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If you are an educator, the events of 2020 may have made you rethink your career trajectory. Fortunately, education is one field that lends itself perfectly to working online.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s a snap to find an online job that can cover your basic needs. These coveted positions are in peak demand now, and the competition is fierce. Here are six tips for finding a home-based online teaching job that
1. Research Your Options
The first step in your search should be researching your options. Compile a list of online schools in your area that you think might be a good fit. Then, dig a bit deeper to figure out which ones for which you would most like to work.
Please keep in mind that you might not get your first choice. However, this exercise helps you refine what work it is, exactly, that you would enjoy the most. Are you seeking a school with a traditional eight-to-three schedule, or are you hoping to increase your work flexibility along with your location?
For example, many online K-12 schools follow a somewhat traditional schedule. However, those who teach at the collegiate level might find that they get better attendance by hosting their classes in the evening.
2. Revise Your Resume
Applying for an online teaching position is much like throwing your hat in the ring for an in-person gig. You’ll have to write scores of essays about your philosophy and retype everything that’s already on your resume multiple times. Hey, nobody ever said landing your dream job was a cakewalk.
Ensure you highlight your digital wizardry when applying — schools had quite enough of a bumpy ride in 2020 with all the turmoil, and they don’t want to train candidates on how to use Zoom. If you have earned any digital education badges, highlight them on your resume. They show you went the extra mile to update your skills for the digital world.
3. Attend Networking Events
Thanks to the pandemic, networking no longer needs to mean dolling up in your interview suit and schlepping your briefcase across town, praying that inclement weather doesn’t ruin your ‘do as you get off public transportation. You can now find virtual job fairs dedicated to educators — start your search and make your Zoom reservations today.
However, just because you’re online doesn’t mean you can roll into your interview in pajamas. You never know if an interviewer might ask to see your dedicated home office on cam. If they catch a glimpse of your Wonder Woman bottoms beneath your sensible suit jacket, it could affect your chances — you don’t want to bank your dream job on their sense of humor.
4. Make Your Presence Known
In the good old days before COVID-19, one way to get your foot in the door was to walk through it. You could pound the pavement, handing out resumes to interested individuals, and, more vitally, putting a face with your name. The pandemic does make it a little more challenging, but you can still do your detective work to improve your chances with the right people.
Find out who the department chair is and introduce yourself via email. Let them know your credentials and that you’re seeking openings for online work. If you have an opportunity to get on staff in another capacity, such as a coach, snag it — once you prove your dedication, you’ll be a shoo-in for the next opportunity.
5. Develop Other Remote Skills
What if you started your search at an odd time, such as right before the spring semester when enrollment drops? If you don’t immediately get a bite, please use the wait time to brush up on your other remote skills.
For example, you could work on improving the overall tone of your work-related emails. When corresponding with parents, you want to project a nurturing persona, not a heavy-handed old-fashioned teacher, quick with the disciplinary ruler.
Another worthwhile activity is building your professional resource library for online learning. The work you do now will save you considerable prep time down the road. You won’t have to search for the best sites for studying ancient Greece if you have a spreadsheet with appropriate sites at the ready, and you can mention your project at your interview.
6. Devote Yourself to Professional Excellence
Teaching is an ever-evolving profession, and if you want to get to the top, you have to update your skillset regularly. Fortunately, if you aren’t currently employed, you can still find free online professional development courses for teachers.
While you don’t have to add every webinar you attend to your resume, staying current with your obligations makes you a more attractive candidate. Plus, you can focus on your continued learning on courses that teach best practices for online instruction, helping you hone your niche.
Find Your Ideal Home-Based Online Teaching Job
Online teaching is in high demand, but that doesn’t mean that the competition for such jobs isn’t fierce.