Could your number of twitter followers or Facebook friends be more important than your formal education one day? If teaching is your profession, this may only true in your dreams. Potential employers may be impressed, however, if you blog about education and have a network full of teachers and students from around the world-a network that inspires you with teaching ideas AND offers important feedback from learners. If the school you are applying to has no web reach itself, you could even find yourself in a part-time role as a social media expert.
Here are a few things you can do to extend your web reach:
- Secure a twitter account with your real name: Streamline your Twitter account so that it centers on tweets about learning and teaching English (follow tags like #ESL #ELL #TEFL #edchat)
- Invite all of your past and present teacher pals to be Facebook friends.
- Participate in teacher blogs and/or start your own (check blogrolls)
- Set up a Linked In account and ask your previous employers to recommend you.
- Join an e-community (such as Educator’s PLN or BELT Free or MyEC or ESLLibrary on Facebook)
Here are a few ways to present your web reach on a resume:
- Include your twitter ID in your contact info (as long as you keep your tweets professional).
- Provide a link to your Linked In account (make sure it’s up-to-date).
- Include the URL to your online profile, website or blog (or a guest post or article you’ve written about education)
- Highlight your methods of networking in your “summary” or “related skills”.
Here are a few ways to showcase your web reach during an interview:
- Drop words like edchat, wikis, and discussion forums. Explain to your potential employer that you regularly take part in online discussions about education with hundreds of teachers (on your own time).
- Promote your tech savvy nature. Use strong words such as bookmarking, SEO, social media, and RSS Feeds.
- Describe how you found a few of the online sources for supplementary materials. For example: “I subscribe to Larry Ferlazzo’s RSS feed to find new ideas for teaching English with videos.”
- Explain how your web reach can benefit the school or organization you are applying to. (You can blog about the school, you can help the school set up a twitter account or RT each other, offer to share news or updates about the school via your networks)
Have you used the term web reach on a resume or in an interview? Share your own ideas for showcasing this asset to future employers.
Tara Benwell is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry. She is the media director and head writer for ESL-Library. Her debut novel, The Proper Order of Things is available on Amazon and in the iBookstore. Website: http://www.tarabenwell.com Twitter: @tarabenwell