helpful.
You don’t want schools reading your inappropriate blog posts or Facebook pages. This type of information has cost applicants jobs. In some cases, it has even cost them a chance at an interview.
Now, before you go erasing your Facebook account and canceling your blog, the problem isn’t necessarily that these pages exist; you also need professional context to counteract and overshadow these personal pages while also ensuring that there is no damaging content on your personal pages.
Steps to Communicate a Positive Professional Brand
It will help your job search if schools can find your professional information to learn about your professional highlights, passions, goals, and accomplishments. A quick fix to keep your personal information more private is to tighten up the privacy settings on your MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blog, etc.
Don’t write or post anything you wouldn’t want a potential school or parent/student to find. Think twice before posting pictures of yourself at a bar or the beach. This is not only detrimental to you in your job search, but you may not want this type of personal image of you floating around cyberspace at all.
This same rule applies to personal posts. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want a school principal to read. Don’t swear, discuss controversial topics, or make inappropriate comments. Develop a positive personal and professional brand by never posting negatively about your job, school district, students, or parents.
There have been many stories in the news about teachers being terminated for details they’ve posted on Facebook about their students or their school. Even though it should be obvious not to post something of this nature publicly, educators have gotten into trouble when they send ‘private’ correspondence. Just remember that nothing is ever truly private when it’s on the internet.
Teachers are held to a higher standard by the public because of their type of work, which includes your online personal identity.
Next, focus on the professional side of things. Build your professional brand by using branding tools such as LinkedIn, WordPress, and VisualCV. These will help you in your networking and making you visible to potential schools. Create a web presence by building a website and keeping a blog focused on your professional life or is specific to teaching.
Post your teaching portfolio online if you feel comfortable doing so. What a great way to improve your online identity and grow your professional brand at the same time!
Once you’ve built a professional brand, remember that you will need to work at it. It is an ongoing effort that will pay off in dividends.