Landing a job working from home in fields of education is difficult. But the key to doing so is by developing an online professional presence. Without this, it’s nearly impossible for job seekers to receive an offer.
What is a professional online presence? How do you start one?
A professional online presence is also known as a professional digital footprint. It is developed by creating professional online profiles, sharing job-related ideas, and networking with other professionals by using Internet tools such as blogs, social media outlets, and other websites that allow educators to share or collaborate with you.
Why is having an online professional presence important for breaking into the working from home job market in education?
Developing an online professional presence is marketing your technology skills. When you apply for a remote position, potential employers will do an online search of your name using a search engine. When you have a professional online digital footprint, your name and skills will show up in an employer’s search results. These employers will more likely want to interview you when they see that you are proficient with web-based tools.
If you don’t have a professional digital footprint, potential employers will not find your name in their search results. Employers will not consider you a serious job candidate if you communicate to them that you are not tech savvy enough to work from home remotely, and don't care enough to establish an online presence in this field of work.
Ways to Develop an Online Professional Presence(Note: More details will be covered in future articles.)
1. Create a professional Twitter account. Make sure your profile showcases your knowledge in your subject area and doesn't include Tweets with poor or offensive language. Review educator profiles and follow the ones that fit your niches. Search educators using the search tool by typing in “#edchat”. When you follow someone, don’t be afraid to send a Tweet to say you are new to Twitter and want to network with them professionally.
2. Create a full LinkedIn profile. This will give you an online resume that showcases your skills. Your profile will show up in LinkedIn and Internet search results when employment recruiters are looking for job candidates. When you create your LinkedIn profile, you can choose which content is made public and which is not. It’s best to let your name and the summary of your skills show publicly. Leave everything else private, only to be seen by those whom you add to your network. Find educators you know in real life, and those you know from other social networks like Twitter. Send a request to add them to your network.
3. Create a professional education blog using a blogging platform like WordPress. Guest blog on established education blogs. To find established blogs do a Google search of “education blogs,” or find blogs through contacts in your Twitter or LinkedIn networks.
4. Request to write lesson contributions for education websites such as Read Write Think. Websites like this will feature you as the author of anything you create for them.
All the above methods are good ways to market your professional skills online. The process of starting is a time investment, but once you get it going, don’t neglect it. You must continue regular updates on all your social networks and profiles to show you are serious about your professional online identity. The great thing is, once you have it firmly established you will be rewarded.