The list of social media sites and its users is growing exponentially. It is no longer a question of whether you use social networking sites, but rather how well you use them. The number of companies that use social media for hiring purposes is at an all-time high and due to the minimal cost, employers of all sizes can use online networking to reach a large number of prospective employees across various sites. Using social media is thus showing to be an obvious route for TEFL teachers searching for jobs. To help our TEFL graduates find their dream teaching job, here are our top tips on how to utilise these sites.
What is LinkedIn:
LinkedIn is a business orientated social network site, and the largest professional network where members connect with each other, participate in groups, connect and interact with each other.
- LinkedIn continues to dominate social recruiting, if you only have time to use one social network to find a job, make sure it’s LinkedIn. In fact an “invisible” candidate is viewed with suspicion and a sign that you are behind the times, particularly when the employer is online and has a significant social footprint.
- You should use the site to create an online resume. Employers will typically be looking for information about your professional experience, specific skills and length of professional tenure. Find out more LinkedIn: Creating you eResume.
- You can also be proactive, by building up networks to connect with others in your industry. All those contacts have the potential to help grow your career or find a TEFL job by providing information and tips and a source of contact to ask questions.
- Join groups in your industry that appear especially active. Make yourself visible by introducing yourself to other members and posting and asking questions. Be known as a resource: answer questions and build up proactive social capital. This will show that you don’t have a simple “what’s in it for me” mentality.
What is Facebook:
Facebook is the world’s largest social networking site. Used appropriately and carefully it could help you find a teaching job. However the hazards of using Facebook are well known.
- Thanks to social media, employers can now form an idea of who you are what you have done before they even talk to you. How you spend your non work time will be visible and you can be rejected instantly for inappropriate comments, content sharing, or photographs.
- If you want to expand your use of Facebook to search for jobs make sure your photo and content is professional. (If not make sure you keep your profile private, but be aware of Facebooks privacy problems).
- There are plenty of clues employers can pick up about your personality and fit for the job from you Facebook profile. These include: how well you communicate (your spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well your ability to convey ideas), your work history and education, and your industry knowledge.
- Be engaged – ‘like’ companies you are interested in and you can be kept up to date with possible job openings. You could also focus on expanding your network and meeting professionals. You can utilise Facebook by posting content relevant to your job search or career and building relationships and networks through friends.
- You can also let your friends and family know that you are job seeking. People who know you personally have more of a stake in helping you find a job so don’t discount Facebook – it might turn out being a more useful network than LinkedIn.
- Our best advice: Keep your profile clean.
What is twitter:
Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. You can connect with friends and other people and get up to the moment updates on the things that interest you, including job postings and teaching opportunities.
- Focus your professional twitter account to appeal to employers looking to hire language teachers. Put your job pitch in your Twitter bio and include a link to your CV. Use keywords in your bio that describe you and the job that you are seeking and your target location. For example, “Certified TEFL teacher in France”. Use a professional looking avatar and username.
- Tweet about your search to let people know you are looking. They may not have opening just now but by knowing you are available they might contact you in the future. Be careful that everything you post is visible. If employers see that you have tweeted the same message to hundreds of employers this won’t look good. Don’t ask outright for a job. Instead use twitter to show that you are an intelligent person and qualified candidate. For example tweet about interesting articles you have read.
- Follow companies you are interested in so that you are automatically notified about new hires and other news. Join industry chats on twitter to make yourself visible. You can also use twitter and other social networking sites to conduct a little research about your employer. This will help tailor your application and covering letter to their needs and desires as well as personality.
Finding a TEFL job
Social media gives you leverage and visibility. You can combine different platforms to show both your personal side and your personality. Finding your dream TEFL job may involve some social media innovative thinking.
Make an organized plan and allocate tasks to different days such as updating your LinkedIn eResume, posting on twitter, searching for jobs though Facebook. Our main advice is to be as visible as possible, keep your content clean and professional, and take advantage of search options and networks.
With a little luck you will find your dream TEFL job in no time!