Use Twitter to help your teacher job search by securing interviews and an ultimately a teaching contract. An increasing number of teachers and administrators are finding themselves in the unfortunate position of being unemployed. The stakes are high in the present education job market with dozens of people chasing every vacant teaching position. It can be difficult to know the best approach to take in order to secure employment.
The social networking site Twitter may not be something you would immediately think of when it comes to job hunting; however, more and more people are discovering that you can use Twitter to help your teacher job search.
How Twitter works: Twitter allows users to post short updates to show what they are doing on a day-to-day basis. Each post you make is called a “Tweet” and other users can “follow” you on the site. This means that every time you post and update on the site, your followers will receive that update on their computer or their cell phone. You, in turn, can follow other people who are of interest to you, and find out what they’re up to.
How Twitter can help you find a job: All kinds of people use Twitter, including CEO’s, managers, agency recruiters to top-level executives, and even schools, school districts, principals, and teachers. Twitter offers you a golden opportunity to network with schools and principals informally. By following people you will be able to find out about school events, possible hiring opportunities, and what their opinions are on a range of relevant education issues. Some people even use Twitter to post advertisements for products, websites and job openings. You’ll also have the ideal platform to showcase your own personal qualities and expertise and to begin to develop links with specific school districts and schools that you particularly want to work for.
Getting started: If you’re thinking of using Twitter to help you in your quest for a new teaching job, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Set up an account: You’ll need to set up a Twitter account in order to use the site. It’s a good idea to choose a username that will sound professional and includes a connection to teaching (e.g. ScienceTeacherDaniel). This will make you easier to remember, improve your credibility and immediately communicate what your area of expertise is.
2. Display your personal profile: Twitter allows you space to display a personal profile. It’s worthwhile to spend some time getting this just right as it’s the first thing people will read if they’re interested in you. Try to keep your profile information as professional as possible. If you have your own teaching website or some other vehicle for people to view samples of your lesson plans and other teaching work, include this in your profile.
3. Post: Post some Tweets to start with, but don’t go overboard. Quality is more important than quantity. You will pick up followers faster than you can imagine. Other “Tweeters” will refer friends and followers to your profile.
4. Find Key People: Choose some key people that you want to follow and you’ll find that this in turn will lead you to others. Don’t be put off by the notion that someone is “too important” to be interested in you. You’ll be surprised at how many of the people you follow end up following you!
5. Use the Twitter search tools: You can use this tool to find people to follow. However, be careful not to end up following 10 times as many people as are following you. This can diminish the air of professionalism that you are trying to create. You will also get notifications when someone new starts following you. It is a good idea to look at their profile to see if there is a benefit to following them.
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